Fluency Disorders: What They Are and How to Treat Them

Stuttering and disfluencies in speech affect over 70 million people worldwide. Characterized by repetitions, prolongations of sounds, or complete blocks in forward flow, stuttering occurs most commonly in young children who may outgrow it naturally.

However, for 1% of the population, stuttering persists long-term, requiring professional speech therapy.

Read below for an overview of assessing and treating this complex communication disorder.

Understanding Stuttering

Stuttering, also called stammering, belongs to a group of disorders called fluency disorders that disrupt the rhythm and timing of speech.

While anyone can experience occasional disfluencies, chronic stuttering significantly impairs communication abilities and confidence.

Associated features often include:

  • Repetition of initial sounds or syllables
  • Prolongation of certain sounds
  • Complete blocks where no air or sound is released
  • Excess physical tension when trying to speak
  • Avoidance of certain words, social situations
  • Anxiety, embarrassment, and frustration

Fluency disorders like stuttering can negatively impact school performance, jobs, relationships, and overall quality of life without proper treatment from a certified speech-language pathologist.

Causes and Risk Factors

While the exact cause remains unclear, stuttering likely arises from complex interactions between genetics, neurophysiology, and child development.

Higher chances occur with:

  • Family history of stuttering
  • Neurological processing/wiring differences
  • Age 2-5 years during language explosion
  • High cognitive function/ability

Stuttering must be promptly evaluated by a pediatric specialist to determine appropriate interventions for speech disfluencies.

Assessment and Diagnosis

Our speech therapists perform thorough testing including:

  • Case history questionnaires
  • Conversation and reading sample analysis
  • Perceptual rating of types of disfluencies
  • Evaluation of speaking situations that worsen or improve fluency
  • Assessment of word avoidance and associated anxiety

These comprehensive evaluations accurately diagnose fluency disorders like stuttering and inform effective treatment planning.

Specialized Speech Therapy Provides Tools for Fluency


Customized therapy facilitated by a speech-language pathologist specializing in fluency disorders aims to:

  • Improve child’s self-awareness and confidence
  • Reduce word fears and shame
  • Establish smooth forward rhythmic speech flow
  • Teach strategies for successfully managing disfluent moments
  • Transfer skills into everyday environments

With compassionate guidance, clients gain skills to communicate with ease at home, school, work, and socially as speech flows smoothly and naturally.

Restore Communication Confidence

To have your child assessed for stuttering and associated emotional difficulties, contact Peninsula Associates Speech Therapy Services today. Our kind, experienced pediatric therapists offer the latest evidence-based treatment strategies for perceptible improvement in fluency and confidence.