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Cluttering

Lisa Scott Trautman, Ph.D,CCC-SLP

May 19, 2003

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Question

I have an 8th grade student who has been diagnosed with cluttering and stuttering.

Answer

Cluttering is a speech disorder characterized by:
*the client's unawareness of his/her disorder
*short attention span
*disturbances in perception
*increased speech rate
*misarticulations
*speech/language formulation problems (e.g., poor syntax)

Several authors (Perkins, Daly, Weiss, and others) have indicated that it is a manifestation of a more general language disorder because in many cases, the person who clutters will demonstrate increased rate, poor articulation, grammatical errors, difficulty processing and formulating language, disfluency, poor reading and writing skills, and a family history of communication problems. An interesting feature is the client's lack of awareness -- many clients will indicate that others have pointed out their communication problems to them, but the client him/herself didn't necessarily recognize or agree with others' observations.

Cluttering can be a tricky disorder to diagnose and treat, but luckily, there are many good sources of information available. One of my favorite clinical resources is The Source for Stuttering and Cluttering, by David A. Daly. This book is available from Linguisystems and has many great tips on identifying and treating both disorders.

If you want to do a literature search on the topic of cluttering, prominent researchers who have an interest in this topic include Ken St. Louis and David Daly. I would use cluttering as the subject term and either of their names as author terms in a search. Ken St. Louis edited a special edition of the Journal of Fluency Disorders in 1996: St. Louis, K. O. (Guest Ed.). (1996). Research and opinion on cluttering: State of the Art and Science. (special edition). Journal of Fluency Disorders.

There are several texts that also deal with cluttering either in the entire text or in a chapter. Cluttering:A Clinical Perspective was written by F. Myers & K. St. Louis, first published in 1992 but reissued by Singular in 1996. This bookcan bedifficult to find, but I did a search on Amazon.com and found it listed there.Amazon did note, though, that it might take 6-7 weeks to get the book. Another text that includes a chapter on cluttering is Stuttering and Related Disorders of Fluency, edited by R. F. Curlee. A chapter entitled Cluttering: Traditional Views and New Perspectives is included in this text, published by Thieme (www.thieme.com)

Finally, I found several excellent sources on of information on the web.

https://www.mankato.msus.edu/dept/comdis/kuster/related.html is part of the Stuttering Home Page and has lots of information about cluttering as well as other fluency disorders, such as neurogenic stuttering.

https://www.mankato.msus.edu/comdis/kuster/cluttering/clutterbib.html lists an extensive bibliography on cluttering, and

https://www.mankato.msus.edu/comdis/kuster/cluttering/ddaly.html is a set of notes from a presentation made by David Daly on treating cluttering.


Lisa Scott Trautman, PhD CCC-SLP is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Florida State University. Her primary research interest is the language-motor interface in speech production and stuttering. She also conducts research in clinical training of stuttering specialists and in non-narrative discourse development. In addition to her position at FSU, she works as a professional consultant to the Stuttering Foundation of America, planning continuing education and new publications in the area of stuttering. Prior to arriving at FSU, Dr. Scott Trautman taught at Wichita State University where she co-directed the fluency services at the WSU Speech and Hearing Clinic; she has also worked for five years as a school clinician in Nebraska and spent four years on faculty in the UNL Speech and Hearing Clinic. A Certified Fluency Specialist, she has evaluated, treated, and/or consulted with over 150 school-age children who stutter, and many adults and preschool children as well. In addition to her clinical work, she has made presentations at district, state, and national meetings, and co-authored several publications in the area of fluency disorders


lisa scott trautman

Lisa Scott Trautman, Ph.D,CCC-SLP


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