Stuttering / Fluency
Stuttering is a communication problem which affects the fluency of speech.
Stuttering is characterised by:
- Repetitions – there can be different repetitions such as phrase repetitions (e.g. “I like rabbits, I like rabbits, I like rabbits”), whole word (e.g. “I like like like like rabbits”), part word (e.g. “I like ra ra ra rabbits”) etc.
- Prolongations (individual sounds are elongated rather than repeated)
- Blocks (where someone cannot get the word out and there is an apparent block in airflow during speech)
- Secondary behaviours (e.g., tensing of muscles, grimacing, lifting shoulders, eye blinking)
Headstart Speech Pathologists are able to assess the severity of individual’s dysfluency and where appropriate can recommend subsequent treatment options for children through to adults.
Headstart often implement the Lidcombe program. This program has the widest evidence base for the treatment of preschool aged children. The optimum age for treatment is 4 however; it can be effective for 2-6 year olds.