It’s no secret — our world is moving fast. We are working, parenting, listening, encouraging and scheduling. It is already September, and Christmas will be here in no time. We desire to stay present in the present, but we always have a foot in the future.
And…as Speech-Language Pathologists caught in the middle of this tension,striving to serve all those around us…our families, patients and others we love…
We might just miss one of the most under-diagnosed speech disorders out there.
According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, Cluttering is defined as a “fluency disorder characterized by a rapid and/or irregular speaking rate, excessive disfluencies, and often other symptoms such as language or phonological errors and attention deficits.”
To break that lengthy definition down for even our most savvy speech therapists — it is difficulties with fluency, language, articulation, pragmatic and syntax. And, to break that down even further — it encompasses basically everything a speech therapist may address in the school or outpatient clinic setting. … Whoa!
So, why is this disorder not permeating our caseloads?
Because it can be easily misdiagnosed.
Expressive language deficits, phonological awareness difficulties, omission and substitutions of sounds along with disfluencies are ALL part of the cluttering diagnosis. Cluttering may look like apraxic speech, reading difficulties, and speech-sound breakdowns — because it is ALL of those things!
I know I’ve missed it.
And, I know I’m not alone.
I’ve likely diagnosed a child with Stuttering or Apraxia and attempted to fit them into a box that was more familiar to me and my skill-set. I’ve overlooked Cluttering because it is “rare,” but that does not mean it should be ruled out.
The key to Cluttering is in the diagnosis. If you “miss” it, the child will continue to “miss the mark.” There are key strategies to teach a child who clutters that you would not teach a child who substitutes sounds, demonstrates difficulty with reading, and stutters.
Don’t miss it anymore! Join me on Friday, October 6th to learn the crucial tools from the expert, Alice Ann Farley. #SeekGrowthInWisdom #AVoiceThatLastsForever
Take your skills further faster with MTS Kids’ next CEU event, THIS OCTOBER!
CLICK HERE for more information or to register now!!!
Be sure to check our Facebook & Instagram accounts on Tuesday, September 19th for a special treat to celebrate the 12th Annual Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day!