Speech fluency is a term used to describe a person’s ability to speak smoothly and easily. Fluency disorders, most commonly stuttering or stammering, usually begin in childhood specifically when a child is around 2 to 4 years of age. Stuttering unfolds in a variety of ways, sometimes changing over time, and can delay a child’s speech. SpeechEasy, a proven technology used to reduce stuttering, has provided six ways to identify early signs of a speech fluency disorder.
- Children only using a few words. For many children, stuttering first occurs during the time frame when they are growing their vocabulary. Children only using a select few words could indicate that they are uncomfortable using words they may stutter while saying. Avoiding certain words is an example of avoidance behavior that is strongly associated with speech fluency disorders.
- Prolonging consonants. Have you heard people prolong consonants in words for emphasis? Like, “Can we pleasssse get ice cream for dessert?” People who stutter cannot help but prolong consonants and will often drag out words longer than necessary.
- Using filler sounds between words. People who struggle with speech fluency have problems with the flow and rhythm of their speech. To counteract this lack of rhythm, people tend to use filler sounds such as “uh” between words to make their sentences sound normal.
- Not speaking at all. Some children get so frustrated with their speech disorder that they choose not to speak at all. Also, people may pretend to forget what they were going to say to prevent having to pronounce words that could cause speech difficulties.
- Lack of social skills. Children with speech fluency disorders can experience complications while playing and talking with others. It has been found that children who stutter can experience social anxiety due to the struggles they face communicating. With many children not being aware of their communication issues or not knowing how to fix them, they often suffer from unfulfilling social interactions.
- Changing the subject constantly. When someone with a speech fluency disorder switches the subject frequently, it is most likely to avoid finishing a sentence that may give them speech troubles. This may give off the impression that they are being scatterbrained, but in reality, they are trying to avoid using certain words or phrases.
Early detection of speech issues helps prevent the development of a continuing fluency disorder. If you have spotted any of these signs in yourself or someone you know, SpeechEasy is here to help improve your speech through therapy and a unique hearing device. You can contact a Speech-Language pathologist at SpeechEasy today to talk to someone about your specific needs.
SpeechEasy is a combination of proven technology and techniques which can be used to reduce stuttering this holiday season. Worn in one ear and similar in appearance to a hearing aid, SpeechEasy has helped thousands increase their ability to communicate effectively and confidently. The program that comes with every SpeechEasy is supported by a team of fluency professionals who truly care about your success. Contact us today!