Other Language Disorders with Stuttering

Hi! I am a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology and I was wondering if there are any other language disorders that therapists often see that coincide with a diagnosis of stuttering.  Are cluttering and stuttering often misdiagnosed?  Can symptoms of both cluttering and stuttering be present?  Does past research show that there are other language disorders that often or may appear in an individual who stutters?  If so, what are they?  Thanks!

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Other Language Disorders with Stuttering — 7 Comments

  1. Yes, phonological and language disorders are often comorbid with stuttering. However, the rate at which this occurs is not fully clear, for various reasons. For example, children with several disorders are more likely to enter health systems than children with one disorder. Stuttering and cluttering are not misdiagnosed because they are perceptually distinct. Indeed, comorbid cases of stuttering and cluttering have been reported. Not sure what you mean by “Does past research show that there are other language disorders that often or may appear in an individual who stutters?”

  2. Thank you so much for the quick response! I was interested in phonological disorders and stuttering co-occurring. By my last question, I was wondering if there is any research or studies that has looked at stuttering and other phonological or language disorders co-occurring. Thanks!

  3. Yes, there are publications dealing with stuttering and comorbid language and phonological disorders. Your instructor will be able to direct them to you.

  4. Cluttering has been commonly misdiagnosed as stuttering, because there is confusing about what cluttering is, and how it differs from stuttering. Cluttering and stuttering do commonly co-occur. Cluttering is not a language disorder; it is a fluency disorder which negatively impacts how intelligible the person is to a listener. I would refer you to a free brochure from the National Stuttering Association (www.westutter.org) which contrasts cluttering and stuttering, and the website of the International Cluttering Association for more information on cluttering.

  5. So there is a point of disagreement here. Kathleen asserts that cluttering and stuttering are commonly misdiagnosed. However my view is that the two disorders are perceptually distinctive and are easy to recognise.

  6. I am going to have to agree with Kathleen. Yes, if you’re working exclusively with fluency disorders and this is your speciality, you’ll rarely misdiagnose. But as research shows, speech pathologists generally do not feel competent in providing stuttering services. Clinicians and researchers, such as Kathleen, are working hard to educate therapists on stuttering and cluttering, however I think we know that at this point there are plenty of therapists who are pretty clueless (hopefully less and less considering how many graduate students seem to be getting involved with this online conference!). So yes, there is A LOT of misdiagnosing going on. In fact, I just recently evaluated a client who came to me with a diagnosis of cluttering when in fact he clearly presented with atypical stuttering. So there ya go 🙂