Atypical disfluencies

I was wondering if anyone had successful strategies they could recommend for working with clients with atypical disfluencies (specifically final part word repetitions). I have had some success teaching cancellations, but am finding it difficult to adapt more traditional techniques since the disfluencies are occurring after the intended word has been said.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

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Atypical disfluencies — 4 Comments

  1. Lucy,

    I see you have lots of experience working with stuttering. As you know, final syllable disfluencies are quite rare. I know these occur, but if the client truly has finished the word and is then repeating the final syllable, then I would strongly suspect that he/she is using the repeated last syllable as a postponement device or starter to get into the next word, which is likely the one that he/she is focusing on.

    If this turns out to be the case (and sometimes you need to ask the client), then wait until the next word is said and then insist on a cancellation, perhaps with a few easy repetitions in it, on the second word.

    If the person is truly getting stuck on the final syllables of words, then you can still insist on cancelling the entire word but with some changes in it. Later, the client can learn to pull-out of the final syllable and move consciously and in some slow motion into the next word just as most other clients learn to pull-out of the initial part of the word and finish the word consciously and a bit more slowly.

    It’s worth a try a least.

    Ken St. Louis

  2. Ken – Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I will investigate whether or not the final part word repetitions are being used as a postponement device. Having this perspective can then lead us in the direction of which strategies to use. Thanks again!

  3. Hi,
    Very often I have found that increasing awareness of the WFDs and putting in pausing in response to them helps. There isn’t a lot of research on this, but some in progress, and the existing literature (see “When the Diagnosis is Dual” by Tetnowski et al in ASHA Leader and a case by Vivian Sisskin; Van Borsel article on treatment and Sisskin article in Seminars in Speech and Language)suggests that increasing awareness and having students suppress these disfluencies (different ways to do this, I find pausing helps) helps. We think these WFDs are different then traditional stuttering so we may treat them slightly differently.