There is at least that one person we all know who stutters. In that way, stuttering, more commonly referred to as stammering, is a rather common speech impediment. We know a person who stutters as someone who'll start to speak something and then get stuck on a particular word. He'll then have a hard time getting that word across, in which time, the physical discomfort and struggle will be clearly visible on his face. A term that is often used interchangeably with stuttering is that of cluttering. This is due to the similarity of the symptoms that are brought about in both these conditions. Of course the similarity in the terms does not help much either. Even though these conditions seem to mirror the same symptoms, they are not synonymous terms and they each have their own set of distinct features that sets them apart. In this following article, we will go through the key points of stuttering vs. cluttering and help you understand both these conditions better.
Difference Between Stuttering and Cluttering
Even though stuttering and cluttering are both forms of fluency disorders, the factors that brings these conditions about are different. Let us learn what these are and how they lead to the formation of these conditions in the following section.
Stuttering (alalia syllabaris) is a fluency and speech disorder that is characterized by a break in speech due to the prolongation of certain sounds, syllables and words. Thus leading to the inability of a person to say what he or she wants.
Cluttering (tachyphemia) is a language disorder that is characterized by problems in speech and an inability of the listeners to understand what the speaker says because of the speed, the rhythm of speech, the poor construction of sentences and non-relation of the words to the current theme.
Stuttering is guided by three main features. Which are - Repetition, Blocks and Prolongation. A person who stutters will find it difficult to say a word because there is a block in the speech, where the lip and vocal movements will undergo a freezing action. Along with that, a particular syllable of a word might be repeated before the entire word comes through (For example - li-li-li-like). There could also be a prolongation of particular syllables which will add to the delay in the speech as well (For Example - lllllll-like). The speech will usually be unclear in the beginning of the sentence and become more clear and fluent by the end. These reactions are involuntary and the struggle of the speaker can be clearly seen with the tension of the muscles. It has also been studied that certain conditions will invoke these symptoms in a more severe manner than others. For example, a person might stutter more prominently while he engages in a face to face conversation with someone than when he has a conversation over the phone.
Cluttering while being a speech impediment is more so a language disorder because it is characterized by the inability of the person to construct sentences well enough. A person who is prone to cluttering will usually start off a sentence well enough but then somewhere in the sentence, the speech will get confusing. This is because the speaker will have a disorganized pattern of thought which will result in poor grammar and sentence construction, speaking too fast or using an erratic rhythm. This condition is not merely limited to speech but is also seen to transcend to include writing, typing, thought patterns and entire conversations. That it is not a speech disorder becomes clear with the fact that cluttering is often effortless. There is no muscle tension or other similar symptoms of struggle when it comes to this disorder. Another common feature of this condition is that there is slurring of words, especially those that begin with an 'l' or 'r'.
Causes and Treatment:
Stuttering can come about due to varied reasons like genetics, onset of medical conditions and delay in development. Speech therapy and exercises which include speaking slowly, correcting muscle movement as well as cognitive behavioral therapy is used as a means to deal with the anxiety that can aggravate the problem further.
Cluttering can come about either because of a number of medical problems or as a result of poor development and concentration problems. Exercises which focus on improving concentration as well as those exercises which undertake practicing slow speech are some of the treatment forms that are undertaken.
Stuttering - Even though psychological conditions like low self-esteem or nervousness might not cause this fluency disorder, it has been seen that these features will often develop as a symptom of this condition. Which will then lead to the onset of anger, shame, embarrassment and other similar reactions. This can have a severe effect on a person's ability to interact in society and it could also lead to a person going into isolation to avoid the onset of these symptoms.
Cluttering - People who clutter are often not aware that they have a problem. They do not look upon it as a problem and therefore correcting it or taking treatment for the same is often not undertaken. They will therefore not shy from any conversation.
Even though these disorders might seem similar at the outset, reading through this piece will have cleared all your doubts and helped you understand both these conditions better. There won't be any confusion making way now, right?