Find out what cluttering is, how it is related to stammering, and how to get help if you clutter.
Someone who clutters has a very fast rate of speech. They can talk in rapid bursts, making them hard to understand. This is closely related to stammering, so they will sound disfluent. People who clutter may:
- leave off word endings
- miss out, omit or distort sounds or syllables. Eg they might say 'elphant' instead of 'elephant', or 'orng' instead of 'orange'
- run their words together
- use lots of fillers words, like 'as', 'um' or 'uh'
- repeat or revise phrases, or words
- have difficulty organising thoughts or getting to the point
- find it hard to slow down, even when asked
- tend to interrupt other people when they are talking.
Cluttering often exists alongside other speech differences, including stammering. Cluttering can also occur alongside attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). Or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).
A person who clutters may be unaware of any difficulty. A parent, manager or colleague who finds it hard to understand them might suggest they get help.
HELP WITH CLUTTERING
Speech & language therapists who specialise in stammering can also support people who clutter. So, if you or your child clutters, contact your local NHS speech & language therapy service. See Adult Stammering Therapy & Courses and Children's Stammering Therapy & Courses to find out how.
Paying for private therapy is another option. Go to the Association of Speech & Language Therapists in Independent Practice website to find something near you.
City Lit in London sometimes offers courses for people who clutter. This is an adult education centre that runs therapy courses.
Therapy will vary from person to person. It can help a person who clutters if you make them aware when you can't understand them. They can then use strategies like pausing between phrases and sentences. Or over-articulating certain words to make themselves understood.
SUPPORT & MORE INFORMATION
International Cluttering Association. A free to join membership organisation open to people who clutter. Their website has with lots of helpful information and advice.
Stuttering Foundation of America. They have useful guidelines for identifying cluttered speech and ideas for managing it.
First Online Cluttering Conference. This conference from May 2010 is still accessible online.