Fluency 101: Stuttering in Adolescents and Adults - Hearing and Speech Agency

Fluency 101: Stuttering in Adolescents and Adults

PART ONE | Fluency 101: What is Stuttering?

PART TWO | Fluency 101: Causes of Stuttering

PART THREE | Stuttering in Children


Direct treatment approaches are more varied for adolescents and adults as a result of increased self-awareness, ability to manipulate their speech, and the higher demands placed on speaking. Stuttering modification and fluency shaping are used to develop strategies for attaining fluency in a variety of speaking tasks. Fluency shaping structures speech to promote fluency, such as adjusting breath patterns, rate, and articulation. Stuttering modification works directly with the stutter by increasing awareness and reducing tension during stuttering events.

In some cases, people who stutter may benefit from the use of delayed and/or filtered auditory feedback (DAF/FAF). DAF/FAF mimics the effects of choral speaking and sometimes helps to reduce rate of speech. Devices are available to provide auditory feedback to the speaker, or a similar effect can be achieved with the use of desktop or mobile apps and a headset that includes a microphone.

For most adolescents and adults who stutter, the focus of intervention broadens from addressing the stutter itself to the impact it has on daily life. As a result, counseling to promote acceptance of stuttering and develop more positive attitudes regarding communication are essential to intervention. Support groups, whether in person or online via platforms like Twitter and Google Hangouts, can provide people who stutter with the opportunity to share experiences and reduce feelings of isolation. You can read more about living with stuttering in Part Five.

Jennifer Smith is a speech-language pathologist at The Hearing and Speech Agency

Hearing and Speech AgencyHarry and Jeanette Weinberg Building 5900 Metro Drive Baltimore, MD 21215 410.318.6780