Aspects of Normal Fluency: Conversational Speech and Oral Reading As speech-language pathologists who specialize in the area of fluency disorders, we are often required to make decisions regarding treatment based on our observations of client behaviors. Interestingly enough, even though there has been extensive study regarding what constitutes stuttering and stuttering behaviors, as a group, we do not ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2007
Aspects of Normal Fluency: Conversational Speech and Oral Reading
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Leslie Plonsker
    University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI
  • Charlie Osborne
    University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI
Article Information
Fluency Disorders / Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   August 01, 2007
Aspects of Normal Fluency: Conversational Speech and Oral Reading
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, August 2007, Vol. 17, 20-22. doi:10.1044/ffd17.2.20
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, August 2007, Vol. 17, 20-22. doi:10.1044/ffd17.2.20
As speech-language pathologists who specialize in the area of fluency disorders, we are often required to make decisions regarding treatment based on our observations of client behaviors. Interestingly enough, even though there has been extensive study regarding what constitutes stuttering and stuttering behaviors, as a group, we do not have a widely agreed upon definition of stuttering or a consensus on what behaviors are considered stuttered behaviors.
The body of evidence available regarding the components that make up “fluent” speech is limited and pales in comparison to the data collected regarding stuttered speech. When working with a person who stutters, what is the benchmark that we use to represent normally fluent speech? As Patrick Finn pointed out in his contribution to this issue, Starkweather (1987)  suggested that fluency be considered a continuum, describing a fluent speaker as one who was able to speak “with normal levels of continuity, rate, and effort” (p. 12).
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