Normal fluency errors usually appear during language development, especially during the transition between the stages of one-word and simple phrases. In cases of stuttering the speaker produces several involuntary repetitions of phonemes, syllables, or words. The speaker can also show phoneme prolongation or a complete interruption of speech production. Other abnormal fluency failures in stuttering include tension pauses and fragmented words. An individual with stuttering can show associated related behaviors and movements, including tremor, eye blinks, and hand movements, among others.
To study the relationship between language development and organization and the presence of stuttering in children.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty children with stuttering, age ranging from 4 to 7 years old were studied. A matched control group of 20 children without stuttering and without a history of language impairment were also studied. For evaluating language development, all patients were analyzed using the Situational- Discourse- Semantic (SDS) Model. This model is a valuable tool for conducting naturalistic observation and descriptive assessment of language development. The SDS Model provides a detailed description of 3 language contexts (situational, discourse and semantic) in 10 levels of cognitive and linguistic organization.
In all contexts considered by the model of cognitive and linguistic organization used for this study, i.e. situational- discourse-semantic, a significantly higher frequency of language delay was demonstrated in stuttering patients, as compared with patients without stuttering. Furthermore, none of the patients present with stuttering showed an adequate level of language development.
Children present with stuttering demonstrated a significantly higher frequency of delay in language development as compared with children without stuttering. From the results of this paper, it seems that a detailed evaluation of all aspects of cognitive and linguistic organization should be performed in children with stuttering. Moreover, it seems that speech intervention in stuttering children should address not only fluency, but also specific aspects of language development.