IN BRIEF: The following articles highlight the need for the use of differential diagnosis of associated psychosocial pathology (specifically Social Anxiety Disorder), so that stuttering may be more accurately researched and treated. There are various self-report questionnaires available to help diagnose SAD. Two of the most popular are the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS-SR) and the Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN). It is suggested that the term Stuttered Speech Syndrome be used to classify those people who suffer the interwoven disabilities of stuttering and SAD.
Terminology – How should stuttering be defined? And why?
To be cited as: Irwin, M (2006). Terminology – How Should Stuttering be Defined? and Why? Published in J. Au-Yeung & M.M. Leahy (Eds.), Research, Treatment, and Self-Help in Fluency Disorders: New Horizons (pp. 41-45). Dublin: The International Fluency Association.
The word stuttering is currently used to describe dysfluent speech, a speech syndrome and the symptoms of a speech disorder. This is confusing resulting in difficulties with public awareness and professional communication. Existing dictionary definitions are very limited in scope, do not mention covert behaviour, and do not always cross reference stuttering with stammering. Academic definitions where they are comprehensive are also cumbersome and there is confusion between the terms covert features, covert symptoms, covert stuttering and interiorized stuttering. A new definition, classification and diagnostic term (Stuttered Speech Syndrome) are proposed. The aim is to provide clarity and allow stuttering to be more easily and accurately discussed from both the listeners and the speakers perspective.
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(Better appreciated with an understanding of the advantage to research design in separating people who stutter with social phobia from those without it.)
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