Two individuals who stutter, may do so with different levels of intensity. There are five basic levels of disfluency that depends on the core behaviours, secondary behaviours, and feelings and attitudes.
Normal disfluency – The disfluency is less than 10% of the total number of words the individual speaks. There are no secondary behaviours or effects on feelings/attitudes.
Borderline disfluency – The frequency of disfluency is more than 10%. The person repeats or blocks more than twice at every instance. Repetitions are still loose and relaxed. There are no secondary behaviours associated with borderline disfluency, but the person may be aware of their stuttering a little bit.
Beginning stuttering – The prolongations are more tense. There are abrupt and multiple part-word repetitions. Secondary behaviours include a rise in pitch, increased tension with articulatory posturing, inclusion of escape behaviours and difficulty in initiation of voicing and airflow. The person develops early fear, anticipation, awareness and frustration of speaking.
Intermediate stuttering – Blocks, repetitions and prolongations are particularly prominent and tense. The person begins to avoid feared words and situations as secondary behaviour. The speaker feels shame, embarrassment and fear.
Advanced stuttering – There are blocks, air flow blocks and tremors. Secondary behaviour includes avoidance of feared words and situations, anticipation and scanning before speaking. Emotions can range from helplessness and frustration, to anger and resentment.
To decipher how severe
your or your child’s stuttering is, you should visit a speech-language pathologist. It is often difficult to follow the frequency of repetitions, blocks and prolongations, to determine one’s level of stuttering.
It is best done by an expert.
You can also use supporting apps like Stamurai
to improve your fluency along with regular speech therapy sessions guided by a professional.