Aspie’s may Clutter, not just Stutter

Communication“People …. say they can’t understand me. I am fine when I read or make a presentation but when I am talking just regularly people say they don’t know what I’m saying. My parents and friends have suggested that I work on my communication, but I don’t know what that means, says a new client. He talks quickly and sometimes understanding what he is saying is difficult.

Aspie’s may clutter, and not just stutter. Cluttering is a communication disorder characterized by a lack of awareness, frequent disfluencies, and difficulty conveying a message.  Because cluttering is misunderstood by professionals and the public alike people often go undiagnosed. Clutterering may exist in addition to stuttering and other disorders learning and developmental disorders. Cluttering like stuttering are both speech disorders that impact neurotypical, as well as, the Asperger population

The Internation Cluttering Foundation say, “some of the symptoms commonly observed by researchers and/or reported by adults who clutter are:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Rapid and/or irregular rate of speech
  • Leaving off the ends of words
  • Omitting or distorting sounds or syllables (e.g., “elephant” becomes “elphant”; “orange” becomes “orng”)
  • Words sound as if they are “running into each other”
  • Lots of starts and stops in speaking
  • Excessive use of disfluencies such as “um”, “uh”, repeating or revising phrases, or repeating words; unlike stuttering, these disfluencies are not accompanied by struggle behaviors or muscular tension
  • Difficulty organizing thoughts and/or getting to the point
  • Limited awareness of how one’s speech sounds to others
  • Difficulties slowing down even when asked to do so
  • Tendency to interrupt conversational partner
  • Words or ideas come out differently than intended

Although these are some of the symptoms that are present, people who clutter present very unique profiles; however all share the inability to organize their ideas. Treatment for people who clutter usually includes work on the narrative structure, phrasing,and pacing.

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