I have been working with an 8 year-old boy in a school with a cluttering issue. Cluttering is a fluency disorder, characterized by an irregular speech rate in which the words are condensed and a child speaks with progressively increased speech rate. Cluttering is also characterized by the initial loud voice that trails off to a murmur that is unintelligible. Pausing is absent between the phrases and frequent dysfluencies along with stuttering are evidenced. Other parts of language are likely to be of an issue including pragmatics, language-cognition and motor coordination and difficulties with writing.
Together with my student we read poems to facilitate production of all parts of the words. As we read the poems, we break down all the words into parts or syllables. It is very helpful for a student to hear a model of how a poem is read. This way the child is able to hear the words and most importantly the intonation that needs to be accompanied with the reading. Tapping out the syllables with a hand together with the child greatly facilitates the use of all syllables in phrases. Putting slash marks with a pencil between the phrases when we read poems gives him a visual cue to pause. I strongly recommend to read children’s poems together, as it will facilitate proper intonation, use of all syllables, not to mention help with rhyming in the future. Children should always be exposed to poems as it will teach them to be eloquent or articulate when speaking.