Describing the Consequences of Disorders Comments on Yaruss (1998) Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   December 01, 1999
Describing the Consequences of Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David Prins
    Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences University of Washington Tuscon, AZ
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   December 01, 1999
Describing the Consequences of Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1999, Vol. 42, 1395-1397. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4206.1395
History: Received September 21, 1998 , Accepted April 27, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1999, Vol. 42, 1395-1397. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4206.1395
History: Received September 21, 1998; Accepted April 27, 1999
Yaruss proposes that the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps (WHO, 1980), developed as a framework to describe the consequences of disease, be adapted to provide a framework for (a) “viewing the consequences of the stuttering disorder” (p. 254), (b) “assessing the outcome of stuttering treatments” (p. 254), and (c) “improving our understanding of the nature of the disorder” (p. 255). It is in the last of these that his adaptation sacrifices accuracy for the sake of simplicity.
Yaruss states, “the basic impairment present in individuals who stutter is, simply, stuttering” (p. 252) which, he goes on to say, includes “certain interruptions in the forward flow of speech...” as well as “repetitions of sounds, syllables, or words; or prolongations of sounds or articulatory postures…” and “any associated audible or visible characteristics of those interruptions...” (p. 353). By defining the terms impairment and stuttering in this way, Yaruss obscures the important distinction between what are generally accepted as the two components that define the nature of stutter events. Embodied in the following statements, they are (a) the interruption or loss of fluency and (b) the system/speaker reactions: “A stuttering behavior consists of a word improperly patterned in time and the speaker’s reactions thereto” (Van Riper, 1971, p. 15). “A stuttering event has two components: (1) a momentary instability in the speech motor control system and (2) the system’s response to this instability” (Nudelman, et al., 1991, p. 157). The first component, perceived principally by the speaker, is an antecedent for the second, which is presumed to produce the observable disfluencies, most of what we see and hear that we identify as “stuttering,” or, according to Wingate, the “surface markers” of “the inability to move forward” (Wingate, 1988, chap. 1).1  In other words, fluency failure and disfluency, though sequential, are separate phenomena.
First Page Preview
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview ×
View Large
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access