Cluttering: Current scientific status and emerging research and clinical needs


The following discussion is an attempt to integrate the observations, and insights, of the previous case descriptions in order to establish the scientific status and emerging scientific and clinical needs regarding cluttering. This purpose has a parallel with most beginning clinical contacts-that is, a number of diagnostic and assessment-related questions apply. In line with the focus of the present paper, these questions involve the entire population of those who clutter rather than individuals who are suspected of having a cluttering problem in particular. In parallel with the diagnostic question one might wonder if a fluency disorder like cluttering exists and deserves to be considered a unique and independent clinical entity. Moreover, the differential diagnostic question addresses the possibility that symptoms demonstrated by those who are considered to be a clutterer may be representative for other fluency disorders such as stuttering or neurogenic disfluency. Both questions, in combination, deal with the possibility that cluttering needs to be treated independently from other forms of problematic fluency, both in research and clinical practice. Importantly, it has not been determined at this time if cluttering (1) exists in its own right, (2) is a result exclusively of coexisting perceptuomotor and cognitive anomalies, or (3) both. Assuming that agreement on the essence of cluttering can be achieved, there still is the question of how the identifying characteristics and associated symptomatologies of cluttering need to be measured. The following is an attempt to come to the best possible answers to these questions, using the facts and notions provided in the previous articles.


Communication Sciences and Disorders

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Journal of Fluency Disorders