Disturbance in the normal fluency and time patterning of speech (inappropriate for the individual's age), characterized by frequent occurrences of one or more of the following:
- sound and syllable repetitions
- sound prolongations
- broken words (e.g., pauses within a word)
- audible or silent blocking (filled or unfilled pauses in speech)
- circumlocutions (word substitutions to avoid problematic words)
- words produced with an excess of physical tension
- monosyllabic whole-word repetitions (e.g., "I-I-I-I see him")
The disturbance in fluency interferes with academic or occupational achievement or with social communication.
If a speech-motor or sensory deficit is present, the speech difficulties are in excess of those usually associated with these problems.
Criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.