The purpose of this paper is to identify support for cluttering as a syndrome of learning disability symptoms. According to Van Riper (1970), American speech-language pathologists consider cluttering to be a fluency problem. Consequently, many do not fully understand the diverse speech, language, and behavioral symptoms which typify the disorder.
Cluttering was first considered a psychological incongruity with speech manifestations as the foremost symptom (Froeschels, 1946). More recent descriptions of cluttering emphasize an hereditary or constitutional central nervous system disability affecting all modalities of communication and general behavior (Freund, 1952; 1970).
The syndrome may be more adequately defined when viewed as a complex of learning disabilities. A review of literature is summarized for both cluttering and learning disabilities, in which it is apparent the two groups exhibit striking resemblances. All major cluttering symptoms fit three basic categories consistent with learning deficits: language disorders in all modalities, speech disturbances, and perceptual/motor deficits. A fourth, seemingly unique yet universally noted characteristic involves the person's lack of awareness of his disabilities.
A case study of a 22-year-old male is presented, which supports the strong affiliation between cluttering and learning disabilities. Clinical implications concerning the, need for thorough assessment of individuals complaining of prosody disorders are discussed.Submitted on May 1, 1979