Secondary symptoms in cluttering

Cluttering is not all about its core symptoms. There are also secondary symptoms in cluttering, as well as other symptoms. These are equally important. The secondary symptoms can directly be derived from the clutterer’s speech. The other cluttering symptoms, on the other hand, are more general characteristics that show outside of someone’s speech.

Filler words

People who clutter use filler words very frequently. Examples are: “uhm,” “you know,” “well,” “like”, and “actually”.

‘There has been a time that I used the word “yes” as a filler whenever I could. I would add it to my sentences willy-nilly. I also repeated the word very many times in a row. So for example I would say: “Yes, yes, yes… how was your day?”. Of course there was no point to adding that word, and I had no idea where it came from. It became a pattern I couldn’t escape for the longest time. That was pretty frightening. Fortunately I have since managed to get rid of this unusual tic.’


Poor articulation

Poor articulation and mumbling are common secondary symptoms.

‘People often have difficulty understanding me. My speech sounds pretty unintelligible, and monotone, too. I really need to do my best to articulate well, that will always be something I must pay attention to’.



Cluttering speakers can be quite verbose in nature. Sometimes they enjoy speaking so much that they can go a little too far and overload others with information, without being aware of this themselves. 

‘My boyfriend tends to keep talking for a very long time sometimes. I always say jokingly that if you flip his ‘on-switch’ he’ll keep talking forever. He always has a story to tell about something. Even though that’s one of the things I like about him, I also think at such moments, “Couldn’t you just have easily put the whole thing into one sentence? That would have gotten your point across, too.” I mean, get to the point, you know?’


Word finding difficulties

Many cluttering speakers regularly struggle to find the right words. The selection of words from the “archive” of their brains does not happen automatically, as is the case with typical speakers. Cluttering speakers therefore need a little more time for word retrieval. Especially if they are not yet well versed in a subject. Problems in word finding are secondary symptoms in cluttering. So, it very much helps to practice your vocabulary. This is especially important for children.

Secondary symptoms in cluttering: need for coaching?

Could you use some help in dealing with cluttering? For example, would you like to learn how to speak more fluently or intelligibly? Then take a look at our coaching options.