Psychology: Posts

August Author of the Month: David Ward

David Ward, author of Stuttering and Cluttering (Second Edition), is our Routledge Psychology Author of the Month for August! Read our exclusive interview and learn more about his fantastic new book!

"Cluttering – for so long a poorly understood fluency disorder needs to be given far more consideration as the serious communication disorder it can be. The book includes two large chapters debating the latest thinking on the subject."

There are many excellent books available on the subject of stuttering, or stammering, as it is commonly known within the UK. However, I felt there was a gap between some of the more weighty volumes and the often helpful shorter texts which necessarily compromise on theoretical detail. The purpose of the book is to provide the necessary depth, but in a way that makes accessible the interplay between what can sometimes seem confusing and disparate theoretical viewpoints regarding both theoretical and clinical aspects of the disorder. I also wanted to give more coverage to the fluency disorder ‘cluttering’, which often receives either little or no space in fluency texts.

A sense of the complexity of the disorder of stuttering. It may be viewed as a language based problem, a neurological (cortical and subcortical) issue, a deficit in motor speech planning and in auditory processing, to name a few. Its progression may also be linked to psychological variables. Clinicians need to be aware of this complexity in order to provide effective therapy.

Cluttering – for so long a poorly understood fluency disorder needs to be given far more consideration as the serious communication disorder it can be. The book includes two large chapters debating the latest thinking on the subject.

That stuttering can be seen and treated as a problem with simply ‘getting stuck on words’. In fact, it is often the fear of stuttering rather than the stuttering itself that can be the more significant part of the disorder. Those who stutter only rarely, and pass as being normally fluent speakers can at the same time be hugely impacted by the fear that stuttering might occur. Such people often go to great lengths in order to be seen not to stutter, and may describe their lives as being ruled by a disorder that may be invisible to their listeners.

I am working with colleagues in industry on developing and trialling a portable device that will help those who stutter to monitor their fluency control away from the clinic. I am also looking into auditory processing deficits and language disturbances in adults who clutter. Our preliminary studies have shown some quite striking results!

Stuttering and Cluttering provides a clear, accessible and wide-ranging overview of both the theoretical and clinical aspects of two disorders of fluency: stuttering and cluttering. This edition remains loyal to the idea that stuttering and cluttering can best be understood by first considering various overarching frameworks which can then be expanded upon, and provides a clear position from which to disentangle the often complex interrelationships of these frameworks.

Get your copy

  • Stuttering and Cluttering (Second Edition)

    Frameworks for Understanding and Treatment, 2nd Edition

    By David Ward

    Stuttering and Cluttering provides a clear, accessible and wide-ranging overview of both the theoretical and clinical aspects of two disorders of fluency: stuttering and cluttering. This edition remains loyal to the idea that stuttering and cluttering can best be understood by first considering…

    Paperback – 2017-08-15
    Psychology Press

About the Author


David Ward is Director of the Speech Research Laboratory at the University of Reading, and a specialist fluency clinician with Oxford Health NHS trust. He qualified as a speech language therapist in 1987, and received an MA in Linguistics and Phonetics and a PhD in motor control and stuttering. He has lectured extensively on disorders of fluency, and is involved in research into both theoretical and clinical aspects of stuttering and cluttering.