Differential Diagnosis of Stuttering for Forensic Purposes Purpose: This case study demonstrates the application of an assessment protocol for differential diagnosis of psychogenic stuttering, neurogenic stuttering, developmental stuttering, and malingering. Method: A male in his late 30s, accused of armed robbery, was evaluated for stuttering at the request of his defense attorney. The speech assessment included 4 ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   November 01, 2005
Differential Diagnosis of Stuttering for Forensic Purposes
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carol Hubbard Seery
    University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee
  • Contact author: Carol H. Seery, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, PO Box 413, Enderis Hall 873, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413.
    Contact author: Carol H. Seery, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, PO Box 413, Enderis Hall 873, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: cseery@uwm.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   November 01, 2005
Differential Diagnosis of Stuttering for Forensic Purposes
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2005, Vol. 14, 284-297. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2005/028)
History: Received September 2, 2004 , Revised March 15, 2005 , Accepted August 12, 2005
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2005, Vol. 14, 284-297. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2005/028)
History: Received September 2, 2004; Revised March 15, 2005; Accepted August 12, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose: This case study demonstrates the application of an assessment protocol for differential diagnosis of psychogenic stuttering, neurogenic stuttering, developmental stuttering, and malingering.

Method: A male in his late 30s, accused of armed robbery, was evaluated for stuttering at the request of his defense attorney. The speech assessment included 4 main sections: collection of speech samples, observation in multiple speaking conditions, evaluation of communication attitudes, and consideration of case history and background information.

Results: The defendant stuttered severely in all speaking conditions. He demonstrated typical stuttering loci and consistency, but no adaptation. Communication attitudes were typical of people who stutter, but steady, direct eye contact was atypical. His statements about his speech conflicted with reports of outside witnesses.

Conclusions: Characteristics were consistent with developmental stuttering and partial malingering. Both psychogenic and neurogenic forms of stuttering were suspected, but mixed results were largely unsupportive. Valuable protocol elements included speech sampling under multiple speaking conditions, careful examination of case history information, and indirect tests of malingering. Further knowledge and research are warranted to improve processes of differential diagnoses among subtypes of developmental, psychogenic, and neurogenic forms of stuttering as well as malingering.

Acknowledgments
The preparation of this article was partially supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant RO1-DC 05210. The author appreciates the assistance of Michelle Jabczynski, speech-language clinician and graduate of the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, for performing the transcription and disfluency analyses used for the examination of interrater agreement. The author’s opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Institutes of Health.
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