June 25, 2019 at 6:00 am #12469
My own difficulties speaking began somewhere in the summer of 2014. ALS-related dysarthria, as it is officially known, is a slurred, slow speech with a nasal tone and imprecise pronunciation of consonants. It occurs in 80% of all ALS patients.
My dysarthria wasn’t so bad… well, sort of. For instance, I knew that when I concentrated on proper breathing, pronunciation others could understand me. Well… sort of. But my words kept coming out slower than I was thinking them, my tongue felt thick and I ran out of air.
While there are many assistive devices and software that can replace your voice; or speak for you – – there also are techniques you can learn to do right now that will extend the use of your voice. These include: using a higher pitch, moving articulations to the front of my mouth and breathing-from-the-belly when speaking.
I’ve shared my experiences in several columns plus a few tips and resources:
Are you experiencing difficulty speaking? What has helped you? Let’s talk about “talking!”
June 25, 2019 at 7:09 pm #12495John RussellParticipant
Next month marks 5 yrs. Since diagnosis. As mentioned by others, I began to worry about speech months ago. My wife an some close friends, when asked, insisted there detected nothing. This past wknd we attend 2 large parties & I had to talk over loud music and other voices. I knew I was having trouble enunciating, particularly lisping. When we got home I asked my wife if she noticed. She tearfully replied “yes”. I plan to fight and try some or Dagmar’s technique. Hope I can keep being understood. Social interaction is the best part of life for me now.
June 25, 2019 at 7:40 pm #12498
I’ve learned that I can no longer compete with crowds, noisy restaurants and lots of people talking at the same time. And that’s OK.
John, don’t give up! Be willing to speak slower; take your time to form the words. Breathe. I am happy to help with tips and ideas 🙂
June 25, 2019 at 8:22 pm #12501John RussellParticipant
Thank you Dagmar. I new you would be there as I begin dealing with yet another “new normal”.
July 6, 2019 at 11:40 am #12600Susan HoerberParticipant
YES HARDER FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND ME/..USE VOICE AMPLIFIER .
July 6, 2019 at 11:43 am #12602
Susan, would you mind sharing what kind of/or what brand of voice amplifier you use? Thank you!
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