ALS News Today Forums Forums Living With ALS Do you have difficulty speaking? (part 1)

  • Do you have difficulty speaking? (part 1)

    Posted by Dagmar on March 26, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Changes in speech (also known as dysarthria) are common with ALS and progress over time. I am at that middle stage where I have trouble speaking but not enough yet to qualify for a speech generating device. Let’s share our tips of how we continue to communicate, protect what little voice we have and not stress out about it.

    Dagmar replied 4 years, 11 months ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Galina Pantsevich

    June 11, 2019 at 7:38 am

    I started having problems with speech two days ago, some letters at the end of words are difficult to pronounce. Please share your experience of how long you can maintain a conversational function, what exercises to do.

  • John Russell

    June 11, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Not sure if I have a problem yet. I have been diagnosed 5 yrs. Occasionally , I feel that I am slurring and having a slight lisp. My listeners say the do not hear it that way. I’ve had the concern for months on & off. The majority of the time I don’t detect problems. Did not see a speech pathologist at my last clinic. I want to be sure she is present next time. Each loss I experience is so slow and insidious. If I think I may be losing something it may not be obvious for 1 yr.

  • Dagmar

    June 11, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    About 4-5 years ago I began to notice my tongue felt thick, it was moving slow when I spoke and I was slurring words. My upper palate (back roof of mouth) seemed to be dropping, which gave me a nasal sound.

    Initially I thought that tongue exercises, speaking more, then changed to speaking less – – would all help. They didn’t. At the doctor’s I was sent to a speech-language department where they educated me on all the tech items (eye-gaze, phone apps, scribble board) that I could use instead of talking. But…I didn’t want to give up speaking – – no matter what I sounded like.

    Two things helped me: 1) Learning to speak with a lower pitch, move consonants “g, k” forward in my mouth and speaking slower but carefully, 2) use my diaphragm (like an opera singer) to produce sound.

    I am still speaking! Yes, slowly…and with a lower pitch and a nasal twang. But who cares? I am speaking. I take my time, breathe and avoid feeling rushed by others around me. That involves body awareness.

    So, here is how I learned better speech:

    and how to support it all through better breathing:

    Please feel free to ask me questions if you need more information in this area. 🙂

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