Dysarthria and Speaking Improvement
I just don’t get it sometimes. Why there are family members and loved ones of those with dysarthria who have no clue about what to do to help their loved ones with this problem, other than to remind them over and over again, to just “Slow Down.”
Those with dysarthria and their loved ones are still not realizing what methods really work for improving speech. It’s rather simple, really, and for some reason many are quickly put on a computer program, or worksheets when in reality these people really need a Superior Speech Model.
Case in Point. I visited with a family today with a son who was in a severe motor vehicle accident 23 years ago. His speech is about 20% intelligible, and has been to therapist after therapist and they even moved to Houston to find a speech pathologist. They do not know what to do for their son other than to find a therapist, and in over 23 years of therapy know virtually nothing regarding how to get their son to speak with clarity.
Within 10 minutes of visiting with this gentleman we were having him speak with 90% clarity by providing him with the kind of speech model that he needed. His mother and Dad were immediately enrolled in therapy too. Want to know why?
They must model the exact speed and latency which this gentleman needs. They must learn to speak with him by doing so very slowly with almost a 1 second pause between each word. It’s not rocket science. We will speak like those we are around. If one with dysarthria communicates with those continually who speak at a very rapid speech rate of normal speech, they will model that. If we can find someone at home who can model the speech we desire for the person with dysarthria we are one step closer to speech with clarity.
There are no magic “programs, or devices” that will help those with dysarthria. They must be required to speak in a very specific way following a very specific model. We are training parents, caregivers and loved ones to do so. There are no short cuts, and the myth that so many people believe is, that going to speech therapy a couple times a week will remediate this problem. I don’t think so. In most cases a speech model is required who will stimulate the desired speaking rate, cadence, and rhythm continually.
We instruct people how to help their loved ones with the Teaching of Talking Method (C) which is a way to help develop almost any new speaking behavior or habit. Find out more by visiting our website here You can also contact me, Mark Ittleman, personally through our website or Facebook.
You can learn how to really take your loved ones speech therapy to a new level.
Mark A. Ittleman, M.S., CCC/SLP
Senior Speech Language Pathologist and Author
Taking a Stand for Speaking Clarity Around the Globe.