6 Tips That Help with Your Speech Disorders

Speech disorders in children and adults can make it difficult for them to create sounds to form words. Stuttering, for instance, is among the most common speech disorders. Other speech disorders include dysarthria and apraxia. Knowledge about what type of speech disorder you have can help you learn how to deal with it more effectively. Failing to deal with these disorders can lead to depression and self-esteem issues. Let's find out more about it.


Symptoms and Causes of Speech Disorders

Speech disorders usually affect the muscles, vocal cords, nerves, and other structures in your throat. Some of the most common causes of speech disorders include muscle weakness, vocal cord damage, brain damage, strokes, respiratory weakness, vocal cord paralysis, and polyps on the vocal cords. Several medical conditions can also lead to speech disorders, such as strokes, autism, ADHD, dementia, laryngeal cancer, oral cancer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Symptoms may vary depending on the underlying cause of a speech disorder. Some common symptoms include elongating words; frustration when trying to communicate; blinking continuously when talking; repeating different sounds; distorting sounds when talking; pausing frequently when talking; and hoarseness or raspy voice.

How to Deal with Speech Disorders

While it is important to identify the underlying cause of your speech disorder, you can take several steps to deal with speech disorders. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Read Books and Listen to Tapes

Devote a few hours a day to practice how to pace your speech and pronounce different words correctly. Listening to tapes can help practice articulation and correct the disorder. You can also find many apps that you can run on your tablet or smartphone to practice better pronunciation. You should also consider reading books, but be sure to read them aloud. You can read short stories, speeches, or even poems to improve your speaking abilities. Be sure to concentrate on muscle movements and sounds involved in different words.

2. Consider Recording Your Sessions

When reading books, it is a good idea to record your practice sessions. You can listen to those sessions later to get a better idea of how you are doing. By reviewing your sessions, you can identify problem areas and practice correct pronunciation and diction. You can read the same book, record your session, and review it to see if you make the same errors again. This way, you will be able to make conscious efforts to focus more on problem areas.

3. Do Not Rush

When learning how to deal with speech disorders, it is important to ensure that you do not expect too much too soon. You should give yourself some time to overcome your speech problems. Moreover, you need to ensure that you speak slowly when you talk to other people. It is natural to speak fast because you do not want others to notice your speech disorders, but you will be better off taking your time and speaking carefully. Just find a pace that feels comfortable for you as well as your listener.

4. Find a Right Posture

Many people do not know that they can manage their speech disorders better by finding a right standing and sitting posture. By tweaking your posture, you will be able to speak from your diaphragm, which will give your larynx some rest. You can relieve some pressure on the larynx simply by keeping your shoulders in a relaxed position. Feeling steady on your feet will also help you get a better support while talking.

5. Pay Attention to Your Breathing

It is natural to start breathing heavily and from your chest when you are anxious. When someone is dealing with speech disorders, it is also common to feel anxious and become nervous. It can directly affect your breathing pattern, which is only going to make things worse. You should practice deep breathing to control your nerves and relax your body. For this, you should also practice diaphragmatic breathing. Simply sit in an upright position and take a deep breath from your nose. To ensure you are breathing through your diaphragm, place a hand on your stomach and feel it expand while breathing in deeply. Hold the breath for a couple of seconds and then breathe out slowly. Repeat several times to teach yourself how to breathe deeply to reduce stress and anxiety, which in turn will help you speak in a more controlled way.

6. Talk to a Speech and Language Therapist

When you have tried everything else without any benefits, it may be a good time to see a local speech and language therapist. They can help diagnose your speech disorder and then guide you in the right direction. They can also identify the best interventions to help you speak correctly. They may recommend speech therapy that can help correct your impediment. Working with a therapist may prove extremely useful because they can tell you about the part of speech causing problems. A therapist can also share the right way of practicing what they teach you to get maximum benefits.

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