Monday, October 9, 2017

Voice Therapy for Voice Difficulties and Aphasia

Meeting Up With Friends Who Have Aphasia and Voice Difficulties

Some of Our Friends Who have Aphasia also have Voice Difficulties

Voice Therapy for Vocal Difficulties and Aphasia
Some with aphasia lose their
voice or have voice difficulties
Recently Malka and I visited with friends from our online Teaching of Talking Video Training Course.  They are from the UK.  It’s great to be able to meet with people who have been improving speaking through online mentoring.  Traveling across the pond to meet with people we have worked with from our motorhome in America is especially fun!

Using Voice Therapy Techniques to Help Overcome Aphasia and Aphonia

But the best of the visit was learning this gentleman who had only a whisper was able to produce a fairly normal voice once again when vocal therapy techniques were given.  His voice will need some strengthening work, but the sentence of being mute for life is now, no longer true.

There are Useful Techniques to Help Overcome Voice Difficulties 

The voice was accomplished with voice facilitation techniques  that were similar to those of a famous otolarngologist practitioner who emigrated to the United States in the late 1930's.  He had a special interest in the relationship between the functioning of the vocal cords in neurological and psychological speech pathology and deveoping speech therapies to remediate them.  His name was Dr. Emile Froeschels who was an Otolaryngologist with special interests in developing speech therapy methods for his patients.  We utilized similar methods to that of Dr. Froeschels; namely, hard glottal attack, modeling a voice at 90 dB range, and a highly pitched, modeled voice which caused an adduction or closure of the vocal cords following marked inhalation and forced respiratory exhalation with phonation.  Our therapy had been on a seawall in Brighton, England, where I had him "calling out to the sea birds!  He was not ashamed or fearful since I was doing what I wanted him to do, and therefore he did not feel all alone or "singled out."

The Need to Educate Carers, People with Aphasia, Doctors, and Therapists

The visit with my new friend with aphasia and aphonia (no voice) spurred two articles written about aphasia and voice difficulties, esp. aphasia and aphonia.   There is help for just about anyone who has difficulty with the speaking voice, especially those with aphasia.  Some people with aphasia lose their voice due to non-use for extended periods of time due to their giving up on speaking.  Others may have vocal cord weakness that can be improved using techniques which help the vocal cords come together to produce a better voice.  Either way a definitive recommended for anyone with a voice difficulty is to seek out both an ENT specialist and speech language pathologist/therapist with extensive training in the use of the speaking voice and aphasia.

****This gentleman's wife has now been receiving mentoring online through Zoom, and she has been taught how to facilitate vocal cord adduction.  We recently had a visit online approximately 4 weeks after we started stimulation.  She is now able to stimulate phrases with full voice, and to have a stimulated conversation.  He will need lots of daily talking and she is "learning" how to talk with him again after years of relative silence where no therapist had ever addressed the voice; What good was the years of speech therapy without a voice?

To find out more about the voice and voice therapy for those with voice difficulties annd/or aphasia contact a speech pathologist/therapist with specific expertise in both areas of aphasia and voice or feel free to contact me through our website.