Speech problems can occur in people with multiple sclerosis when the muscles used to control speech and breath become weak, or uncoordinated. Problems can include slurring of words, a disruption in the pattern of speech, a reduction in the quality of your voice and difficulty co-ordinating breathing and talking. Language problems can also occur including difficulties with remembering words or structuring sentences and/or attending to and understanding what others are saying.
Some people may experience problems with regard to managing food, drink or salvia in the mouth and during swallowing.
Our specialist speech and language therapist can provide advice, exercises, strategies and support to help people to overcome the physical, social and emotional difficulties with communicating, eating, drinking and swallowing that can be associated with MS.
Our therapist will work closely with you and, if appropriate your family and carers, to develop a clear understanding of the individual difficulties and create a bespoke plan to help you to overcome these barriers, or minimise their effects. This may include liaison with your physiotherapist to help strengthen your muscles to aid your breathing, head and neck movement or posture. Referral on to the NHS Speech and Language Therapy Team for more specialist assessment or input may also be part of the care pathway.
HOW COULD SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY BENEFIT ME?
Speech and language therapy can help with four main areas:
- Speech issues including managing breath support, voice, articulation, volume, speed and fluency.
- Language issues around vocabulary and word finding, grammar, understanding and expression.
- Communication issues around conversation and interaction skills, non-verbal and alternative means of communication.
- Swallowing issues around eating & drinking and saliva management
HOW TO ACCESS SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY?
A requirement for Speech and Language Therapy will usually be identified in your initial and review assessments. Based on the referral our administration team will get in touch to offer an assessment appointment to identify your goals and treatment plan. Depending on your goals you may be offered a course of therapy or signposted to other related services. If you have any questions regarding our counselling service, please contact us on 01296 696133.