You may be referred to a speech and language therapist who will try to work out exactly what your speech problem is. Muscle stiffness or spasms can cause speech problems and there may be treatments that can help you manage these symptoms. Your therapist may teach you a number of exercises, which could work on strengthening certain muscles or to improve the movement of your jaw, tongue or lips. They might also help you find easier ways of saying things, such as using shorter phrases.
Be sure to talk to your doctor if problems with your speech are having a negative impact on your quality of life.
Here are some tips that might help your speech:
- Make use of technology in your day-to-day life – when you don’t feel able to speak try email or text
- Don’t try to compete with other noises – if you need to say something turn the TV or the radio down
- Make sure you have the full attention of the person you’re talking to
- Don’t worry if you have to repeat things
- Try to communicate face-to-face when you can, body language can be a big help
- If you can’t think of a word, write a note of what you’re trying to say and come back to it later
- Giving yourself more time can help you to find the right word and can make it easier for people to understand what you’re saying