Speech therapy

Shortly after the diagnosis, speech therapy was suggested to me. The goal would be to keep the speech system (muscles) fit so that you can use speaking for as long as possible. There were essentially three subject areas that I used:

  • Classic speech therapy
  • Information about drinking and swallowing
  • Manual therapy of the swallowing system

Classic speech therapy

Here, pronunciation and the muscles needed for this are trained using various speaking exercises.

As I understand it, this is primarily used when someone wants to refine/correct their pronunciation or needs to learn to speak again after brain damage.

Since I couldn't see any added value for myself, I stopped this topic after a few months.

Information about drinking and swallowing

I received a lot of information about aids that can make drinking easier if choking becomes an issue.

When drinking, the head is usually tilted back, which can quickly lead to choking. That's why there are drinking cups with a cutout for the nose. This allows the head to remain in a straight position while drinking.

But straws are also good and train the soft palate at the same time.

It also helped me to tilt my head slightly forward depending on the situation so that nothing falls down uncontrollably and causes me to choke.

The same head position sometimes helped me swallow myself.

Soft palate

serves to demarcate between the air and food ducts when swallowing

Lung infection

Excessive swallowing can lead to pneumonia, which can be life-threatening for us.

Manual therapy of the swallowing system

There are special training courses that can help in this area. It's not about speaking, but about the entire muscles in the neck area. Indirectly it has a connection to speaking.

The therapist's professional basis is CRAFTA training, which can be available in speech therapy, physiotherapy but also massage.

With this treatment, the chewing and swallowing system is mobilized and partially massaged in order to maintain swallowing function for as long as possible. It treats the various structures using massage techniques, as well as neurodynamic mobilization and soft tissue techniques.

Purpose: Loosen and relax the chewing and swallowing muscles