Ataxia UK
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Speech aid

I have late onset CA, and have noticed my speech slurring for about 5 years. (I'm 65)

To begin with I put it down to losing a few back teeth! I now know it's more than this so have been 'training' a different part of my brain to take over speaking. For me this is above my left ear. When I remember to turn this on and speak consciously I get a feedback loop in my head and my speech is much clearer.

This is of course harder work than speaking unconsciously, like I used to for most of my life. So I have been looking for a simple way to practice this so I strengthen the connection in my brain and get better at it.

To this end I have downloaded a free app from the App Store, which is a simple feedback app. Using my phone or iPad and earphones, I can speak out loud and listen to my voice from outside my head at the same time! I have found it best to read something rather than just witter on! But this sort of feedback allows for playing with speed, tonality, accents, funny voices, volume etc.

The trick now is to plan in the time everyday to practice, as it can feel a bit odd doing in front of the wife! Also the microphone picks up all noises so a quiet place alone is best for this.

The iPhone app is called feedback recorder. I'm sure an android version exists too. If you want to make recordings there is a paid upgrade.

Anybody got other ways to fight back?


3 Replies

Hi Nigel,

like you my speech has become slurred and i sound drunk! Which wouldn't be so bad if I drank! My way of combating this is to constantly repeat the months of the year as I do my exercise regime each morning.

I really sympathise as I have learnt to my cost how embarrassing this can be. Keep up the good work and good luck.



I too have difficulty with my speech due to CA can you tell me what App you use and whether you believe it makes a difference?


Dear Nigel, Thanks for this information, as I too slur my speech! How did you "train" your brain above your left ear? Do you just "think" of that area? Please explain further. I, like Adnyl, say the months of the year, as well as count numbers and practice ABC's. This has helped me. Speaking slowly has helped also. I'm going to try the feedback app! Again, thank you..., ;o)


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