After my stroke, I experienced a complete loss of speech. After several months of speech therapy, I started speaking again. I have now reached a stage in my rehabilitation which is referred to as the « comfort zone. » This comfort zone is sometimes arbitrary: loved ones can understand us more or less accurately.
Some discomfort occurs when :
- I am asked to repeat a word that was not understood right away.
- I am not sure if people have understood me.
- I hesitate before saying a word.
- I have trouble taking the floor in a group setting.
- I feel stressed speaking to a large group or with strangers because of my aphasia. (however aphasia is not the only reason for this problem)
- I listen to messages that I have left on my answering machine and I notice words that are poorly articulated and my reduced speech flow.
- I make an effort to pronounce each word properly.
- I need to refer to a loved one to interpret what I say.
- I ask for help making a more complicated telephone call.
In short, these comfort zones are somewhat removed from the pleasure of conversing. The solution lies in doing more diction exercises.
There are many means available, including speech therapy, the Internet and the computer. For several months I received excellent therapy from competent speech therapists at Villa Médica and their observation notes detail many interesting exercises.
When entering diction exercises in Google, thousands of documents pop up. Some are redundant, and not all sources are equally valuable. Many interesting videos can also be found on YouTube.
Exercise tools include: Youtube, the computer program NaturalReader version 11, the digital recorder application offered on Windows and WordBasic.
The exercises below aretypical diction exercises that are done with the help of a computer. They are adapted to my particular needs.