I would say when I started college - when I was 16 or 17 - was when my speech first became affected, but even now, while it is certainly slower and more slurred than "normal", I don't have huge problems being understood. My speech only becomes very difficult to understand when I'm cold, tired or nervous. However speech is something I always really sruggled with, it wasn't so much the ataxia but controlling my breathing while speaking, especially in situations that make me nervous like when using the phone or meeting new people. I saw a speech therapist who gave me breathing exercises to practice - her work was based on the Lee Silverman Technique. The improvement I have seen has made a really big difference, knowing I can rely on my speech a lot more has really boosted my confidence. I still have good days and bad days, but on the whole my speech is more powerful and even than it has been in years.
In 2006 I started to suffer with depression. I have always suffered with anxiety and in situations that made me anxious my FA symptoms would be a lot worse - for example my speech on the phone would be a lot less clear because I was so anxious about not being understood. I started taking an antidepressant called Citanapram and it's made a big difference - it's addressed my anxiiety issues meaning that I'm far more relaxed and far less held back by some of my FA symptoms.
I also saw many improvements in my speech after taking CoQ10.
|This website has been around sinse 1998, and although it's changed a lot over the years it's always been about me and my disability. Over the years I have used many different hosts and website design packages. For the past ten years or so I have used 1&1 as my host and I have always been very happy with it. I have always wanted to learn how to build a website from scratch using Adobe Dreamweaver, so about three years ago I got in touch with Polar Solutions and arranged for a trainer to come out to my home to teach me at my own pace. So I now design this website using Adobe Dreamweaver and the skills I learned on that course. I designed the buttons using Cool Text.