Monday, September 11, 2017


Memory and talking skill occur only
 through intensive repetition

Advice for Caregivers:  Dysarthria Speech Therapy

Caregivers and therapists frequently want advice about dysarthria speech therapy and have many questions.  One of the concerns many have is the role of repetition in speech therapy.  They often want to know how many times their loved one may have to repeat a given word or phrase until they finally can say it by themselves.

Unfortunately this is not a question that can be accurately answered by anyone.  We know that if the person with aphasia, apraxia, or dysarthria can imitate a given model, that is a good prognostic sign, but no one knows exactly how many times the person will need to repeat it until it becomes automatic.

Think about musicians, athletes, writers, etc.  Did you know that many have said that mastering their craft takes unending dedication and daily commitment to mastery.  We know that many people who have achieved expertise at anything must do it almost every day to keep the skill and mastery intact.  So to ask how long it will take will give you this answer:  A liftetime of daily commitment and practice.

We also know that we all forget what we learn.  Some have good memories, and others soon forget new material almost as fast as they understand and use it.  How many times did you think you learned something and then find out when you got home that the memory is forgotten. If it is not written down or captured the memory can fade even faster.  And for those with any type of traumatic brain injury the process of forgetting is even more severe.

Therefore when learning anything new, for those with brain injury, whatever you are working on, especially must be repeated and utilized in the context of the speaking situation.  And remember the more important the word or phrase is, the sooner it will be learned.  That is why it is best to help your loved one or client talk when the words, phrase or sentence is needed.  The home is the best place for where words are needed to be expressed and that is why we believe that training family members, or a spouse is the key to true speaking improvement over time.  (Gabby Giffords, Helen Keller prime examples)


In conclusion, don't worry about how many times you have to repeat the same old word, phrase or sentence, sooner or later they will get it and carry it over automatically.  As long as the words are short and simple the faster it will carry over to automatic speech.  But just remember when it will occur no one knows and you must just move forward stimulating single words, phrases and sentences indefinitely.  Forget about any time frame for mastery.  It will be a life-time endeavor.

Should you wish to learn how to help your loved one or client speak again or better click on the icon below.