Updated: Feb 19, 2019
How Does Motor Neurone Disease Affect Speech & Voice?
Motor Neurone Disease is a progressive neurological disease. In other words, it is a disease that affects the brain and it gradually gets worse. Being told that you have this condition is understandably not easy.
Motor Neurone Disease can affect speech and voice. It causes weakness in the muscles that we use to talk: the tongue, lips, vocal cords and the chest. As a result, speech can become faint, slurred or unclear. Motor Neurone Disease can eventually lead to the inability to speak at all.
The thought of losing the ability to speak is daunting. It would be easier to sweep it under the carpet. However, it is much better to be prepared and to bank your voice.
Voice banking is a process that allows you to record a set list of sentences with your own voice. The recording is then used to create a synthetic voice. A banked voice (although synthetic) will sound like your natural voice although it won't be a perfect replica.
The voice can later be imported into a text to speech app (an app which speaks the words and sentences you type aloud). There is no limit to the words, phrases and sentences that the text to speech can read aloud in the banked voice. In other words, what you type will be spoken aloud using your banked voice.
Our voice is our identity. Therefore, people with Motor Neurone Disease who don't bank their voice and who need to use a text to speech app at a later stage often regret not doing so.
Voice banking is ideally done at diagnosis when your voice quality and speech intelligibility have not changed very much. In the video below Helen talks about voice banking and encourages everyone who has been diagnosed with MND to bank their voice.
If you have any questions or you wish to do voice banking, please contact us at the Aptus Clinic.