laura gregory ma ccc slp rehab without walls san antonio tx n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Swallowing and Speech in Ataxia: a Team Approach PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Swallowing and Speech in Ataxia: a Team Approach

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 35

Swallowing and Speech in Ataxia: a Team Approach - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Laura Gregory, MA CCC-SLP Rehab Without Walls - San Antonio, TX. Swallowing and Speech in Ataxia: a Team Approach. The information provided by speakers in any presentation made as part of the 2012 NAF Annual Membership Meeting is for informational use only.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Swallowing and Speech in Ataxia: a Team Approach' - eugene

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

The information provided by speakers in any presentation made as part of the 2012 NAF Annual Membership Meeting is for informational use only.

  • NAF encourages all attendees to consult with their primary care provider, neurologist, or other health care provider about any advice, exercise, therapies, medication, treatment, nutritional supplement, or regimen that may have been mentioned as part of any presentation.
  • Products or services mentioned during these presentations does not imply endorsement by NAF.
presenter disclosures

Laura Gregory, MA CCC-SLP

  • The following personal financial relationships with commercial interests relevant to this presentation existed during the past 12 months:
  • No relationships to disclose or list
Presenter Disclosures
outline of presentation

Overview of the swallowing process

  • Overview of speech
  • The team approach
  • Specific treatments and compensatory strategies
Outline of presentation
swallowing terminology

Dysphagia – the clinical term for a disorder of swallowing

  • Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) aka speech therapist – diagnoses and treats dysphagia
  • Dysphagia is typically diagnosed through a videofluoroscopic or videoendoscopic swallow examination.
Swallowing Terminology
effects of ataxia on the swallow

Decreased coordination and oral control

  • Delayed swallow initiation
  • Decreased pressure gradient to propel the bolus
  • Impaired timing of reflexes for airway protection
  • Pure cerebellar ataxia does not cause decreased strength or sensation
Effects of ataxia on the swallow
what are the signs and symptoms

Coughing, especially with liquids and mixed or crumbly textures

    • Penetration: food/liquid enters the airway but does not pass below the larynx
    • Aspiration: food/liquid enters the airway and passes to the lungs – can lead to pneumonia
  • Food feeling stuck in throat
  • Liquids going into nasal cavity
What are the signs and symptoms?
effects of ataxia on speech

Articulation of speech sounds is a complex process of movements of oral structures coordinated with respiration and voicing.

Ataxia affects speech in the areas of

  • Timing
  • Coordination
Effects of ataxia on speech
speech difficulties include

Slurring of sounds

  • “Scanning speech” with equal emphasis on each syllable
  • Difficulty modulating volume of voice
  • Difficulty controlling force or direction of oral movements (overshoot, undershoot)
  • Inadequate or poorly coordinated breath support
  • These are referred to as Ataxic Dysarthria
Speech difficulties include:

Educate yourself and others

  • Be aware of early signs of difficulty with swallowing and speech
  • Seek help before swallowing and speech difficulties become a major issue
  • Recruit a support network
who are the players


  • Caregivers/family
  • Friends
  • Physicians
  • Speech pathologist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Social worker/therapist
  • Dietitian
Who are the players?
roles of the players


You know yourself best, so you are in the best position to make decisions regarding your healthcare in partnership with the team. The team approach won’t work without YOUR motivation and participation

Roles of the players

Discusses signs and symptoms with you

  • Makes appropriate referrals
  • Communicates with the team along the way

Speech Pathologist

    • Evaluation and treatment of the oral/pharyngeal and respiratory components of swallowing
  • Physical Therapist
    • Evaluation and treatment of postural and head control as they relate to speech and swallowing. Can also address respiration.
  • Occupational Therapist
    • Similar to physical therapist plus adaptive equipment
other potential team members

Social Worker/Therapist

    • Emotional support for adjustment to disability. Assistance in finding compensatory strategies to decrease frustration when communicating with friends and family.
  • Dietitian
    • If changes to the diet are needed for swallowing safety, a dietitian can assist in maintaining adequate nutrition
Other potential team members
swallowing compensatory strategies


    • Sit upright at 90 degrees with good postural support
    • Stay upright for 30 minutes after meals
    • Take small bites and sips
    • Reduce distractions, including talking
    • Eat several small meals if fatigue is a factor
    • Avoid problematic consistencies
Swallowing: Compensatory strategies
swallowing compensatory strategies1

An SLP may recommend other strategies based on individual needs.

    • Chin tuck
    • Swallowing maneuvers designed to protect the airway
    • Diet modifications
      • Soft or pureed food
      • Solids chopped into smaller pieces
      • Thickened liquids
Swallowing: compensatory strategies
adaptive equipment
Adaptive equipment
  • Provale cup: delivers 1 tsp per sip
  • Bionix safe straw: 1 tsp
adaptive equipment1
Adaptive Equipment
  • Less measured but less expensive ways to control the flow of liquid :
    • Squeeze the straw
    • Use a cup with a lid
adaptive equipment2
Adaptive Equipment
  • Scooper bowl
  • Weighted utensils
  • Dycem
swallowing potential treatments

Oral-motor exercises may be of some benefit to improve timing, coordination, and awareness.

  • Neuro-muscular electrical stimulation (NMES), also referred to as Vitalstim, is not effective for ataxia alone but may be beneficial when there is accompanying weakness.
Swallowing: Potential treatments
alternate method of nutrition

Naso-gastric tube- can be used for a short period of time when eating by mouth is not safe.

  • Gastric tube or less commonly a jejunal tube can be surgically placed for long term supplemental or alternate nutrition.
  • Choosing an alternate method of nutrition is a difficult decision that should involve the entire team and support network.
Alternate method of nutrition
speech compensatory strategies

Speak face to face without distractions

  • Educate unfamiliar listeners
  • Break sentences into shorter phrases when you are not understood
  • Introduce the topic using a single word
  • Take your time
Speech: compensatory strategies
speech potential treatments


  • Pacing/rhythmic training
  • Speech agility exercises
  • Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT) – Would be beneficial for Ataxia when a patient has difficulty speaking at a consistent volume or coordinating respiration with speech. Evidence base for multisystem atrophy.
Speech: potential treatments
augmentative alternative communication

Low tech: Alphabet board, picture board, etc.

  • Voice output device (or ipad)
    • Picture to speech
    • Text to speech
  • Access
    • Hand
    • Switch
    • Switch/scanning
    • Eye gaze
Augmentative/alternative communication
augmentative alternative communication1

Funding in Texas

    • Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP)
  • Review of ipad apps
Augmentative/Alternative Communication