Professor Anja Lowit (University of Strathclyde) and team have published positive results from their study of a new approach to speech therapy, called ClearSpeechTogether. In this Ataxia UK-funded project, people with ataxia had a small number of individual speech therapy sessions. This was followed by group meetings of people with ataxia to practise speaking together. All sessions in the study were held online. The nine participants had a range of ataxias, including spinocerebellar ataxias, Friedreich’s ataxia, CANVAS, autoimmune ataxia, and ataxia of unknown cause. The results showed that, overall, participants experienced reduced vocal strain, improved intelligibility and increased participation and confidence. Post-therapy Interviews with the participants highlighted a range of both social and speech benefits.
The next step in this research is to run a larger trial. The researchers are currently testing a different speech therapy treatment called LSVT Artic. The results from both these studies will help them decide the best treatment option for the larger trial.
Thank you to Friends of Ataxia UK who took part in this research. Ataxia UK is now offering a speech therapy service which combines individual and group practise. If you are interested in taking part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.