- Recommended Reading
- Esophageal Speech
- Hands-Free Devices
- Text to Speech Apps
- Alternative Communications
- Speech Difficulties
- State TEDPA Programs
Do most laryngectomees talk again? You bet we do! The more ways you can communicate, the better off you will be in your post laryngectomy life. Your medical team may have good reasons for recommending a particular type of speech to be learned, so listen to them. Many people learn the electrolrynx first and another type of speech later. They have an advantage after they have learned the second speech because, if needed, they have the first type of speech to fall back on. Others are given a TE puncture during their surgery and a prosthesis shortly thereafter. In the days before the artificial larynx (AL) and the tracheoesophageal prosthesis (TE or TEP), there was esophageal speech (ES). You didn't have to buy speech aids to use or remember to carry anything around with you but it was difficult or even impossible for many to learn.
You will find descriptions and comments on many ways of speaking again. Listen, read, practice and learn well. This is the new way of communication for you. Welcome it and consider yourself lucky that it was discovered or invented before you became a laryngectomee so you would have choices.
As an old time member of WebWhispers, I'd like to welcome the new members on this list. You will want to roam around on this site to see and appreciate all the information that has been saved for you since 1997, and edited as updates require.
For those of you who mentioned you are “undecided” about which method of post op voice you may end up with, here are a few suggestions. The first is try an electro larynx. It may be a neck type with an intra oral adaptor at first, or a design that is built to be intra oral only. There are several brands, and each unit … no matter the brand, will probably sound different.
The difference may be the unit, or more likely you physical differences, and that will change as the swelling goes down. As your neck heals the EL can be considered the first step, as you might graduate from wheel chair to walker to cane. The voice you end up with after healing enough to pass the swallow test you can consider the next step; which may be esophageal speech (ES). You can go to the WW homepage and select “Talking Again” on the topics menu, and then choose from samples of laryngectomees speaking.
The next step is one you can become acquainted with while your healing if you visit the Face Book group called “Esophageal Speech Support”. There you will find almost 500 people who have chosen to become members. (490 as of this morning.) There are so many who are told that ES is “burp talk that’s too hard to learn and takes too long”. Standard Esophgeal Speech
isn’t burp talk, nor is it assisted by the use of a TEP. ES means no puncture or prosthesis is required. ES only uses the air that is already in your mouth at all times. You have always used many of the same techniques pre op and didn’t know it. You may, like so many do, think that exhaling lung air to speak is the ONLY way to talk, and it isn’t. That assumption
leaves too many “without a voice”, and it is not true for all. I hope
you will take the time to visit the FB site, read the posts and listen to the variety of videos that revolve around this topic.
Elizabeth A. Finchem
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