Speech & Language Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Problems with Articulation and Sentence Formulation

I'm 20 years old.  As time has gone on, my speech has gradually worsened.  People tell me I mumble a lot and it's hard to understand me.  I also have gotten worse at converting my thoughts into verbal form.  Because of this, I'm apprehensive and very bad at making conversation because I will always end up sounding like an idiot.  Therefore, I keep my sentences short and simple and don't say much.  Not communicating very much has fed my speech problems and really hurt my social skills and my self-esteem, so I've decided to finally try to do something about it so I can feel comfortable making conversation with people.

After listening to recordings of my speech and watching myself speak on video and in a mirror, I definitely noticed that I don't speak with very good articulation.  To summarize what I have noticed about my speech:

1)  I hardly move my lips while speaking.  I'm almost positive this is the cause of my slurring of words/mumbling.

2)  I am "tongue-tied" (ankyloglossia).  I'm still unsure as to whether or not this affects my speech.  I think it causes me to keep my mouth almost-closed so that my short-reaching tongue can reach the roof of my mouth and the back of my gums while speaking, which maybe factors into my lips not moving very much.  It also causes me to move my jaw forward sometimes when speaking, which causes me to mess up my speech.  Would frenuloplasty be of any benefit for me?  I've attached a photo to show you the location of my frenulum.

3)  Very often, my brain races ahead of where my mouth is.  So I'll say a word or sound that belongs later in the sentence too soon.  This causes me to panic and break my train of thought.  I do this while reading aloud as well.

4)  More often, I will talk myself into dead ends where I can't think of the proper way to express the concept or idea on my mind.  I will stall for a very long time until I (hopefully) can think of some awkwardly-phrased words to end the sentence.  Or I will forget how to express something in simple terms and have to use some big word that sounds strange in ordinary conversation.  When I'm typing, the same stalling thing happens, but I just delete the sentence and start over.  I feel like I wasn't like this until the last 4-5 years.  I think it has something to do with my mind trying to use large, complicated words by default instead of normal, simple words.

EXAMPLE OF #4: Right now, when I was trying to explain how my tongue might affect my speech, I was trying to explain how my tongue keeps my mouth almost-closed, and it took me a solid two minutes to type the word "almost-closed," which I still have no idea if it's a word or not.  I feel like I have gaps in my brain where my basic communicative vocabulary used to be stored.

So what can I do to improve my speech?  I am sick of being the guy that people try to avoid because conversation always turns awkward, because I am a genuinely interesting person that simply can't formulate thoughts into speech correctly, and even when I can, it's not very articulate all the time.
8 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
You could try occupational therapy to address what might be an issue with processing.  Sensory processing disorder may be playing a role in your difficulty.  good luck
Avatar universal
Any advice on this, I feel I have the same symptoms described.
Avatar universal
I have the same symptoms described. I don't know what to do. I've tried finding speech classes but a lot are for kids or if there are adult ones they seem to be in Sydney. I live in Brisbane but
Avatar universal
aside from the slurring/mumbling, you have essentially listed off my exact issues with speech. i've never thought to google it before, and while i am glad i'm not alone, i haven't found help or answers which is discouraging.

thinking about the slurring/mumbling - i have noticed that when i speak, especially, sing (terribly) my jaw slides to the side a bit. not a strictly up and down jaw movement like i see on tv or in my family and friends. while i am a bit self-conscious of this, it's the actual process in my head that bothers me the most.
Avatar universal
i continued my search and this is what i found!! http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/concentration-swallowing-speaking

i don't know about you, but i have been in therapy for a year now. i have generalized anxiety and have tendencies towards OCD. this article makes me think i should finally give the meds a try - just to see if there is any difference in the way i communicate. maybe we're just too self-aware, bjk53!
Avatar universal
have you been going to speech therapy or some other type of therapy?
Avatar universal
You have just listed everything I have mainly...
The only difference with me is I think what I want to say but my mouth or something stops me from speaking...

I to find myself not being able to articulate what I'm feeling or trying to say, which has lead me into some pretty sticky situations.

The thing that scares me a little about it, is that it has never been this bad. It has gotten worse over 10 years. I have had some close friends confirm that.
Avatar universal
Unfortunately, I am experiencing the same symptoms. As time moves forward my condition seems to worsen as well. However, I am the victim of multiple head injuries. Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to attribute my condition to my past injuries. Although I have been to several doctors, I am no closer to an answer than I was before seeking professional diagnosis. It is so very frustrating to not be able to articulate/express my thoughts to others.
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