Tremor can cause a number of communication difficulties: speech, facial expressions, handwriting and body language are affected in many people. This obviously has a profound impact on how a person with Tremor interacts with everyone from family members to complete strangers.
The ways in which Tremor can cause communication difficulties include:
These difficulties can impact considerably on quality of life and can contribute to a very misleading picture of the affected person, resulting in assumptions being made about them - often which are erroneous and very distressing. For example, people may assume that, rather than having Tremor, the person is drunk or unintelligent. Moreover, the ability to communicate may fluctuate during the day, depending on the medication schedule and whether the individual is ‘on’ or ‘off’. Such fluctuations can be very confusing to others.
A lack of self-expression can dent your confidence to interact with others. In some people, this could lead to depression, so it is important that family and friends are aware of your difficulties and encourage you to continue socialising.
Adjusting medication can sometimes improve communication problems. Discuss this with your doctor before making any changes yourself.
A speech and language therapist may also be able to help. With speech and non-verbal, physical communication. They can offer advice on:
An occupational therapist can advise on ways to help with handwriting. They can recommend special equipment and tools, such as:
We would like to acknowledge the use of information taken from the European Parkinson’s Disease Association website www.rewritetomorrow.eu.com/