Ashleigh has not been able to speak since her accident over six years ago. She does not even make sounds or noises. A video endoscope showed that although the vocal cords did not close all of the way they were not paralyzed.
An odd thing has been happening that so far no one has been able to help us with. Sometimes, typically after Ashleigh falls asleep for a while, she will awake with a start. Her eyes are wide open and she is very alert. If you ask her questions at that time she can speak! The answers to questions are always appropriate and she also offers spontaneous speech.
We have asked every doctor and therapist we come in contact with and no one has ever heard of this. We are trying to figure out what exactly is happening during these periods so we can try to encourage it more. Is it better breathing, relaxed tone, better initiation? If anyone has any ideas please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
These speech periods only last a very short time. It seems it just gets harder and harder for her until she can’t speak anymore. A few times she was able to speak long enough that we called people and she spoke with them. Needless to say they were thrilled. We have tried to record it numerous times but at first we are so fascinated and try to keep her talking that we don’t grab the equipment in time. We tried to record it with a tape recorder and it ate the tape. We tried with a video recorder and we were always too late.
We finally have captured a few instances with a microphone attached to our computer. These are not really very good instances as she wasn’t as clear as she can be but at least we have it recorded. Also, the first words are always the best and it takes us a while to pull it together so we usually miss recording those. Just a note, at times in the recording we ask a question and you may not hear a response. Typically she is mouthing a response but does not seem to have the breath support to vocalize it. Also some of the louder responses are a little garbled because the dummy with microphone (me) has the microphone too close to her mouth.
Below are links to the audio clips. The first is from a few days ago and the second and third are both from yesterday. If anyone has any insight please email or call us, thanks.