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Parkinson Communication Programs

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease?

Have you noticed or do people comment that your speech or voice is hard to understand?  Do people ask you to repeat yourself?

 

Common speech and voice changes with Parkinson’s Disease include reduced vocal volume, breathy, weak, hoarse, or rough voice, voice monotone in pitch, slurred or mumbled speech. Stiffness of the muscles can cause reduced ability to project the voice, increase vocal volume or articulate words clearly. Parkinson’s disease can reduce the expression in the face and reduce the melody or pitch variations in the voice. Many people with Parkinson’s Disease do not hear their own voice as quiet which makes it harder for them to perceive they are having difficulty.

 

Taking a proactive approach to communication problems can help increase awareness and reduce decline in the speech and voice. Effective communication is so important to daily interactions at work, home, out in the community and communicating with your medical providers.

 

What programs are offered at Lake City Speech & Voice Therapy?

 

We are certified in:

LSVT-LOUD ® (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment)

This is an intensive month-long program, 4 times per week for 4 weeks, focusing on increasing vocal intensity and loudness while insuring there is no vocal strain. This program will be tailored to the patients’ needs and interests for an engaging 4 weeks. The program gradually increases in complexity and helps a patient re-calibrate their voice. This re-calibration may improve vocal volume, vocal clarity, articulation, vocal melody, and sometimes increase facial expression. Once your therapy program is complete, a home exercise plan will be recommended to help you maintain the progress you have gained.

 

SPEAK OUT! ®

This month-long program offers flexibility in the intensity of the program, with a recommended intensity of 2-3 times per week for 4 weeks. This program focuses on use of “intent” to project vocal volume with purpose. This program comes with a practice workbook to help you stay on track with your daily home practice. This program also gradually increases in complexity each week and helps a patient re-calibrate their voice. This recalibration may improve vocal volume, vocal clarity, articulation, vocal melody, and sometimes increase facial expression. Once your therapy program is complete, a home exercise plan will be recommended to help you maintain the progress you have gained.

 

RESPIRATORY MUSCLE STRENGTH TRAINING (RMST)

Respiratory muscle strength training can help to strengthen the muscles of inspiration and expiration which can have a positive impact on the voice, swallow function and strength of the cough. Your Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) will help you to decide if you need expiratory muscle strength training (EMST), inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST) or both. This program is typically once per week for 5 weeks and can be incorporated into other speech and voice therapy sessions. Following the 5-week program, a home exercise maintenance plan may be recommended.

 

A thoughtful selection of appropriate treatments will be discussed following the evaluation to provide the most effective communication approaches for rehabilitation or pre-habilitation  (enhancing or maintaining function before decline occurs) with the goal of improved ability to communicate.

 

MD referral may be required. 

Contact us for a free consultation.

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