Click on the questions for answers.
What are the early symptoms of a speech disorder associated with Parkinson’s?
- Reduced volume
- Hoarse-sounding vocal quality
- Frequent throat clearing
- Trailing off at the end of sentences
- Some days the voice sounds normal; other days it doesn’t.
When is the best time to enroll in SPEAK OUT! therapy?
If someone with Parkinson’s is experiencing any of the speech difficulties listed above, an evaluation with a SPEAK OUT!-trained speech-language pathologist is recommended. Since the muscles used for speaking are the same used for swallowing, early intervention is important to minimize future swallowing difficulties. Parkinson’s patients who complete SPEAK OUT! typically experience improvement in a matter of days. Why wait?
What causes speech and swallowing issues in Parkinson’s?
Speaking and swallowing are highly-automatic behaviors. When we speak, we don’t think about taking air into our lungs, contracting our diaphragm, or moving our vocal folds, tongue or lips—it all happens automatically. It’s the same for swallowing—it’s an automatic behavior.
Dopamine facilitates automatic movements. However, in Parkinson's, there is a considerable loss of dopamine. With less dopamine, automatic movements are disrupted, which can contribute to speech and swallowing difficulties.
How does “INTENT” improve speech?
When we speak with intent or deliberation, we are using a system in the brain that is less-dependent on dopamine. This is why people with Parkinson's can improve their speaking abilities. As patients go through SPEAK OUT!, they not only learn to “speak with intent,” but they also learn to “live with intent.”
SPEAK OUT! sounds too good to be true. What’s the “catch?”
SPEAK OUT! can be highly effective if the treatment protocol described below is followed:
- Seek treatment from a speech-language pathologist who has completed formal SPEAK OUT! training through Parkinson Voice Project.
- At Parkinson Voice Project, patients typically receive three SPEAK OUT! sessions a week for four weeks.
- Complete one lesson in the SPEAK OUT! workbook twice a day for twenty-five days.
- Upon completion of SPEAK OUT!, complete one lesson from the SPEAK OUT! workbook daily. In addition, participate in a weekly LOUD Crowd group to maintain the improvements made in therapy.
How can I get a SPEAK OUT! Workbook?
If you live in the U.S., have a Parkinson’s-related diagnosis, and are being treated by a SPEAK OUT!-trained speech-language pathologist, you are entitled to receive a SPEAK OUT! Workbook. Call Parkinson Voice Project at 855-707-7325 to place your order.
How do I find a SPEAK OUT!-trained speech-language pathologist?
Speech-language pathologists who have been trained by Parkinson Voice Project are listed on our website. Click here.
Speech-language pathologists who also offer LOUD Crowd groups are designated by this symbol.
What if there isn’t a SPEAK OUT!-trained speech-language pathologist in my area?
Anyone with a Parkinson’s-related disorder is invited to receive SPEAK OUT! and The LOUD Crowd at Parkinson Voice Project. Call Parkinson Voice Project at 1 855-707-7325 to schedule an evaluation.
If traveling to Parkinson Voice Project is not possible, talk to your neurologist or your local Parkinson’s support group about getting a speech-language pathologist in your area trained in SPEAK OUT! Click here to learn more about our SPEAK OUT! workshops.
Suggestion: The fastest way to get a SPEAK OUT!-trained speech-language pathologist in your area is to offer a scholarship to your local Parkinson’s support group, hospital, or rehabilitation center for this purpose. You will not only help yourself or your family member, but you will be “Paying It Forward” to help others in your area who also need SPEAK OUT! therapy.