As many as 50-90% of individuals with Parkinson’s disease will develop speech and voice disorders (see ‘dysarthria’ and ‘dysphonia’ below). It is common for a person with Parkinson’s to speak too softly and quickly, to the point where other people can’t understand. For this reason, speech pathology and Parkinson’s disease go hand in hand. Speech pathologists can help with communication. We can also help you to overcome any swallowing difficulties (see ‘dysphagia’ below).
About speech pathology and Parkinson’s disease
Speech pathology services should start soon after your diagnosis. A speech pathologist can help a person with Parkinson’s to improve:
rate of talking,
facial expression, and
The best outcomes are achieved in early or middle stages of Parkinson’s. After therapy, improvements can be maintained for up to 2 years.
Speech pathology services should start as soon as possible after your diagnosis.
What is dysarthria, dysphonia, and dysphagia?
Dysarthria: A speech disorder caused by muscle weakness, or tightness
Dysphonia: A voice disorder, when voice quality, pitch, loudness aren’t what they should be for a person
Dysphagia: A swallowing disorder, perhaps involving problems with drooling, chewing, food sticking, taking longer to eat or drink, or choking
About LSVT Loud (R)
One treatment that Wollongong Speech Pathology offers is called LSVT LOUD (R). It is an intensive treatment: you attend 16 sessions over 4 weeks, as well as doing daily home practice. We will train you to use your voice at a more normal loudness level. You can find out more at www.lsvtglobal.com.
If you wanted to find out more about this program, you can read about Wollongong Speech Pathology’s rehabilitation services here, or contact us here.