What Is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, which leads to progressive deterioration of motor function. PD is diagnosed by a neurologist and typically appears after the age of 60, though early onset Parkinson’s can also occur prior. The progression of the disease and the extent of impairment is extremely individual.
How Does Parkinson’s Affect Speech?
As dopamine levels decrease, communication between brain cells becomes more difficult resulting in variable movement and cognitive deficits. Speech, language, cognition, and swallowing are all affected by the lowered dopamine level. Thanks to advances in medical science, there are proven strategies and therapeutic activities that are highly successful in the recovery process and speech therapy has proven to be particularly effective in treating Dysarthria (difficulty speaking) and Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).
What Are Signs Of Parkinson’s Disease?
Speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing signs of Parkinson’s Disease include:
- Soft speech (quiet voice)
- Monotone voice
- Reduced facial movements
- Memory deficits
- Difficulty swallowing
- Excessive salivation
How Can Great Speech Help?
A Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) can help improve swallowing, voice, and communication skills that are common manifestations of PD. The therapist can teach strategies to overcome communication deficits including soft speech, Dysarthria (slurred speech), Aphasia (a language disorder), and/or changes in memory, organization, problem solving or cognition.
We have therapists who specialize in dealing with the progression of Parkinson’s and have a host of drills and strategies to raise voice volume, promote word retrieval and increase conversational skills. We have also found role playing to be extremely effective in re-teaching social skills which require both word retrieval and conversation.
Please contact us to discuss how a simple screening may give you the answer you need.
“I was constantly asking my dad to repeat himself and his frustration level was adding to his depression. I knew speech therapy would help his voice but his mobility was limited due to Parkinson’s Disease. After careful research, I found Great Speech and a therapist who specialized in working online with Parkinson ’s disease. She taught strategies to improve his voice and our phone conversations have increased in length and his excellent sense of humor is once again apparent.”
Thomas, 57, Ocala, Fl