How Can Listeners Help People Who Have Difficulty Speaking And Communicating
Here are some ways friends and family of people with Parkinsons disease can ease speaking and communication difficulties:
- Talk to the person with Parkinsons disease face-to-face only, and look at the person as he or she is speaking.
- Ask questions that require a simple “yes” or “no” answer.
- Repeat the part of the sentence that you understood.
- Ask the person to repeat what he or she said, to speak more slowly or spell out the words you did not understand.
How Can I Maintain And Enhance My Speech
Do Swallowing Problems In People With Parkinsons Disease Also Affect Speech
Swallowing problems are a common problem in people with Parkinsons disease. They can occur at any stage of the disease, can change throughout the disease course and often get worse as symptoms progress. Let your healthcare provider and/or speech-language pathologist know as you notice you are having swallowing problems. Symptoms of swallowing problems include drooling, choking, coughing, difficulty taking pills, taking a long time to eat, weight loss and dehydration. The most serious complication of a swallowing problem–and the reason why you should see your provider right away– is aspiration. Aspiration is when food or liquid goes into your windpipe , then passes down into your lungs, which can lead to aspiration pneumonia.
Although swallowing problems may not directly affect your speech, swallowing problems and voice and speech problems often occur at the same time.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Voice and speech difficulties are common problems in people with Parkinsons disease, especially as the disease worsens. These problems affect your ability to communicate in the work setting and with family and friends which affects the quality of your life. Fortunately a speech-language pathologist can develop an effective treatment program to help improve your ability to communicate.
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Q: I Read With Interest A Recent Study In Which You Compared Lsvt Outcomes In People Speaking Different Languages Can You Summarize Your Results What Ramifications Does This Have For Reaching Communities Which Traditionally Did Not Have Easy Access To Lsvt
A: There are more than 50,000 LSVT LOUD and LSVT BIG Certified Clinicians representing 78 countries in the world. This has opened the opportunity for research in many different countries and languages. This is particularly interesting related to LSVT LOUD and the impact of language on treatment outcomes. We were curious to examine outcomes from published research studies across these different languages to understand if there is a differential effect of LSVT LOUD. Our hypothesis was that there would not be, given LSVT LOUD is geared towards the underlying neurological deficits in PD .
While all the studies looked at different aspects of speech, voice or communication, the outcomes were comparable to what has been published for English speakers across these measures. For example, Spanish speakers improved speech intelligibility, Cantonese speakers improved loudness and intonation, but not lexical tone, Quebecois French speakers increased vowel space area as did German speakers. Persian speakers improved self-perception of voice and Japanese speakers had short and long-term improvements in vocal loudness. As such, it appears that the benefits from this treatment may be universal regardless of language background. Prospective language comparison studies are needed to further clarify these findings.
We hosted a webinar on this topic that people might find interesting.
Speech Therapy And Parkinson’s
Research shows that 89 percent of people with Parkinsons disease experience speech and voice disorders, including soft, monotone, breathy and hoarse voice and uncertain articulation. As a result, people with PD report they are less likely to participate in conversation, or have confidence in social settings than healthy individuals in their age group.
Speech disorders can progressively diminish quality of life for a person with PD. The earlier a person receives a baseline speech evaluation and speech therapy, the more likely he or she will be able to maintain communication skills as the disease progresses. Communication is a key element in quality of life and positive self-concept and confidence for people with PD.
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How To Find A Speech Therapist
Tell your doctor If you are experiencing any changes in your speech or voice. Ask for a referral and a prescription for a speech evaluation and treatment. If you have not noticed changes in your speech, but a spouse, care partner or friend has: pay attention to their comments. The sooner you get a speech evaluation and start speech therapy, the better.
Speech therapists work in many settings, including hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation centers and private practice offices. To locate one in your area, contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association at www.asha.org, or find a therapist certified in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment by visiting www.lsvtglobal.com.
Ideally, you should see a speech therapist face-toface for a complete voice and speech evaluation and treatment. However, if a speech therapist is not available in your area, LSVT LOUD the most researched voice treatment for people with PD is virtually offered in select states. The speech therapist interacts with you in your home or office live through your computer screen.
Learn more about speech and Parkinsons by reading our free book Speech and Swallowing. Order online at Parkinson.org/Books or by calling our Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO .
Trialling Devices And Multidisciplinary Support
I would start by doing a comprehensive Speech Pathology assessment where Id get to know the persons communication goals and current strengths and weaknesses, then wed trial a few different devices to see which is the best fit.
Once they have their device, I support them by helping to set up and personalise the device and provide any education to the individual and/or communication partners on the general maintenance and use of the device. Sometimes other health professionals like occupational therapists or physiotherapists need to be involved to help with positioning and posture while using the device.
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Q: When Should A Person With Pd Who Has A Communication Barrier Consider Using An Aac Device
A: They should consider a device when they cannot be understood, cannot make their needs known, feel isolated because of their speech difficulties, or overall cannot participate in communication with familiar and unfamiliar listeners. If an individual feels that their challenges with speaking have impaired their ability to participate in medical decisions, talk to their family members or friends, or overall negatively affect their quality of life, then a referral to an occupational therapist or speech language pathologist who specializes in AAC needs to be considered. When we work with a person with PD, we are doing it in conjunction with a speech language pathologist to make sure that all of their communication needs are being met.
If I Have Parkinsons Disease What Kind Of Speech And Voice Problems May I Experience
If you have Parkinsons disease, some of the voice and speech difficulties seen include:
- Softened voice. Reduced volume to your voice.
- Speaking in an unchanging pitch .
- Having a hoarse or strained quality to your voice.
- Having a breathiness to your voice. Breathiness in the quality of your voice that is easily heard by your listeners. It takes more effort and energy to speak. You run out of gas as you speak.
- Trouble clearly and easily pronouncing letters and words.
- Tremor in your voice.
- Using short rushes of speech.
- Loss of your facial expression.
If you have Parkinsons disease, you may not be aware of the problems with your spoken communication. Changes in the quality of your voice may be the first sign of speech problems followed by the inability to have fluid speech and clear and distinct speech sounds. Speech problems that are severe enough to reduce your ability to be easily understood usually do not occur until later in the course of Parkinsons disease.
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Q: How Does A Person Know Which Is The Best Aac Device For His Or Her Problem
A: Deciding on the best AAC device is a team approach. The individual should consult their doctor and SLP for options. They also should have a comprehensive evaluation with an occupational therapist who specializes in AAC. During this evaluation they will be able to try out various devices to determine which device works best for their individual needs. They will also receive education on the pros and cons of the available options. It is highly recommended that they include their family and/or caregivers as part of the team so that everyone understands the potential benefits and pitfalls of each option.
Q: What Does An Lsvt Big Session Consist Of
A:LSVT BIG treatment sessions completely mirror LSVT LOUD sessions as described above. The only difference is the focus of the LSVT BIG exercises involve the whole-body across both daily exercises and functional movement activities. Goals and functional activities are personalized for each person, but all built around Think BIG! as a guiding principle. LSVT BIG retrains people with PD on how normal movement should feel.
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What If I Have An Emergency How Will I Communicate
- Use an intercom system or baby monitor to alert others that there is an emergency.
- Use bells or buzzers if you are not able to speak. Use “codes” that signify urgency. For example, a tinkling bell may mean, “I’d like company” while an air-horn means there’s an emergency.
- Carry a portable phone that is equipped with pre-programmed numbers.
- Pre-program all of your telephones so they can automatically dial the necessary emergency number.
- Consider a “life call” button if you spend time alone.
Treating Speech And Language Problems In Parkinsons Disease
Potential treatments for speech and language problems of PD include medication, behavioral therapies, and surgery. The most recent assessments of these therapies suggest, however, that surgery is not effective for speech problems, although it may improve some of the severe motor problems of PD. In addition, there are no medication therapies that are effective when used alone.
Treating the basic motor problems of PD optimally appears to be a prerequisite for improving speech problems. That is, if the PD motor problems are untreated, the speech problems do not respond well to behavioral treatments. PD medication is, therefore, necessary but not sufficient. In short, the optimal treatment strategy for speech and language problems of PD appears to be a combination of PD medication plus some form of behavioral speech therapy.
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Work With A Online Speech Therapist Today
The Parkinsons speech therapy exercises outlined above are a great place to start if you feel that your speech skills are starting to decline. But, youll see the greatest benefits if you also work with a specialized speech therapist.
When working with Great Speech, our team of therapists will help you make sure youre doing the exercises correctly. Theyll also be able to prescribe specific exercises that are better tailored to your particular needs to continue seeing results between sessions.
Great Speechs team of online speech pathologists provide speech therapy services for a wide range of people, including those related to Parkinsons disease.
Whatever your needs are, Great Speech has got you covered. to get matched with your speech pathologist, and begin your online program today!
Speech Treatment For Parkinson’s Patients
Adults with Parkinsons are invited to take part in a free speech therapy program that improves voice volume and quality of speech.
The ASU Speech and Hearing Clinic is partnering with The Parkinson Voice Project to offer a specially developed two-part therapy program called SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd®. This program emphasizes speaking louder and with intent, techniques that can help adults with Parkinsons be more easily understood while also improving their physical health since a weak voice can lead to serious speech and swallowing issues.
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Tips For Coping With Speech Difficulties
- Exercise your voice by reading out loud or singing every day.
- Drink enough water, avoiding shouting and rest your voice when it is tired.
- Train your voice like an actorsit and stand with good posture, do exercises for articulation, breathing and projecting the voice.
- Get feedback from friends and family members about how others perceive your speech develop a cue or code word you can use in public to make you focus on speaking clearly.
- If you have soft speech, use tools such as a voice amplifier , placed on your shirt, and on the telephone . Ask an occupational therapist about other tools.
- Make eye contact with the person to whom you are speaking.
- Reduce background noise.
- Socialize in small groups or one-on-one.
- If you experience a facial masking, use feeling words to communicate your emotions . Use practice physical gestures to help convey emotions.
- Determine which times of day your speech is best. Plan social engagements around those times.
Even in the early stages of PD, many report that their voices are too soft, causing others to ask them to repeat themselves. Other people with PD may have a gruff or hoarse quality to their voice. Try these strategies:
Page reviewed by Dr. Chauncey Spears, Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of Florida, a Parkinsons Foundation Center of Excellence.
For more insights on this topic, listen to our podcast episodeImportance of Early Detection of Swallowing Disturbances or download our Speech and Swallowing book.
Q: Do You Advise Someone Who Has An Aac Device To Continue Speech Therapy
A: This is a great question for the doctor and the SLP who are working with the individual. The SLP can be instrumental in making recommendations on incorporating the AAC device into daily communication. In addition, they can make recommendations on energy conservation and ways to continue to use the speech that is preserved.
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What Devices Can Help Speech For Those With Parkinsons Disease
Heres a sample of the devices that are available to help people with Parkinsons disease communicate more clearly.
Palatal lift. A dental apparatus that is similar to a retainer. It lifts the soft palate and stops air from escaping out of the nose during speech.
Amplification. A personal amplifier can be used to increase the volume of the voice. The amplifier also decreases voice fatigue.
TTY telephone relay system. A telephone equipped with a keyboard so speech can be typed and read by a relay operator to the listener. Either the whole message can be typed or just the words that are not understood can be typed.
Low technology devices. Notebooks and language boards can be used as alternative communication techniques.
High technology electronic speech enhancers, communication devices. Computers with voice synthesizers and dedicated communication devices are available.
If you are interested in purchasing an electronic communication aid discuss this with your speech therapist before contacting sales representatives for these devices.
Speak Up For Parkinson’s
This free app allows the patient/client to video-record themselves saying words or phrases, reading aloud or having a conversation. It has a volume target zone which turns green when the person is loud enough to reach it. The downside of this app is that you really do have to speak very loud to reach the green target zone. However, it is good for encouraging increased vocal effort and the video-recording can be used for client feedback on articulation, intelligibility and facial movement.
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Device To Help People With Parkinson’s Disease Communicate Better Now Available
George Patrick discusses the SpeechVive device with Jessica Huber, associate professor in Purdue’s Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, and developer of the device. The device helps people with Parkinsons disease communicate more effectively. Patrick has been using the device since 2011, and it is now available on the market through health care providers and for demonstration at many of the National Parkinson’s Centers of Excellence across the United States
LAFAYETTE, Ind. SpeechVive Inc. announced Wednesday the commercial launch of the SpeechVive device intended to help people with a soft voice due to Parkinson’s disease speak more loudly and communicate more effectively.
The device is now available to try as a demo through the National Parkinson’s Disease Foundations Centers of Excellence prior to purchasing. People who suffer from a soft voice due to Parkinson’s disease can make an appointment at any of these centers: the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina Struthers Parkinsons Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Baylor College of Medicine, Waco, Texas.
The SpeechVive device also is available to try at the M.D. Steer Speech and Hearing Clinic at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
For more information, call 800-392-3309 or visit the SpeechVive website at www.speechvive.com.
Use Thick Pens To Write
When a person has Parkinsons disease, he/she faces movement disorder of the nervous system. When you try to speak or write something, hands, and mouth shiver, respectively, this is the reason that Parkinsons patients often lose their confidence which worsens the symptoms.
While writing with a thin pencil or pen, they cannot write properly because of the shivering. Therefore, it is recommended to write with a pen or pencil that has a thick grip. A pen with a thick grip is easier to handle, and there are good chances of conveying your message. .
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