By Jodi Knight, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Therapist at Southwest Health
Can you repeat that? What did you say? I can’t understand what you’re saying. If you have Parkinson’s disease you have probably heard these phrases at least a hundred times. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurological disease. In simpler terms, this means that there are changes in the brain that will worsen over time. Symptoms may include tremor, difficulty moving, swallowing problems and impaired speech. But don’t despair. There are many treatment options available including medication, surgery, physical, occupational and speech therapy that can lessen the symptoms. Parkinson’s disease affects both men and women as young as 40 and far beyond. People may still be working, raising a family, doing volunteer work or singing in the church choir when symptoms arise. Often, people with Parkinson’s develop a quiet, monotone or hoarse-sounding voice with rapid rushes of speech which is difficult for others to understand.
What happens when people can no longer hear or understand you? They stop listening! Most people with Parkinson’s just stop talking because it is extremely frustrating and embarrassing to be unable to communicate effectively. What if I told you that there is a program available to improve speech in Parkinson’s disease? It’s called the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment-LOUD program (LSVT-LOUD) and is specifically designed for Parkinson’s disease and other motor speech disorders. LSVT-LOUD is the Gold Standard in voice treatment with effects lasting longer than any other therapy technique. It is an exercise program that retrains your voice back to a normal quality and volume. No more whispering! No more repeating yourself! No more heartache!
This can be a life changing program. And we now offer LSVT LOUD in the rehabilitation centers at both our Southwest Health hospital campus in Platteville and at Epione Pavilion in Cuba City. You can receive hands-on training with our speech therapist, Jodi Knight, who will work with you to get your voice (and your life) back. There is no expensive equipment or yearlong membership. It’s just your voice in 30 days.
Can you imagine? In just 30 days you could change how your brain functions, slow disease progression and get your voice back. Whether you were diagnosed yesterday or 20 years ago, LSVT-LOUD can transform your voice and your life. Talk with your family practitioner or call Southwest Health’s Speech Therapy department at 608-342-4748 for more information.