Speak with confidence with our tips for Parkinson’s speech issues
Many people with Parkinson’s experience changes in their voice or speech. While not everyone experiences these symptoms, those who are affected can face difficulties communicating, potentially reducing social interactions. We have some excellent exercises to share with you to target vocal volume, intonation and clarity.
There are many ways Parkinson’s can affect speech. Symptoms can often include:
- Slurred speech
- The voice may get softer, breathy, or hoarse
- Speech may be mumbled or expressed rapidly
- The tone of the voice may become monotone, lacking the normal range
- Difficulty finding the right words, resulting in delayed speech
Speech therapy provides different techniques to strengthen the voice and help overcome such problems. This can have lasting changes in vocal behaviour. Designed by medical professionals, the Beats Medical speech exercises improve vocal volume, intonation and clarity. The app also provides real-time, visual feedback. To see how it can help, why not try our 14 day free trial!
Other speech therapies and exercises include:
Sing in a choir, in the car or in the shower! This allows you to practice breathing and vocal volume. Joining a choir is a great social opportunity and can lift your spirits as well as your voice! There are even some choirs developed specifically for people with Parkinson’s and other neurological communication problems.
Voice Aerobics is an exercise program for people with changes in speech due to Parkinson’s, stroke, or neurological problems. It focuses on breath support, posture and vocal function techniques to improve vocal performance. Voice Aerobics is available on DVD for use at home.
Knowing your voice is loud enough can help people with Parkinson’s to speak with confidence. The Beats Medical app provides speech and language therapies with real-time, visual feedback to indicate how well you are doing.
Get the family involved!
Because communication takes two, it’s just as important for family and friends to get involved in your therapy. Your family and friends can give feedback and ask for clarification to facilitate successful communication.
Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)
This is an evidence-based intensive treatment that teaches people with Parkinson’s how to speak with normal volume by thinking “LOUD.” The techniques used focus on maximizing vocal and respiratory functions. Similar components are featured in the Beats Medical app, for example the ‘Ahh’ exercise.
Parkinson’s Voice Project SPEAK OUT!® is a speech therapy program for people with Parkinson’s that combines speech, voice, and cognitive exercises. The program focuses on speaking with ‘intent.’ The treatment is provided in twelve 45-minute sessions along with daily home practice. Research shows the results can last up to a year.