How LSVT LOUD® Can Help With Parkinson’s
When it comes to Parkinson’s, it can be a real struggle. There are so many things going on in the body, it can feel very overwhelming. If you or a loved one has been dealing with it for a time, even more so. Sometimes, it can feel like everything is just crumbling away.
Parkinson’s, at its root, is a disorder that affects the nervous system, meaning there are many different facets to treat. As it develops, it can become more and more debilitating with time.
Just remember that everyone’s condition is different, and reveals itself in different ways. Be careful when reading articles online, as all that can be put on the internet is general information. Only your doctor and a qualified medical team can determine what your condition is.
That being said, it can be helpful to know what to look for so that you can have an informed conversation with your healthcare team. Then, you can get referred to Speech-Language Pathology services should the condition warrant.
How Speech-Language Pathology Can Help
When it comes to those suffering from Parkinson’s, there are several adaptive therapy methods that can really make a difference. Remember that there is no cure for Parkinson’s, and the cause is still largely unknown. But strategies to address the symptoms can have a dramatic effect on a patient’s quality of life.
One of the biggest areas that a patient might struggle with is basic speaking. Dysarthria, or the medical term for having difficulty in speaking, is fairly common in the early stages. Often times, those suffering with the condition struggle to make themselves heard in common conversation.
Parkinson’s is a disease of the extrapyramidal system, which controls involuntary actions. This is a system that people without the condition use in speech. We regulate certain aspects of how we speak without realizing it. With Parkinson’s, this is a compromised system, and as such, have to work on the pyramidal system to effectively bypass that involuntary system, and allow patients to speak with intent and confidence.
You see, with any form of dysarthria, it can be extremely difficult for the patient to make themselves heard. It comes from a number of places, but often deals with changing perception from having the condition.
LSVT LOUD® for Parkinson’s to Speak with Intention
Chandler Speech now offers LSVT LOUD® speech therapy to address specifically the challenges presented by dysarthria. As mentioned before, it can be extremely difficult for people suffering from the condition to make themselves heard and understood. So how does LSVT LOUD® work?
Just like an engine, practicing using the pyramidal system to speak with intention and clarity can be “revved up” with several exercises that are given during treatment. This therapy approach is rather intensive, and it’s essential to the therapy’s success that sessions are not skipped.
It consists of four sessions per week for four weeks. Each session lasts an hour long, and there are 10-15 minute homework sessions that are to be repeated every day. Although it’s very intensive, this is very much so by design.
By taking this practical approach, it reinforces every day what the patient needs to be developing in order to improve their quality of communication, and ultimately, their quality of life.
Although it seems very simple up front, it’s important to remember that this is a finely-tuned system that is there to also ensure that the patient doesn’t risk damaging their voice by being too forceful. And, overall, the goal is to make sure that the patient is learning to “re-calibrate” their perception of their own voice, with effective feedback from our trained team.
What Should I Do to Get Started with LSVT LOUD®?
First of all, you need to be evaluated by a proper medical professional to determine your condition. If you already have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s or something else that causes dysarthria, then you can absolutely reach out to us in order to find out if LSVT LOUD® is right for you.
The treatment is customized to the patient’s interests and the approach is individualized in order to maximize engagement and to have the highest rate of success possible.
Then, following the four weeks of treatment, there are various LOUD for LIFE® community groups that can help you continue your practice even after the therapy is completed. These groups are an amazing source of assistance and community to help get through common issues together.
So, if you have any questions about how LSVT LOUD® can work for you or a loved one, please contact us today!