SPEAK OUT!® for Parkinson’s Disease
In the United States, there are nearly one million people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and it’s estimated that over 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year.
It is a disorder that affects the nervous system and, over time, affects the movement and overall motor function of those who suffer with the condition. There are several stages of the disorder and it can start with a few slight symptoms, such as one’s face showing little to no expression, limb rigidity, and gait and balance issues.
But, there are also several other non-motor symptoms which affect patients, as well. These include issues such as depression, sleep behavior disorders, loss of smell, and cognitive impairment.
However, every case is unique, and as such, each person faces their own unique challenges in dealing with the disorder.
What Causes Parkinson’s?
Overall, the specific cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. There are a few factors, however, which have been known to correlate to many patients currently suffering from the disorder.
These factors tend to boil down to issues like genetics and environmental triggers — such as exposure to certain toxins and chemicals, but these factors are relatively small risk factors.
The mystery surrounding Parkinson’s is one of the biggest reasons that research into this disease is so important. The better we know the disease, the more likely we are to find better treatments.
SPEAK OUT!® For Those With Trouble Communicating
Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there are many options for treatment that can greatly improve symptoms and allow for maximizing a patient’s ability to live their life to the fullest. There are many ways in which Speech-Language Pathology can provide help to deal with some of the common issues that patients encounter in regards to dealing with their condition.
Often times, one of the more frequent symptoms to show up is an inability for a patient suffering with Parkinson’s to be heard or understood. What starts happening in this circumstance is that the neuropathways that people normally use to speak are impaired. As such, it’s important for the patient to learn how to make use of another system, called the pyramidal system, to speak with intention.
One of the services we provide at Chandler Speech involves SPEAK OUT!®, a program of therapy developed by the Parkinson Voice Project. In this therapy, there is a sequence of 12 visits. These visits are 45 minute sessions held three times per week for four weeks.
In each session, the Speech-language Pathologist, or SLP, through a series of cognitive, voice, and speech exercises lined out in a specific workbook that will help the patient develop better patterns of speech.
Is This For Everyone?
In short, there is no specific treatment for “everyone.” Each circumstance and course of treatment is unique. As such, it’s important for someone suffering from the condition to meet with their healthcare provider to determine what regimen will work best for them.
There are many options involved in helping to adapt someone’s behaviors to address their symptoms. But it is imperative to do so under the supervision of qualified SLP professionals.
If you would like to know more about how SPEAK OUT!® could work for you and to schedule a consultation, please click the link below to get in touch and find out what options are available for your unique circumstance.
If you have any questions about how this can help you, please make sure and contact us today to find more information.