by Linda L. Ganz, M.S. CCC-SLP
Today I would like to explore with you how Parkinson affects speech and voice and what can be done to make your voice alive again. Researchers identified the 5 most common speech problems in Parkinson as: rapid speech, mumbled words, pauses when talking, short rushes of speech and getting stuck on sounds repetitively while talking to say a word. Virtually every person with Parkinson (89%) will have a speech problem that will diminish the quality of life. Some signs that this could be happening to you are: avoiding using the telephone, frequent throat clearing, people leaning in close to you while you talk, or if a loved one says “what?” often. The most common voice problem reported by Parkinson people are a weak voice and garbled speech.
We believe Parkinson folks can improve their voices and can feel alive again with some speech therapy because science has proven it and we are doing it! We hear their voices “come alive” day after day at Vegas Voice Institute. The standard speech therapy is LSVT LOUD and entails speech therapy 4 times a week for 4-5 weeks with daily homework practice. Here are some examples of people who came to us with speech affected by Parkinsonism.