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Parkinson's Voice Clinic

 

The Parkinson's Voice Clinic provides voice and cognitive therapy for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Specifically, the Parkinson's Voice Clinic utilizes the SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd® treatment programs developed by the Parkinson Voice Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Dallas, Texas.

Treatment Programs: SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd®

  • The SPEAK OUT!® program typically consists of 12 speech therapy sessions combined with daily home practice. Together with a student speech-language pathology clinician (under the supervision of licensed and credentialed speech-language pathologist), you will complete speech, voice and cognitive exercises using a workbook provided by the Parkinson Voice Project. SPEAK OUT!® emphasizes speaking with intent to convert speech from an automatic function to an intentional act. Upon completion of the SPEAK OUT!® program, you will transition to the LOUD Crowd® program. 
  • The LOUD Crowd® program provides accountability and education through weekly group sessions where SPEAK OUT!® exercises are performed and participants continue to practice speaking with intent. This maintenance program is ongoing and promotes camaraderie, providing an atmosphere of support and encouragement. 

Refresher courses are also a part of these programs. Six weeks following conclusion of the SPEAK OUT!® program, you will meet with your student speech-language pathology clinician to review your exercises and receive assistance with establishing a daily home practice (if needed). You will also discuss your transition to the LOUD Crowd® program to ensure your success. 

Continued evaluation - Six months after completing the SPEAK OUT® program (and every six months after), you will meet with the Parkinson's Voice Clinic student clinicians and supervising speech-language pathologist to evaluate your continued progress. If needed, you will have the opportunity to engage in speech therapy sessions. 


When is the Parkinson's Voice Clinic in session? 

Treatment occurs on an individual and a group basis with individual treatment occurring first. You will attend individual therapy three days a week for about four weeks before transitioning to group therapy, which you will attend one day a week. Group therapy is ongoing and will only pause for schedule semester and holiday breaks.

At this time, individual therapy is scheduled at 10-10:50 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and group therapy is scheduled at the same time on Mondays. 

Please contact Dr. Bonnie Slavych for more information. 

 

What is the cost of participating in the Parkinson's Voice Clinic?

There is currently no cost for the Parkinson's Voice Clinic or the materials, through funding provided by the Parkinson Voice Project. 

 

More About Parkinson's Disease

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that is associated with a reduction in dopamine, a chemical in the brain that facilitates transmission of signals between neurons. Reduced dopamine causes slowed movements, rigidity and tremor, all of which can negatively affect the voice.

How does Parkinson’s disease affect my ability to communicate?

If you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you can expect that your voice will become lower in volume as well as reduced in pitch range. This will not happen all at once, but will occur gradually and over time. Many individuals with Parkinson’s disease report that they don’t even realize the changes in their voice and only know of the differences because their family members and friends tell them.

What can I do to help my voice?

Voice therapy can facilitate the improvement and preservation of your voice. Through systematic practice, both in the Parkinson's Voice Clinic here at the Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders and at home, you will find that your voice is becoming louder and possibly gaining in pitch range.

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