Introducing SPEAK OUT!
By: Jessica Bristol, Speech-Language Pathologist
April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month! What better time than now to announce that Aurora Speech Clinic is offering SPEAK OUT! and the LOUD Crowd – individual and group speech therapy for clients with Parkinson’s Disease and related movement disorders?!
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative condition that affects more than 100,000 Canadians. It is most often characterized by motor symptoms, including tremor, slowness and stiffness, impaired balance, and muscle rigidity. However, non-motor symptoms, such as depression, sensory changes and cognitive impairment, are also commonly reported. No two Parkinson’s journeys are identical; a more comprehensive list of non-motor symptoms can be found here.
In Parkinson’s Disease, dopamine, a chemical that carries signals throughout the brain, becomes depleted. Dopamine is vital to the brain’s extrapyramidal motor system, the system responsible for automatic muscle movements, like swinging your arms when you walk.
90% of individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease experience speech, voice and swallowing difficulties, which are, for simplicity’s sake, largely automatic.
Speech-language pathologists are registered health care professionals who identify, assess and treat communication and swallowing disorders, including those types of difficulties commonly seen in Parkinson’s Disease.
SPEAK OUT! is an engaging and evidence-based speech therapy program that focuses on living (and speaking!) with INTENT. According to Parkinson Voice Project, it helps clients to regain and retain their speech and communication skills while minimizing swallowing difficulties, converting speech from an automatic function to an intentional act. It canonly be provided by a speech-language pathologist who has received additional training and certification by Parkinson Voice Project, a US-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the communication skills of individuals with Parkinson’s Disease.
Services are offered in-clinic in Aurora or virtually throughout Ontario. We would be happy to forward additional information related to SPEAK OUT! and the LOUD Crowd or to answer any questions that you may have about therapy services for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Speak soon!
Sources: parkinson.ca, parkinsonvoiceproject.org