The SPEAK OUT! ® speech therapy program preserves the voices of individuals with Parkinson’s and related neurological disorders such as Essential Tremor, Lewy Body Dementia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Multiple System Atrophy.
When we speak, we don’t think about taking air into our lungs, contracting our diaphragm, or moving our vocal folds, tongue or lips; it all happens automatically. Dopamine facilitates automatic movements, however in Parkinson's there is a considerable loss of dopamine. With less dopamine, automatic movements are disrupted, which can contribute to speech and swallowing difficulties. When we speak with intent or deliberation, we are using a system in the brain that is less dependent on dopamine.
SPEAK OUT! ® typically consists of twelve individual speech therapy sessions, three sessions per week for four weeks, conducted “one on one” with a licensed speech-language pathologist trained by the Parkinson Voice Project. Together, the patient and the speech-language pathologist work their way through a series of speech, voice, and cognitive exercises. The goal of therapy is to strengthen the muscles used for speaking and swallowing and to teach patients how to speak with intent and deliberation.
In comparison to LSVT LOUD, SPEAK OUT! ® consists of 12 sessions instead of 16, exercises are organized in a complimentary workbook provided by the Parkinson Voice Project to assist with compliance at home, and SPEAK OUT! ® also addresses cognition.