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  • Writer's pictureEngage PT, OT, SLP Therapy and Wellness

Speak out with Intent!

Updated: May 9, 2023

I have Parkinson’s Disease. What can I do to improve or maintain my voice and swallowing?

Based on research completed with those living with Parkinson’s Disease, up to 89% of PD patients will experience difficulty communicating and up to 95% experience difficulty swallowing. In an effort to maintain or regain a strong voice and swallowing ability, it is optimal to begin speech therapy as soon as possible. Speaking with INTENT during SPEAK OUT! and LOUD Crowd speech therapy sessions has been shown to be effective in restoring and maintaining a strong voice.

What is SPEAK OUT! ?

SPEAK OUT! is a speech therapy program specifically designed to address the voice and swallowing challenges commonly experienced by people living with Parkinson’s Disease. SPEAK OUT! includes 12 individual speech therapy sessions, scheduled three times per week for four weeks. Participants learn to speak with INTENT, which has been shown to be effective for Parkinson’s patients to regain and maintain their voice and swallowing abilities.

How does SPEAK OUT Help?

During individual speech therapy sessions the patient and the speech-language pathologist work their way through a series of speech, voice, and cognitive exercises outlined in a comprehensive workbook. The program encourages patients to “speak with intent” in a confident and deliberate fashion. Intentional movements use the pyramidal system which is not affected by Parkinson’s disease. Speaking with intent bypasses the neuropathways impaired by Parkinson’s disease (extrapyramidal system) and results in a stronger, clearer voice. The practice tasks can also strengthen the muscles used in swallowing, lessening the risk of aspiration which is common with Parkinson’s disease. Those interested in this therapy – which is covered by insurance – must first get a script from their doctor for a speech evaluation.

What is LOUD Crowd?

LOUD Crowd is a speech therapy program delivered in a group format, one time per week, to continue to improve upon and maintain progress achieved in SPEAK OUT! LOUD Crowd has been proven to be a critical component in maintaining a strong, effective voice and safe swallowing. We offer a once a week Loud Crowd to help you keep speaking with intention!

When and Where can I Receive Services?

We offer SPEAK OUT both in person at our Engage Clinic in Syracuse and via telehealth. SPEAK OUT! sessions are scheduled individually, three days per week. It is important to be seen three days a week as the frequency of sessions has been shown to be a key to the success of this voice program. We also offer a weekly LOUD Crowd for our graduate!

Call Engage at 315-810-2423 to see how Speech Therapy can help you live your best life!

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