Parkinson’s disease occurs when there is a problem with certain nerve cells of the brain. As a result of the problem nerve cells break down. This problem mainly affects the way a person moves. But along with that it affects others functions of the body too. These include difficulty in speaking, which is called Dysarthria. It also leads to difficulty in swallowing which is known as Dysphagia. It has been observed that with Speech Therapy the problem of communication as a result of Parkinson’s disease can be treated. In this blog we will try to make you aware about the way the Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) can help a person suffering from the condition.
Who is a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP)?
Speech Language Pathologist (SLPs) or Speech Therapists are professionals who specialize in treatment of Speech and language problems. There may be various types of speech and language disorders that a person may be suffering from. These include apraxia, stuttering, misarticulation, late speaking and voice disorder. The SLP through speech therapy tries to treat and rectify the disorder.
Speech Therapy to treat Speech disorders resulting from Parkinson’s disease
The SLP can also help in treating the speech disorder caused due to Parkinson’s disease. A speech therapist or SLP, in such cases, has to teach the ways to conserve energy and air in the lungs for speaking loudly enough for one to be audible. They can also help the patient with the development of non verbal communication skills. All these will help the patient in carrying the daily activities. The SLP can also evaluate the swallowing function and recommend the changes are necessary.
Few basic tips which can help
- If you are suffering from the disease then you can choose in an environment which is less noisy when you want to speak. If you try to speak when the television or music system is on, it may be very tiring for you to speak over them.
- You must try to speak slowly and use short phrases instead of long sentences, which may confuse you at the time of speaking.
- You should make certain that the listener looks at your face while you are speaking. This will ensure better communication with the listener.
- In case you need to converse over a long period of time, you must ensure that you are seated in a posture comfortable to you that would provide you with the support necessary.
- You have plan periods of sufficient rest before you are to speak for long periods. Speaking fatigue owing to Parkinson’s disease adversely affects your speaking ability. So resting will help you to conserve your energy.
- You must consult a reliable SLP or Speech Therapist to guide you with the right facial and voice exercises necessary for you. Thereafter you must do them as recommended. Exercises will loosen up those tight speaking muscles and make them more useful than they are now. This will significantly improve your speaking ability.
- In case you find that people are finding it difficult to follow what you are speaking regularly, then always carry a pad and a pen so that you can express certain terms by writing on them.
The role of a competent SLP is critical in any speech disorder. Speechplus is a leading speech therapy clinic in Kolkata. We have an expert team of SLPs who can help you to treat any speech disorders. For further details visit our website.