Today is World Parkinson’s Day, a recognised day to raise awareness of Parkinson’s, grow a global Parkinson’s community, and get everyone talking on social media to spread the word, #UniteForParkinsons. Every hour, 2 people in the UK are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition, for which there is currently no cure. We aren’t yet sure exactly why people get it, but it affects around 145,000 people in the UK – that’s around 1 adult in every 350.
As a team, we work predominantly with children and young adults, however we also have therapists within the team who work with adults and have specialist training and experience of specific interventions. Our therapist, Joanne, is trained in LSVT LOUD® therapy and here she tells us about this type of intervention and what it involves……
“Most people with Parkinson’s disease notice an impact on their speech at some point, with loudness, intonation and voice quality all affected. All these aspects are tackled through the administration of LSVT LOUD® therapy, with evidence showing that improvements are maintained up to two years after treatment has been completed.
The treatment is delivered over 16 sessions over a single month and requires the individual to complete daily homework tasks as well as 4 therapy sessions each week. Although only a single goal, to speak “LOUD!” is targeted, there are knock on effects to all of the systems involved in speech. At the end of the therapy, the goal is for the person to have a healthy loudness, with no strain, that means that they are clear and confident again to speak in any environment.
A recent stint of delivering this therapy reminded me of why it’s such a pleasure to deliver. Not only does it have a robust evidence base and give results that last, but also because I never fail to learn something new in the process of delivering it. The intervention works by a ‘systematic hierarchy of exercises’, whereby the client begins with reading single words before progressing onto sentences, phrases and paragraphs. Each time the therapy is delivered, the reading material used is completely tailored to the client’s own interests and passions. My most recent client had a special interest in, and vast amount of knowledge of, all things historical and travel based, but in particular European history. I found it difficult to fathom the vast time span we travelled back through during the weeks, and each day I learned vocabulary and facts about the areas and eras that were completely knew to me. I have also updated my ‘travel goal list’ thanks to this client – and am looking forward to beginning my journey by visiting Burgundy later this year! The biggest perk, of course, was the result. Both the client and his wife commented that the therapy had been a great success and were thrilled with the results – the change was not only demonstrated objectively by the scientific readings given during each session, but also clear to hear both face to face and over the phone. Success all round!”
For more information or support about Parkinson’s disease, visit https://www.parkinsons.org.uk
LSVT LOUD is delivered by certified therapists only. To find a therapist in your area, follow this link: https://www.lsvtglobal.com/clinicians