Just as Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects movements in other parts of the body, it can affect muscles of the face, mouth, and throat, leading to problems with speech and swallowing. People with PD may experience voice problems during the course of their disease. The problems tend to increase as the disease progresses but may occur at any stage. Speech is one way we communicate and stay socially engaged, but facial expressions and gestures also convey meaning and intent. Thus, PD can hamper communication in multiple ways. Some signs of voice problems include feedback that you are speaking too quickly or slowly, being told that companions cannot hear or understand you clearly or having to strain to speak loudly enough to be heard. Darla Freeman is a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Florida Center for Voice and Swallowing in Tampa with special interests in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of voice disorders. In this podcast, she discusses voice problems in PD, some methods to alleviate them, and overall communication.
- Speech and Swallowing: A Body Guide to Parkinson’s Disease (book)
- “The Expert Care Experience: Speech, Swallowing and Parkinson’s” (blog)
- Expert Briefings: Improving Communication in PD: One Voice, Many Listeners (webinar)
- Expert Briefings: What’s Missing? Communication and the PD Partnership (webinar)
About This Episode
Released: June 4, 2019
Darla Freeman, MA, CCC-SLP
Darla Freeman is a licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist at the Florida Center for Voice and Swallowing where she specializes in the evaluation and treatment of voice and swallowing disorders. She received her B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from the Ohio State University. Ms. Freeman is Lee Silverman Voice Therapy® (LSVT-LOUD) certified, trained in the use of the Speechvive device and trained in the Speak Out® program for Parkinson’s. From 2001-2016 she served as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Florida (USF). While at USF she initiated collaboration with the Movement Disorders Center for Excellence by providing speech, voice and swallowing screenings, training and education for patients with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. Ms. Freeman is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) including their special interest division group for voice and airway disorders. Darla serves on the executive board for the Tampa Bay Medical Speech Pathology Association and is founder (2016) of the Tremble Clefs choir of Tampa, FL. Accepted by Northwestern University Ms. Freeman is currently seeking her clinical doctorate in speech-language pathology.
For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.