Group Speech Therapy Sessions
||First and Third Wednesdays: 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Second and Fourth Wednesdays: 1:30 pm to 2:30pm
Columbus Speech and Hearing Clinic
510 East North Broadway
Columbus, OH 43214
||Mimi Gelacek, PhD Speech Therapist
Oral communication is vital for self-expression, employment and maintaining social relationships. Disordered communication is prevalent (89%) in the nearly seven million individuals worldwide with Parkinson’s disease. Limitations to communication with PD may include soft voice, monotone delivery of speech, breathiness, hoarse voice, imprecise articulation, hesitant, dysfluent speech as well as reduced facial expression (masked faces). The speech symptoms are collectively termed hypokinetic dysarthria. Voice problems typically occur first, with other problems, as prosody, articulation and fluency appearing as the disease progresses.
Group speech therapy sessions are offered free of charge by the National Parkinson Foundation Central & Southeast Ohio; these are conducted at the Columbus Speech & Hearing Center on the first through fourth Wednesdays of each month. Individuals with PD, along with spouses or caregivers, are encouraged to attend any or all of these weekly sessions. Individuals with PD learn effective techniques for improving communication and are given exercises for daily practice so that communication skills may be maintained.
Those attending speech therapy group sessions practice exercises designed to:
· Increase vocal loudness
· Improve control of respiration for speaking
· Increase oral motor control and clarity of articulation
· Enhance memory and cognitive skills
· Maintain conversational skills and social relationships
Most people realize an improvement in their speech and voice during the one-hour session. The classes are beneficial for all PD patients seeking to improve or maintain communication skills. They also provide excellent follow-up for those who have attended an LSVT program.