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How we help people with Parkinson's disease

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) is one option to treat Parkinson's disease (PD) and addresses these issues for improved communication. LSVT is an innovative voice therapy approach that is effective for treating the decreased volume, mumbled and monotone speech, and hoarse voice in people with PD.

Please know that there is hope! In the years we’ve worked with the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT), we’ve seen numerous success stories – even in cases where the voice was virtually gone. LSVT is an innovative, evidence-based voice therapy approach that effectively treats the decreased volume, mumbled and monotone speech, and hoarse voice in Parkinson’s patients. The technique has also demonstrated significant improvements with clients affected by stroke, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy.

This intensive therapy requires attending four sessions per week for four weeks. During that time, the patient learns to recalibrate their sense of what their normal speaking voice sounds like, by habitually reminding themselves to speak louder and to exaggerate enunciation. As a result, the voice they produce through their weakened vocal folds is actually closer to its pre-Parkinson’s state! While this may seem simple, this intensive therapy helps to reprogram the brain so that we get used to speaking with more volume and clearer articulation. This rigorous workout can not only stop voice degradation, it can improve it – with lasting results. It is shown to actually strengthen the vocal folds!

 After the LSVT is completed, we can see gains in other areas typically affected by Parkinson’s, including livelier facial expressions. Communication can become enjoyable once again. We have found this treatment to be incredibly helpful to patients, who can again express themselves and be understood by their loved ones. One of our patients enrolled in this treatment specifically because he wanted to be able to tell his wife he loved her once again. Talk about using your words wisely!

Additionally, we also offer cognitive-communication treatment to address and compensate for PD related changes in memory and attention as they impact safety, quality of life, and relationships.

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How we help people with Parkinson's disease
Qualified therapists

Our dedicated team of speech-language pathologists are specially trained in speech therapy as it relates to cognitive-communication issues (how you listen, process, focus, remember, and communicate). We are also nationally certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, are nationally recognized by the Brain Injury Association of America and are Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS). We are licensed to practice in both North Dakota and Minnesota. We believe every patient deserves the best treatment and support we can offer in every single contact and interaction with us.
 

Individual approach

We recognize that no two people have the same needs and that everyone has different learning styles. That’s why we like to call our approach “the Progressive way,” which means we will happily customize treatment plans to meet the unique needs of the individual and their family. We also believe in “the right fit” between patient and therapist, so will make every effort to match you with a clinician who connects with you, understands you, and utilizes a therapy style that is comfortable for you.

We are here to help

Depending on the goals you wish to accomplish and the learning pace that is most comfortable for you, we will arm you with the evidence-based strategies, proven skills and ample support you need to feel more organized, prepared and effective. Therapy strategies may range from recommendations for specific tools (such as timers or planners), one-on-one brainstorming and problem-solving to address concerns, therapeutic activities as well as computer trials or worksheets to help strengthen cognitive and executive functions like attention, memory, and planning.
 

Coaching with compassion

We know that working on cognitive-communication issues is hard work and that it can be easy to feel defeated or overwhelmed by the challenges of building a more efficient brain. However, you will not be in this alone. We are not just speech-language pathologists; we are fellow human beings who care about you, your journey, and your success. We don’t want an appointment to feel like you’ve been sent to the principal’s office. Instead, you’ll find a comfortable space where you’ll feel listened to and understood. And because humor makes everything more bearable, be prepared to laugh and joke a bit too!