Speech / Voice Therapy and Exercises

As Parkinson's progresses, the person with PD may become harder to understand.  Their voice often becomes softer (hypophonia) or hoarse. Their face may become more “masked” or expressionless. Their voice may sound monotone or have less inflection. They may speak faster (festinating speech), mumble, or repeat words or phrases (cluttering or palilalia). Together these symptoms are known as hypokinetic dysarthria.

Speech/language pathologists, also called speech therapists, are specialists in communication disorders. They can help those with Parkinson's compensate for these changes. They can also help with swallowing issues.  Many speech therapists combine speech, voice, and cognitive exercises to also compensate for slowed thinking and attention issues.

Finding A Speech Therapist in Northern California

If you live in Northern California, contact the APDA Information & Referral Center at Stanford for a referral to a speech/language pathologist near you. Many of these speech therapists have experience treating those with Parkinson's.

If You Don't Use It, You Lose It!

For those with Parkinson's disease (PD) exercise is as important as medications, and that includes exercise of the muscles that control speech.  Along with our lists of live online exercise classes and PD exercise videos, this page lists speech/voice exercises to do at-home.


Speech Therapy Resources |Live Speech/Voice Classes| Live Speech/Voice with Video Archives | Speech/Voice Exercise Videos | DVDs and Post Speech Therapy Maintenance Programs


Speech Therapy Resources

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)

LSVT-LOUD is an intensive behavioral treatment program that requires sixteen therapy sessions in one month with a trained speech therapist. The primary goal is to help improve vocal loudness. As a result of therapy, improvements in speech clarity and breathing are often seen. DVDs are also sold for at-home treatment.


Parkinson Voice Project

This nonprofit offers SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd® therapy programs. Treatment begins with a speech evaluation, followed by Parkinson's information sessions and SPEAK OUT!® training with six weeks of follow up. Participants graduate to the LOUD Crowd® Facebook Live speech practice sessions for daily home practice, speech and singing groups, or SPEAK OUT!® refresher courses.


Live Speech/Voice Classes

Houston Area Parkinson Society Online Speech Classes

By Houston Area Parkinson Society

Cost: Free

Classes: speech, speech and exercise

Class Times (PT):

  • Monday: noon (speech and exercise)
  • Tuesday: 11:45am (speech), 2:45pm (speech and exercise)
  • Thursday: 8:30am (speech)


Duration: 60 minutes (speech), 90 minutes (speech and exercise)

On the calendar, click on the class you want to join to get the link to join the class.


Let's Talk Loud Group Voice Therapy

By Impact Parkinson's (Westminster, BC)

Cost: $120 / 6 classes (2x week),
$30 / 30-min. virtual assessment for new clients,
$125/hr. 1:1 sessions (min. 5, max. 8)

Classes: virtual group voice therapy

Class Times (PT):

  • Wednesday: 1pm
  • Friday: 1pm
     

Duration: 60 minutes

Register by email to info@impactparkinsons.com or call 604-525-2631.


Sing Loud for PD

By Stony Brook Southampton Hospital (Southampton, NY)

Cost: Free

Class: Sing Loud

Class times (PT):

  • Wednesday: 12:30pm (Sing Loud)
     

A chorus for people living with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners. No previous musical experience is required and all lyrics will be provided! 

Note classes run in 6 week sessions with breaks in between.  Join for one class or a whole session.  Registration is limited.  Contact Sarah Cohen for class information or register online here.


Zoom Voice Group for PwP

By Santa Cruz Parkinson's Community Support Group

Cost: $60 / 6 weeks (EASE PD Newsletter discount is $30 off)

Class: voice exercise

Class times (PT):

  • Monday: 11am


Duration: 60 minutes

Classes run in 6 week sessions with a break in between.  Class size is limited.  Registrants must commit to all 6 weeks.  You can register for the class with the instructor, speech language therapist, Jocelyn Lagier, on her website, by phone (831-607-9520), or by using this form and mail her a check for tuition.


Live Speech/Voice Classes with Video Archives

Parkinson Place Online Voice Classes

By Parkinson Place (Sarasota, FL)

Cost: Free for those with Parkinson's

Classes:  singing, Say it Loud & Clear

Class times (PT): 

  • Monday: 7:30am (singing)
  • Tuesday: 7am (Say it Loud & Clear)
     

A couple Loud & Clear classes are available to watch here.


PFNCA Online Wellness Speech and Choir for Parkinson's

By Parkinson's Foundation of the National Capital Area (Silver Spring, MD)

Cost: $35/year (unlimited classes)

Classes: Communication Club, choir, social hour

Class Time (PT):

  • Monday: noon
  • Tuesday: 11am
  • Wednesday: 8am (choir), noon (Communication Club), 1pm (social hour)
  • Thursday: 11:30am
  • Friday: 11:15am


Register once and join unlimited classes for a year.

Some classes are recorded and can be watched here.


Power For Parkinson's Live Stream Vocal Class

By Power For Parkinson's (Austin, TX)

Cost: Free

Classes: vocal strength

Class times (PT):

  • Wednesday: 11am


Duration: about an hour

Classes are recorded and can be watched here.


Speech/Voice Exercise Videos

Come Together Choir

Publisher: Neuro Challenge Foundation For Parkinson's and Key Chorale (Sarasota, FL)

Several 1-hour choral rehearsal videos of the Off Key Chorale, a  Parkinson's and Parkinson's care partners choir.  In this series the choir is learning 11 songs from the folk music era of the 50s and 60s.  Each video begins with 15-20 mins. of easy stretching, breathing, and diction exercises.

Register for free to receive copies of either the lyrics or music via email.  Print your copies or view them from a device and sing along.


Dual Task Training For Parkinson

Publisher: Triad Solutions, Inc. (Colorado)

Dual Task Training is combining speech therapy with physical movement and cognitive tasks.  It has been shown to be the most comprehensive and fun type of speech therapy.  This page has seven short dual task exercise videos plus one video of aquatic dual task training. 


Keep On Moving, Exercises to do at Home

Publisher: Keep It On

Number five on this page of short exercise videos is an eight-minute breath and voice exercise video to enhance breathing, voice loudness and articulation.


Parkinson's Voice Project Practice Videos

Published by Parkinson Voice Project (Richardson, TX)

Four Speak Out! practice videos, each with a different Parkinson's Voice Project speech language pathologist (SLP).

Twenty recorded practice sessions with SLP Samantha Elandary.


DVDs and Post Speech Therapy Maintenance Programs

Get LOUD! Stay LOUD!

By Get LOUD! Stay LOUD!

Cost: $34.99/month or $349.99/year, first month free

Online post speech therapy maintenance with a speech language pathologist (SLP) trained in either LSVT LOUD or Speak OUT!  

Includes 15+ voice practice sessions per week as well as facial exercises, articulation practice, and more.


LSVT LOUD Homework Helper

Publisher: LSVT Global, Inc.  Cost: $28 for DVD or download; $15/year streaming

Speech exercises for people with Parkinson's Disease and other neurological conditions. Available in English and Cantonese.


Voice Aerobics Post-Therapy Strengthening Program

By Voice Aerobics (Punta Gorda, FL)

A whole-body voice strengthening program, designed to serve as post speech therapy maintenance, developed by speech language pathologist Mary Spemulli.

Mary has made the program available on DVD and added fun speech practice tools, a speech volume reinforcement tool, and more.  She also offers speech therapy and coaching via Zoom.  (Telemedicine rates start at $40/30 minutes)

Before purchasing any products it is a good idea to watch her video, Speech Therapy and Beyond for Parkinson's Disease, in which she explains who benefits from speech therapy and the most effective speech therapy programs for those with PD.


Last updated November 2020 by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach