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SPEAK OUT! and LOUD Crowd Program

Parkinson’s Disease 

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the brain. The symptoms of PD vary from person to person and typically progress over the years. Some symptoms may include: tremor, muscle weakness and incoordination, difficulty with balance and mobility, difficulty with speech and swallowing, as well as a decline in cognition (memory) . Unfortunately, the cause of PD is still unknown and there is no known cure. However, there are a variety of treatment techniques ranging from medication, to surgeries, to therapy (speech, physical and/or occupational). 

Parkinson’s Disease and Speech Therapy 

Individuals living with PD may experience weakness in the muscles of their face and throat. This weakness may result in difficulty making speech sounds precisely and speaking with a loud enough voice. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) or speech therapist is specially trained in helping you improve your speech and voice production, in order to be understood more clearly. 

This weakness may also result in difficulty swallowing food or liquids. A speech therapist is specially trained in how to make swallowing safer and more effective for you. 

Cognitive decline may also impact an individual living with PD, due to the impaired brain activity. Again, speech therapists have special training to help you improve areas of cognition, such as memory, attention, and organization. 

PARKINSON VOICE PROJECT 

The Parkinson Voice Project is a nonprofit organization based out of Richardson, TX. The Parkinson Voice Project was founded by Samantha Elandry, a licensed SLP. After pursuing a career in speech therapy she began working with individuals living with PD. Samantha’s driving force behind The Parkinson Voice Project stemmed from her own personal experience with speech therapy, as well as the realization that there are limitations to obtaining affordable and easily accessible therapy. In an effort to improve her patients’ speech and swallowing, and indirectly improve their quality of life, Samantha created both The LOUD Crowd® and SPEAK OUT!® programs.

SPEAK OUT!® 

SPEAK OUT!® is a one on one speech therapy program designed to target “speaking with intent” throughout a variety of structured speech, voice, and cognitive exercises. SPEAK OUT!® was designed to be completed over 12 sessions, utilizing your own SPEAK OUT!® workbook, which is provided to you by The Parkinson Voice Project at no cost. Following completion of this program, patients then join The LOUD Crowd®. 

The LOUD Crowd®

The LOUD Crowd® consists of weekly group meetings designed to promote generalization and continued home practice of the SPEAK OUT!® program. This program further promotes a sense of support, as other individuals living with PD are also present during The LOUD Crowd® meetings. 

How Do I Begin? 

To begin receiving services please call the RiteCare Center at Georgia Southern University at 912-344-2735. A formal diagnosis of PD is required to participate in the program. 

Last updated: 7/12/2021