I recently participated in the “Science and Practice of BIG and LOUD: Empowering People with Parkinson’s disease” as part of the LSVT training and certification workshop in Palo Alto, California. These workshops trained both physical therapists and speech therapists from various states. My participation involved demonstrating the exercises for the physical therapist on the first day of the training. The next day, I participated with about 30 other Parkinson’s patients to receive a sampling of both types of training from the newly certified therapists. I found both programs to be, to borrow LSVT’s own description, empowering!
LSVT stands for Lee Silverman Voice Treatment. They are a non-profit dedicated to improving communication in individuals with neurological disorders, with a specialty in Parkinson disease. LSVT has been in existence for a number of years. Check out their website: www.lsvt.org.
The LSVT Big and Loud Program adds physical therapy to this already successful voice therapy. You can learn more at: www.gleecoinc.com.
One of my greatest fears with Parkinson’s is that I could lose my ability to communicate effectively. With the progression of the disease, our movements become slow and our voice becomes soft. The LSVT programs teach us to think and move BIG and to think and speak LOUD. I am already using the techniques that were taught to me in this brief sampler of the programs and I look forward to taking the full training programs sometime in the future.