When I suggest the Speak Up for Parkinson’s app to my patients for use at home, they always tell me: “I love that app!” Who can blame them? I love it too, and here’s why:
Speak Up For Parkinson’s app embodies many of the things that individuals with Parkinson’s need to incorporate into daily voice practice, including:
- Everyday functional phrases
- Audio and visual feedback
- A target for loudness
The app will even send push notifications reminding you to practice daily.
The feature I like most about the app, and one I use even with my non-Parkinson’s patients, is the audio-visual feedback. Audio-visual feedback is critical, I believe, for anyone wanting to change or improve some aspect of speech and voice production. When seeing oneself, it provides an opportunity for self-analysis, setting goals and targets. For some patients it’s the first time that they see and hear themselves the way other people hear them.
For patients who falter with independent practice, because they don’t know what to practice, the app provides a variety of common functional phrases. And for those who prefer to personalize their practice, they can read any phrases or text of their own, role play, use it while talking on the phone, basically anyway they choose in order to get realistic feedback regarding speech production.
A perceptual-sensori disconnect is thought to be related to why people with Parkinson’s often misjudge their own level of loudness, and this mis-match can be improved by direct feedback. When patients SEE and HEAR themselves it can often be the first time they realize what their spouse or others have been telling them.
Are you old enough to remember when phone answering machines first began to be used? People would often say: “do I sound like that?” Then, when video cameras came around and people could hear and see themselves, the response was often even more daunting: “wow, I look like that?” So, to some degree, we all have a sensori-perceptual disconnect that makes it hard for us to see or hear ourselves the way others do.
One of the nice things about a computer/tablet assisted program, is that the device doesn’t judge you. You can perform a task 10 times or 110 times, and the tablet, like your loyal servant just keeps delivering the practice to you. YOU and only YOU become the judge of how you want other people to see and hear you.
The Speak Up for Parkinson’s app is only available for ipads, but I hope that will change in the future and it will be available for android devices as well. If you use and like the app, why not give a shout out to the Northwest Parkinson’s Association and thank them for their generosity in making this app available at no charge.
Need more home practice? The Voice Aerobics® family of products were developed to help people with Parkinson’s and related diagnosis practice before, during, and after speech therapy.
Voice Aerobics® DVD, Hi-VOLT® 4 PD, and The Breather respiratory muscle trainer put the power of speech and voice practice in your hands. Visit our website to learn more and share our website with someone who could benefit: https://voiceaerobicsdvd.com/
My MissionTo enlist individuals in their treatment, and help them express their personality & spirit through voice. To educate and empower. Mary Spremulli, MA, CCC-SLP * FiTOUR® Group Exercise Instructor * Voice Aerobics® A Whole Body Approach to Voice Practice