Overview of “Delivering group speech maintenance therapy via telerehabilitation to people with Parkinson’s disease: A pilot study”

There is very limited research in regards to group speech therapy via telehealth in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. I found this article in aiding my background and literature research in the topic.

The goal of this study was to see if telerehabilitation could be used to offer a group speech maintenance program, seen through eLoud and Proud, to patients with Parkinson’s disease. The method included eight people who have previously had LSVT LOUD were given treatment. The program, which lasted four weeks and consisted of two 90-minute sessions each week, focused on employing a “loud” voice in conversational and cognitively demanding activities. At three time points, data on sound pressure level (for sustained phonation, reading, and monologue tasks), maximum frequency range, maximum phonation duration, and impact of dysarthria on quality of life were collected. This include before treatment, immediately after treatment, and three months after treatment. At 3 months after the treatment, participants’ satisfaction with telerehabilitation was also measured. Significant gains were found in all three measures before treatment and were maintained for sustained phonation and reading activities at three months post-treatment, according to the findings. The remaining outcome measures revealed no significant differences. Telerehabilitation was generally well received by participants, who saw it as a viable alternative to traditional service delivery. To summarize, this research established the possibility of offering group speech maintenance therapy via telerehabilitation, as well as the ability of eLoud and Proud to enhance and maintain voice loudness in adults with Parkinson’s disease.

Bridging languages

Bridging languages by Barbra Kelly

It was interesting to read this article and learn about the benefits of signing language. Sign language is not only beneficial to the deaf community, it also has benefits for people with language deficits. Before reading this article I thought teaching a child sing language would be counterproductive as they’re going to rely on it. However, I quickly learned that sign language works as a transitional device into lexical development as it provides a way for children to refer to objects when they do not have the spoken language to refer to said objects. Thus, it can be said that sign language plays a facilitating role in early language development.

A child might feel frustrated if they’re trying to talk and he is only able to make vocalizations that cannot be understood. Signing provides the child with confidence and allows him to communicate while establishing connections in the brain that are necessary for spoken language. For example, in the article, Gail would say sounds that appeared to be attempts at speech but was often not understood, and was never able to say the correct word after a language model. However, on the first day that she was taught the sign for flower she was able to manually sign it, yet still not able to verbalize it. This positive communication experience works as a reinforcer to continued communication, whereas language modeling would have failed and caused her to possibly become more frustrated.