LSVT Speech Therapy

LSVT speech therapy

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, also known as LSVT speech therapy, is an evidence-based therapy approach that can be used to address speech and voice concerns. People with Parkinson’s Disease have been shown to benefit from taking part in intensive LSVT speech therapy programs. 

Keep on reading to learn more about what the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment is and where you can access it.

What is the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment?

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment was developed by an American Speech-Language Pathologist named Dr. Lorraine Ramig and was named after one of her patients who completed the first iteration of the program, Mrs. Lee Silverman. 

LSVT LOUD is a structured speech and voice treatment designed to address vocal loudness so that people with Parkinson’s can be heard and understood by those around them. As it involves working the muscles of speech, voice, breathing and swallowing, all these subsystems can benefit from this intensive program.

Hear from someone who has completed LSVT LOUD speech therapy treatment in this insightful video from LSVT Global.

Who Can Benefit from LSVT Speech Therapy?

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment is widely known as one of the most effective speech therapy treatments for people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and other neurological conditions like progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). 

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that causes a variety of symptoms, including changes to the way a person speaks. A person with Parkinson’s Disease can sometimes sound slurred, or like they are mumbling when they are talking. They could have a very quiet sounding voice, speak with a fast pace or have difficulties managing saliva and swallowing difficulties. These symptoms can have a big impact on a person’s daily life, making it difficult for them to be understood by friends, family members, and people out in public settings. 

Speech therapy for Parkinson’s often includes the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment because it addresses the unclear speech and low volume associated with the disease. People with Parkinson’s may not initially realise their speech and voice changes, making it difficult to understand why others are having such difficulties in hearing them. LSVT is a great Parkinson’s treatment because it helps to address this discrepancy between what the individual with Parkinson’s perceives their own speech to be like, and the actual volume of their everyday speech.

What is Involved in LSVT Speech Therapy?

LSVT speech therapy is an intensive treatment program involving 16 speech therapy sessions in a month. The sessions are targeted towards improving communication using evidence-based strategies that help the brain to adapt and change thanks to neuroplasticity. The intensive structure of the program involves both cognitive and skills-based training that brings about lasting change. 

A full LSVT LOUD speech therapy program will often include 4 sessions per week for 4 consecutive weeks with 10-15 minutes of ‘homework’ exercises to complete in between sessions – it’s intensive, but it is worth it! After completing the program, individuals with Parkinson’s are better able to recognise that their new, louder voices are within normal limits. The ultimate goal is for people to feel comfortable using their voice in this way so that they are more confident when speaking to others in a variety of settings and situations.

Speech therapy sessions can either be completed in-person or via telehealth. 

Where Can You Get LSVT Speech Therapy? 

Speech Pathologists need to be trained in the use of The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment protocol in order to provide this therapy. At Speak and Swallow, our Speech Pathologists have completed this professional development and are qualified to provide this intensive speech therapy option for clients with Parkinson’s disease.

LSVT speech therapy sessions can be conducted in-person at our Burpengary East clinic, at the client’s home (North Brisbane/Moreton Bay only) and online over telehealth. To find out more about our current availability and to book an appointment with one of our Speech Pathologists, complete our contact form here

If you are located in another area of Australia, or in another country, you can find your closest LSVT Certified Clinician by visiting the LSVT Global website.

We hope you’ve found this article about LSVT speech therapy helpful. For more insights into speech therapy treatments and managing conditions like Parkinson’s Disease, follow Speak & Swallow speech therapy on Instagram here

*Please note that the information shared in this article is general in nature and is not a suitable substitute to individualised advice. For personalised guidance please seek the support and recommendation from a registered Speech Pathologist. 

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