Program Notes: Speech and Swallowing Issues

Last updated on May 17, 2024.

Speech and Swallowing Issues
Guest Speaker: Ariana Hanson, Speech Therapist, Presbyterian Hospital. Ariana will describe the speech and swallowing challenges common to people with PD; how to get involved with classes, contact info, and Q&A.

Ariana Hansen was unable to join us. We hope reschedule Arianna soon.

In her place, Cynthia Simonetti stepped up. Here are some highlights from her talk:

  • 90,000 people will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2023 alone.
  • 95% of people with Parkinson’s experience problems with swallowing.
  • Only 3-4% of the Parkinson’s people use a speech pathologist.
  • Speech therapy is covered by Medicare.  You will need a referral from your doctor.
  • Here are the signs that you may benefit from a speech pathologist:
    • Your voice has gotten quieter
    • Your voice stutters
    • Your voice level drops at end of sentence
    • Weight loss
  • The brain has the ability to change
    • Repetition matters
    • Salience matters
    • Specificity matters
    • Use it or lose it/Use it or improve it

If you are interested in contacting Cynthia, here is her contact information:   E-Mail:     Another speech therapy contact is:  .