For the longest time,  I thought I just had terrible hearing and that no one could hear me speak. Or that I didn't speak loud enough. One of my best friends and I would joke all the time because we always misheard each other. Girl Talk just wasn't the same when you had to repeat yourself 3 times! Especially when it was some juicy workplace gossip! 

Most people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) will experience changes in speech, voice and swallowing at some point during the course of the disease. The same PD symptoms that occur in the muscles of the body like tremors, slow movement, and swallowing can occur in the muscles used to⁣speak and swallow. When my tremors are bad it affects my speech greatly. I usually can't speak at all. 

Language and cognition changes occur as well. They include: thinking abilities, how rapidly you process data (i.e. processing speed), focus/attention, word-finding, memory, and problem-solving can also influence communication your communication. That was another indicator for me. My speech became jumbled while teaching and my memory was terrible.


I just started experience swallowing issues for the last 6-9 months. I realized I need to be aware of what I'm doing while eating and drinking.  I can't continue to carry conversations while eating I have to be conscious of what I'm eating and how I'm chewing. Cutting smaller pieces, avoiding cheesy stringy foods, and spaghetti help. 

Communication also includes the use of body language, gestures, and voice. How your pitch changes to emphasize ideas, add humor and convey emotions. As an artist, the need to convey emotions is paramount. Problems communicating can lead to feelings of frustration, depression, and withdrawal. Learning how PD affects communication and what you can do about it can help you better cope with problems that you might experience. The Parkinsons Disease Foundation has a wealth of information in there PD Library.  Check out the link below to find out ways to help you with your communication.

Remember Self Care First  Xo

PD Library Speech & Communication

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