Why do I need a speech therapist?

Kathleen Donohue - Ask the Parkinson's Expert

Kathleen Donohue is a speech-language pathologist who works for Boulder Community Health’s Home Care Department. She’s been a speech therapist for 30 years and has been working with people with Parkinson’s for the past ten.

In this video, Kathleen answers the question: Why do I need a speech therapist? She talks about the type of work that speech therapists do and the different ways they can help you, not just with swallowing and speaking but also with issues related to cognition. She also poses questions to help you determine whether or not you would benefit from working with a speech therapist.

Questions to consider:

  1. Do you cough on food or liquid?
  2. Do you have any trouble swallowing your pills?
  3. Do you have any trouble managing your saliva?
  4. Do you drool?
  5. Do people often ask you to repeat yourself?
  6. Do you ever have difficulty saying what’s on your mind?
  7. Do you have trouble maintaining your train of thought?
  8. Do you wonder how your brain is working for you?
  9. Do you feel like you’re losing your thinking skills?
  10. Do you have trouble starting an action?
  11. Do you have trouble doing the necessary steps you need to do to get the job done?
  12. Do you have trouble remembering things that just recently happened?
  13. Do you have trouble stopping yourself and/or problem-solving if you’re going in the wrong direction?


The Parki’s Kook Atelier – Cooking with taste and function of Parkinson’s syndrome and swallowing and chewing problems
LSVT Big & Loud
How facial masking influences perception and relationships
Tips for more expressive communication for people with Parkinson’s

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