Q: My husband has Parkinson’s disease, and he is starting to mumble. Other family
members and friends are noticing this too, but when we ask him to speak up, he says
we’re all hard of hearing. When he does speak up so we can hear him, he says he feels like he’s shouting. Help!

Heather L. Robinson, MA, CCC-SLP

Heather L. Robinson

A: Nearly 90% of individuals with Parkinson’s develop speech problems (hoarseness, soft voice, mumbling). Because of the Parkinson’s, your husband is getting “bad information” from his brain. When he speaks, and you hear it as too quiet, his brain tells him it sounds normal. So when asked to speak up, he “over-hears” himself, and then softens his speech. Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD), administered by an LSVTcertified speech pathologist, re-trains the required level of effort one needs to have a louder, stronger, clearer voice.