Text Size Text Size:

Why do I need a speech therapist?


Why do I need a speech therapist?

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

Do you have a question you’d like one of our Parkinson’s experts to answer?

Complete the form below, and we’ll either add it to our video series queue, or we’ll respond directly.

Ask the Parkinson's Expert Your Question

  • If you are a care partner, family member or someone who is not living with Parkinson's, you may skip this question.
  • If you select no, your question will be anonymous.

2 Comments on “Why do I need a speech therapist?

    • Niall Jenkins

      November 5, 2019 at 8:48 am Reply

      I hadn’t considered that coughing on food or liquid could denote the need for speech therapy. I’ve noticed that in late, my son struggles to eat food when we eat together as a family, and also has difficulty in talking. I’ll look into contacting a speech therapist to get my son the help he needs.

      • Melani Dizon

        November 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm Reply

        Great Niall – Many doctors suggest working with a speech and language pathologist from the very beginning to be able to train those muscles over the long term so it doesn’t get to the point when it’s much more difficult to build them back up.

Leave a Comment About This Blog Post Below
Share Your Story Here »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


*Your comment will be published on our website. If you have a private question or comment, please email blog@dpf.org.