Here's a sample of the assistive devices that are available to help people with Parkinson's disease communicate more clearly (if they are available):
This is a dental apparatus that is similar to a retainer. It lifts the soft palate and stops air from escaping out of the nose during speech.
This is a personal amplifier that can be used to increase vocal loudness in soft-spoken people. The amplifier also decreases voice fatigue.
TTY telephone relay system
This is a telephone equipped with a keyboard so speech can be typed and read by a relay operator to the listener. Either the whole message can be typed or just the words that are not understood can be typed.
Notebooks and language boards can be used as alternative communication techniques.
High-technology electronic speech enhancers, communication devices
Computers with voice synthesizers and dedicated communication devices are available.
Patients who are interested in purchasing electronic communication aids should discuss this with a speech-language therapist before contacting sales representatives for these devices.
Here are some ways in which listeners can help people who have difficulty speaking and communicating:
- Talk to the person face-to-face only, and look at the person as he or she is speaking.
- Ask questions that require a "yes" or "no" answer.
- Repeat the part of the sentence that you understood. (For example, "You want me to go upstairs and get the what?")
- Ask the person to repeat what he or she said, or ask him or her to speak more slowly or spell out the words you did not understand.