Perspectives from Dr. Lorraine Ramig, LSVT Inventor, Principal Investigator and LSVT Global Co-Founder
These impressive data demonstrate the global impact of LSVT today, let’s briefly review how it all began.
‘If only we could hear and understand her.’ was the request of the family of Mrs. Lee Silverman when I first them. Mrs. Silverman had seen many excellent speech clinicians across the US, but at the time, there were no successful speech treatments for Parkinson’s disease (PD).
I came from the world of voice and looked at clients through ‘phonation glasses’. It was clear that Mrs. Silverman needed to increase loudness. After an impressive trial session of loudness stimulation, the outcome gave hope to the family and Mrs. Silverman.
Fast forward to development of the Lee Silverman Center for Parkinson disease in Scottsdale, Arizona. This was a month long daily multidisciplinary treatment center and included a speech clinic and lab. This is where Carolyn Mead Bonitati and I developed LSVT, treated Mrs. Silverman and collected the very first scientific publishable LSVT outcome data (in an IAC Booth!). Who knew that from these beginnings would emerge this powerful speech treatment that improves speech in individuals with PD around the world today!
Time marches on. Our research and insights on LSVT advanced. We understood that to accomplish our goal of making sure individuals with PD receive the same efficacious treatment published in the research studies, we must deliver excellent clinician training. We committed to excellence in training and continually evolved new and better ways to help clinicians learn LSVT. We did much thinking and growing in our efforts to improve training and frankly it was thrilling when we identified a great way to bring ‘ah ha’ clarity to clinicians. While on the surface, improving vocal loudness seems simple. Improving vocal loudness in the real life of an individual with PD IS NOT. Our successful training has allowed us to help clinicians accomplish this goal.
I have had the good (amazing!) fortune of training clinicians throughout the US and world. Delivering a training course is a joy. Feeling the positive energy of clinicians as they learn and recognize how they can help individuals with PD is wonderful. I must say, every time I deliver a training, I discover a new perspective on LSVT. It has been said that when you teach, you always gain insight on the topic you are teaching. LSVT keeps on giving!!
A significant bonus of delivering LSVT training is meeting wonderful clinicians and students in the US and abroad. Their commitment to helping improve speech and quality of life in individuals with PD and other disorders is of great importance and of great pride for our profession. Based on the beginnings in Scottsdale, Arizona, today with LSVT we can predictably improve speech in PD!