Ann describes possible swallowing problems

Signs of Swallowing Problems

In the video below, Ann talks about signs of swallowing problems, especially in Parkinson’s Disease. This is the third video Ann has created to help you understand speech and swallowing problems in Parkinson’s Disease. In the first video, Ann talks about speech changes in Parkinson’s and how using intent helps. To watch video 1, click here. The second video is titled “How to Protect Swallowing in Parkinson’s Disease” and you can watch it by clicking here.

Disordered swallowing, also known as dysphagia, is something people with Parkinson’s Disease often experience. How do you know if you have disordered swallowing, or dysphagia? Ann discusses signs of swallowing problems common in Parkinson’s, including chewing problems, fatigue, and even difficulty managing saliva. Ann uses a down-to-earth approach to compassionately provide facts about this topic. In her next video, she will talk about what to expect at a swallowing evaluation.

At The Sound Center, we see many people with Parkinson’s Disease. If you or a loved one has Parkinson’s, early treatment for speech and swallowing problems is recommended. Click here to learn about the speech treatments we provide to help people with PD and contact us to schedule an evaluation.

Ann explains swallowing and Parkinson's Disease

How to Protect Your Swallowing in Parkinson’s Disease

In this video, Ann shares three ways people with Parkinson’s Disease can improve and maintain their swallowing function. The third tip is the simplest and the most surprising!

At The Sound Center, we see many people with Parkinson’s Disease. Click here to learn about the speech treatments we provide to help people with PD. We can also help with swallowing problems, or dysphagia.

Contact us for more information or to schedule an evaluation.


The Sound Center launches video series for people with Parkinson's Disease. Ann instructs viewers to use intent to speak clearly, a powerful tool for people with Parkinson's Disease.

The Sound Center launches video series for people with Parkinson’s Disease

Click to watch video

The Sound Center is pleased to announce the release of our new video series for people with Parkinson’s Disease.

Do you or a loved one have Parkinson’s Disease? Do you want to find helpful treatments for speech, swallowing, or brain function?  Do you want to identify changes quickly and take action to improve your quality of life? If so, this video series is for you!

Speech-language pathologist Ann Kolker Rychel comments,

I’m excited to be a part of this! People should know there are research-based interventions that really work. For example, the SPEAK OUT! program takes people with Parkinson’s Disease from whispering and mumbling to being able to speak clearly and be heard at a family party!

Early treatment is essential in maintaining function. A speech pathologist can recognize small changes before they become a big problem. Speech disorders alone are estimated to affect nearly 90% of people with Parkinson’s disease, but only 3-4% will receive treatment for changes in speech1. The Sound Center can help!

People with Parkinson’s Disease, due to a lack of dopamine, have an impaired ability to do actions that used to be automatic, such as talking, walking, and writing. When they use intent to speak, their speech is more precise and their voice is clearer. They are able to be heard. Sometimes the change is dramatic.

Ann begins this new video series for people with Parkinson’s Disease with a demonstration of the use of intent. She invites the viewer to try using intent in simple phrases. She provides a brief glimpse into the power of doing actions on purpose.

The first video is just the beginning. New videos will be released twice a month, so stay tuned for more videos! For more information now:

1 Dashtipour K, Tafreshi A, Lee J, Crawley B. Speech disorders in Parkinson’s disease: pathophysiology, medical management and surgical approaches. Neurodegener Dis Manag. 2018 Oct;8(5):337-348. doi: 10.2217/nmt-2018-0021. Epub 2018 Sep 18. PMID: 30223711.

The LOUD Crowd® is now at The Sound Center

Michelle Eppley opening LOUD Crowd® materials

On October 16, 2019, we will host our first LOUD Crowd® group for people with Parkinson’s Disease. We are eager to get going with all of the materials provided through the grant offered by Parkinson Voice Project. The LOUD Crowd® is a weekly group therapy program for maintenance of strong voice learned in the SPEAK OUT!® program for individuals. For more information please call us at 630-435-5622 or email us at

The Sound Center, Inc. Receives Grant to Help People with Parkinson’s Disease

The Sound Center, Inc. has received a grant from Parkinson Voice Project. This grant will help bring the SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd® therapy programs to our area in the western suburbs of Chicago.

The Parkinson Voice Project’s mission is “to preserve the voices of individuals with Parkinson’s and related neurological disorders through intensive speech therapy, follow-up support, research, education, and community awareness.” This nonprofit organization, located in Richardson, Texas, aims to replicate their highly effective therapy programs throughout the world.

The therapy program involves two important steps: First, patients participate in SPEAK OUT!®,  an intensive one-on-one experience. Exercises for speech, voice and cognition are completed. Secondly, patients participate in the LOUD Crowd®. Participants work on their skills in a group setting. They also share information and experience camaraderie and accountability.

The Sound Center, Inc. is accepting clients who want to get started with the highly effective SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd® therapy programs now! Contact us for more information or to schedule a session. We accept Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO. Other insurance providers may also offer benefits for this treatment. Give us a call at 630-435-5622 or send us a message here.