ABOUT CONNIE PIKE, MA, CCC - SLP
I have been employed as a speech-language pathologist since 1981. I have enjoyed providing therapy to a wide range of ages and speech/language disabilities. I have a long history of success in the field, and was enjoying the job I felt I was meant to do in my life.
However, in late April of 2004, my life changed. After a year of great stress, a bout of laryngitis failed to abate. Instead, I plummeted into the devastation of Spasmodic Dysphonia. Over a period of about 6 months, I became almost unable to speak intelligibly. With a formal diagnosis of Adductor Spasmodic Dysphonia in August 2004, I set about to challenge and overcome this condition. I was told that the only treatment for it was to receive botulinum toxin injections for the rest of my life. I simply could not accept it. My voice became so strangled, I could not continue working. I took a leave of absence in December 2004, with the idea that a problem as severe as mine would require a full-time commitment to the process of recovery. It was a frightening place to be, but I did believe that I could recover my voice with the right approach.
I did recover my voice, so that I began to foresee this as something that happened for a reason. I lost my voice, and recovered it, so I could help others do the same. I’ve had periods of complete remission, and periods of mild-moderate struggle. I have, over the years, been able to maintain the freedom to speak, and my voice has not regressed to anything close to the handicapping condition it once was. I now have the tools to manage the condition successfully. For me, that does not include botulinum toxin injections, although I maintain the opinion that, for some, that will be a preferred choice of treatment.
Recovering my voice was a slow process, but the results were profound. I wrote and published my first book in 2005 and began offering holistic intensive clinics in August 2005. The clinics are held 3-5 times annually. (See Services).
I published my second book in 2010, which is a comprehensive look at the process of voice rehabilitation, including efficacy data and theory, as well as suggested exercises and strategies.
I have currently committed myself to serving the voice-disordered population, but also approach dysfluency in a similar holistic manner, and work with adults with social language anxieties and issues (such as Asperger’s syndrome). I always treat the whole person, and not simply the voice or speech issue. I believe that we are beings of energy, and that how we think, breathe, move and live life affects our voice and speech patterns. This is an ever changeable and adaptable process.
Connie is a certified member of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and licensed as a Speech Pathologist by the state of Florida. Connie is also registered as a Speech Therapist with the Healthcare Professions Council in the UK.
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Traditional Voice therapy is unlikely to resolve SD:
Although it can be very helpful for other voice disorders such as Muscle Tension Dysphonia and Functional Dysphonia. I am getting some positive feedback from my fellow professionals that are using my approach with success, with my book to guide them. I hope to continue my mission and expand it to educating my peers.
Treatment of Spasmodic Dysphonia, which is the most handicapping and profound of all voice disorders, requires an intensive, holistic approach. One must be guided to find their path back to the right feeling of proper voice production, and that involves breathing, posture, voice explorations, and especially emotional and conceptual aspects of voice image and use of the voice in a variety of communicative settings. While the intensive clinics are the best process as they involve a team approach, I also provide individual consultation either in person or via Zoom meetings using the internet. This is HIPPA approved forum, but certain state regulations prohibit telepractice. Connie can advise if this is available in your state.