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2008 

March 2008 Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment Clinic

 

Wendy – AD/SD with tremor 2.5 years – one botulinum toxin injection, acupuncture.

 

I feel that I gained tools to help me overcome my tremors. The instructors were very knowledgeable and helpful. Having an instructor who understands the emotional as well as the physical components of SD was invaluable. I appreciated the individual sessions, which helped focus on my personal recovery. But I also found the group sessions to be very constructive in expressing myself in front of others. It has truly been healing and inspirational to share this experience with others who struggle with the same disorder. I am enjoyed making some good friends too.

 

Linda Jo – MTD – 2 years; traditional voice therapy: one botulinum toxin injection.

 

During the clinic I learned how to use less effort in voicing and not push or force my voice. My voice improved 70% as I learned to hum to focus my voice into my face. I learned how to breathe more deeply into my belly and fill up to a greater capacity.

 

The empathy and understanding from the participants was wonderful. The group dynamics cannot be achieved with individual consultation and therapy. Just to share a common problem and frustration with those who are experiencing the same is “great company”. With Connie’s SD and her ability to truly relate to this disability is priceless. Her expertise and sincere desire to help achieve the voice within is a rare find. Being equipped with the tools and techniques that really work to improve voice and breathing will help me to recover my voice. After attending the clinic, I can and I will be able to be “free to speak” again.

 

Lidia – AD/SD with MTD 4 years – botulinum toxin injections; traditional voice therapy; repeating the clinic experience since June 2007 following increased voice demands at work and a spinal fracture.

 

My voice has started to improve after a set-back. I recognized the need to “check-in” and relax and let go of effort. The body-work during the clinic reminded me to pay attention to this area. Life has a tendency to interfere with any part of rehab, and due to at set-back, I felt I needed to return to the clinic. I was very glad I did. I had made progress but needed some reminders of the basis techniques. The intensive nature or the clinic provides you with that uninterrupted time to look after yourself, always guided by two selfless, experienced, committed, dedicated professionals. The approach is holistic, which ensures a more complete strategy in overcoming this disorder. Having a professional actually having gone through this is invaluable. Spending time with other SD sufferers gives you support and understanding that cannot be easily found. Every SD sufferer owes it to him/herself to come to this clinic. It’s not a quick fix – it is a lot of work, but it is much easier than dealing with the life sentence that others claim/assert that SD is.

 

Jackie – Mixed SD 21 years – psychiatric treatment, four botulinum toxin injections, self-directed holistic treatment

 

At the clinic, I acquired a smoother, stronger and more confident voice. I learned to breathe into my belly and my diaphragm is no longer “stuck”. Voice improved 50% and I am overwhelmed with the amount of new information I have learned about SD and what I can do about it. I feel I can be in control of my recovery from this disorder, finally!

 

This was an amazing gift to myself. I am coming away a more healed and whole woman. I am confident that I have tools to mend my voice and my broken spirit. The healing began on the second day of the clinic and continued to improve every day. With the support of Connie and Mike, I know that I will be free from the fear of speaking with an SD voice. This has plagued me for so long… a great burden is floating away.

 

Ronda – AD/SD 26 years – psychiatric treatment, 20 botulinum toxin treatments, with up to 9 injections per treatment; worsening symptoms the past two years.

 

Ronda has lived with SD since the young age of 23. She was diagnosed before there was any type of standard for treatment and was told that there was little if anything that would help her. Eventually, botox was accepted as a treatment, yet it did not seem to help her. Ronda did an incredible job just living life, raising two children and working to support herself and them despite her voice disability. Her mother began to research alternative options as Ronda’s voice worsened. They had been told that it would not get worse, yet it did. Ronda’s speech intelligibility was deteriorating, so she agreed to try our clinic.

 

“I learned that my tongue and palate get in the way (of producing voice) and the tools to help improve that. I learned how to breathe full deep breaths into my belly. It was wonderful to be around people that know how you are feeling and what you have been going through. That was a plus for me. The tools that I came away with will help me find my voice, I know! Attend this clinic!”

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Incorporated in 2005 by Connie Pike, a Speech Language Pathologist who overcame her own spasmodic dysphonia and developed a passion to help others do the same.

CREATED BY: JUSTIN MCMILLEN