Once Hannah reads Connie’s book, Free to Speak: Overcoming Spasmodic Dysphonia, she feels that she has found a kindred spirit.
Connie quotes Joseph Semple (Voice therapy: Clinical studies, 2000) thusly: Imagine developing a condition so insidious that it may cause loss of self-respect and confidence; a disorder so negative as to cause depression, reclusiveness, and thoughts of suicide; a condition that can ruin careers, marriages, and friendships. This disorder is spasmodic dysphonia.
Whoa, that is a heavy load!
My take away from my read of Free to Speak is:
The cause of spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is up for debate as it may be neurological or psychological. Stress may contribute to SD or lead to the chronic nature of the disease.
Botox is the preferred treatment of the medical community. The American Speech and Hearing Association takes a “no cure” stance and recommends Botox (every three months for the rest of your life).
Connie believes that knowledge of one’s breathing patterns and learning proper breathing techniques can address the symptoms of SD. Devoted practice and attention to proper voice mechanics under the framework of a holistic and intensive treatment has led to individual success.
While treatment can take six to twelve months, crucial to success is maintaining a positive attitude. Connie believes her spasmodic dysphonia is 95% resolved. She can now yell across a number of rooms in her house. Wouldn’t Hannah love to do that!
The fact that Connie is a trained speech pathologist who knows SD from the inside out, having the condition herself, has me thinking this woman may be on to something that can help Hannah.
Connie Pike offers a five day clinic to set into motion the correct mindset, the proper mechanics, and the holistic picture of the disorder that will propel patients into regaining their voice.
With this news, there is literally more hope in Hannah’s voice than ever before. Connie’s clinic is near Tampa, Florida. Perhaps a Jet Blue flight to the Sunshine State is in order?