A Message of Gratitude from a Speech Therapist

Rachel Manuel, Speech Therapist

In an effort to shed a personal light on Better Speech and Hearing Month, speech therapist and mentor, Rachel Manuel, was led to reflect on and share her grandfather’s journey and treatment for Parkinson’s disease. After his diagnosis, speech therapy services were provided by a fellow Therapy Center speech language pathologist.

A Personal Touch

After several months of mild memory issues, difficulty tasting his food, and some balance difficulty, my grandfather, Darrell Chaumont, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012.  As a speech language pathologist, I worked hard to be proactive in meeting his needs and in educating my loved ones on what was to come in regards to his physical and cognitive limitations.  Once my family was connected to the Therapy Center, and more specifically Candice Cooley, I was confident that my grandfather would be in great hands.

Candi Cooley, Speech Therapist

Candi grew up in my community and was a student of mine during speech language pathology school.  She joined the Therapy Center family in 2007 and took a vested interest in providing my grandfather with therapy both while actively on caseload and during periods of plateau when insurance would not pay for him to receive therapy.  Candi utilized a multitude of strategies to facilitate his speaking, comprehension, and swallowing.  She worked hard to keep him as independent as possible and always treated him like a man rather than like a patient.  Her personal touch always meant so much to my family… Candi often gave of her personal time to ensure that his needs were met. Because of her hard work and dedication to his progress, we were able to hear my grandfather’s voice and keep him on an oral diet much longer than the typical patient.   Papa Darrell looked forward to her visits as did my grandma and my aunts.

The Therapy Center is fortunate to have Candi on our team and I am blessed to call her my friend. The care that she provided my grandfather, as well as the guidance she gave my family, is a great representation of the personal care and consideration that our therapists possess at the Therapy Center.

Watch the video below to see an example of exercises Candi used to treat my grandfather’s dysarthria.




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