My Talking Stick

MY Story

John Manifold
John Manifold

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1996 after a friend noticed that I was swinging only one arm when I walked.  The disease progressed to the point where, in 1990, I had trouble walking: my body would just freeze.  So I looked for tools to help me concentrate on moving my legs.  I had a little stuffed animal that I could kick along the floor, thus giving my feet a job to do.

More recently, my speech became more and more difficult for people to understand.  It was a combination of stuttering, trying to get the words out too fast, and mixing words up.  My speech therapist, Lauren Brock, MS, CCC-SLP,

[Original Pacing Stick]

handed me a popsicle stick with some  round Velcro dots on it and instructed me to speak one word as I touched each dot.  Another tool.  The stick had me slow down, think about each word, and talk (albeit slowly) so that I could be understood.

And that’s when a friend of mine, Art Lieberman, suggested that we should create talking sticks on his 3D printer for other people who have trouble forming their sentences.  Thus: My Talking Stick was born.

All profits are donated to charities supporting research for speech dysfunctions.

For more information, please email Art Lieberman at