Voice Disorders

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.

What to expect

Voice Disorders

A voice disorder is a significant difference in the quality of a child / young adult's voice to what is typical for their age and sex. Speech and language therapy will help to support and treat voice problems in children and young adults, by helping to improve the quality of their voice and overall communication.

What is voice?

Voice is the sound which is produced when the vocal folds in the voice box (larynx) vibrate. The speech muscles (tongue, lips, jaw and palate) then modify this sound to create the different speech sounds which make up words.

The human voice is made up of a four main features which include:

Quality

Quality of voice is how the voice sounds e.g. hoarse, creaky, rough or clear.

Pitch

Pitch is the variation of the voice in speech, between high and low.

Volume

Volume is the variation of loudness of the voice in speech, between soft and loud. The volume of a child / young adult's voice expresses emotion e.g. when someone is angry they may speak louder.

Resonance

Resonance can cause a child / young adult to be hyponasal (sounds like they are speaking with a blocked nose), or hypernasal (sounds like they have too much air coming through their nose when speaking).

What is a voice disorder?

A voice disorder is when a child / young adult's voice quality sounds noticeably different to what is considered ‘normal' for them and also other children of their sex and age.

Voice disorders in children / young adults can affect their ability to communicate effectively with others around them. Voice disorders may also affect a child / young adult's self-esteem and confidence when communicating.

What are the symptoms of voice disorders in children / young adults?

Common symptoms often seen in children / young adults with voice disorders include:

  • Harsh vocal quality.
  • Hoarse vocal quality.
  • Nasal sounding voice.
  • Voice sounding too low.
  • Voice sounding too high.
  • Voice sounding too loud.
  • Sudden change in the quality of their voice.
  • Progressive change in the quality of their voice.

What causes voice disorders in children / young adults?

Causes of voice disorders in children / young adults include:

  • Psychological causes
  • Childhood infections
  • Over use of their voice e.g. when shouting or talking.
  • Shouting or talking too loudly.
  • Medical conditions.
  • Neurological disorders

What problems caused by voice disorders can speech and language therapy help with?

Speech and language therapy can help with the following areas, which a child / young adult with a voice disorder may have difficulty with:

How are voice disorders in children / young adults identified?

The speech and language therapist will work closely with other professionals when identifying if a child / young adult has a voice disorder. The speech and language therapist will often work with the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist when making a diagnosis of a voice disorder. The speech and language therapist will carry out an initial assessment in helping to identify if a child / young adult has a voice disorder. An initial assessment will include:

  • A case history, including a developmental and medical history of the child / young adult and any illnesses they have had. A case history will also include gathering information on how the child / young adult uses there voice on a day to day basis.
  • A discussion with parents, carers / the young adult about the child / young adult's voice problems and any other concerns regarding their speech, language or communication.
  • An observation of the child / young adult's voice and also a general observation of their overall communication skills.
  • A more detailed assessment of the child / young adult's voice, including their vocal quality, resonance, pitch and volume.

How does speech and language therapy help children / young adults with voice disorders?

Speech and language therapy can be beneficial for children / young adults with voice disorders. The focus of voice therapy will be to help increase the quality of their voice in helping them to communicate more effectively.

Speech and language therapy can help children / young adults with voice disorders to overcome or manage their voice disorders more effectively. Speech and language therapy is also beneficial in helping to increase the child / young adult's confidence and self-esteem when communicating.

What would speech and language therapy treatment for a child / young adult with a voice disorder involve?

Speech and language therapy can help children / young adults with voice disorders by offering a variety of treatment options.

The type of treatment offered will depend on many factors, including the type of voice disorder the child / young adult has, the severity of the voice disorder, the age and sex of the child / young adult, how they use their voice in everyday situations and also the underlying cause of their voice disorder.

Treatment for voice disorders may include a consultative role, where the speech and language therapist will offer education, advice and support on how to manage a voice disorder. Treatment may alternatively involve direct one to one therapy, with use of specific tasks to help the child / young adult's voice disorder.

An initial assessment carried out by the speech and language therapist will help to determine the type and severity of a child / young adults voice disorder. After the initial speech and language therapy assessment, treatment may involve the following:

How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment?

To arrange an initial speech and language therapy assessment please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 0885 643.

Summary

A voice disorder is where the quality of a child / young adult's voice is noticeably different to other children / young adults of their age and sex. A voice disorder can range from a mild – severe problem and responds well to speech and language therapy. If you would like any more information, or would like to book an appointment with one of our speech and language therapists please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 0885 643.


Back to top ↑

Sub-categories:

Next steps

To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email office@slt.co.uk

Follow

Follow us on social media

We're registered

All our speech and language therapists are registered with the RCSLT and the HCPC

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Logo HCPC Logo

Say hello...

We are always happy to answer any questions you might have. You can contact us in the following ways:

We work with...

slt.co.uk © 2018
Powered by Nuttersons