Your child's voice is an extremely valuable resource and is critical for social interaction. Proper care and use of the voice will improve your child's likelihood of having a healthy voice for their entire lifetime.
Voice problems are often first noticed with a change in voice quality, which can be described as hoarse or rough. This can be caused by a medical problem and should be evaluated by a laryngologist (a physician/surgeon who specializes in diseases of the throat and vocal cords). Most disorders of vocal abuse and misuse are reversible if treated early. The best treatment is to identify and eliminate the vocal behavior that created the disorder.
The specialists at our Voice Clinic are skilled at treating a wide variety of voice disorders. Some of those commonly seen at the clinic include:
The course of treatment planned for your child begins with an initial evaluation of their medical history. A wide range of treatments are available at the Center and include the following: This is followed by a comprehensive assessment, which may include the following:
The Voice Clinic at Arkansas Children's incorporates a multidisciplinary team, with each member specializing in pediatric care. The goal of the team is to ensure that care is provided in a coordinated, consistent manner with the proper sequencing of evaluations and treatments.
The laryngologist will examine the child's vocal cords to determine the cause of the disorder. This may be done by passing a small camera and light through the mouth or nose and into the throat to see the vocal cords.
Following the examination, the laryngologist may refer the child to a speech-language pathologist who specializes in pediatric voice therapy. Arkansas Children's Speech-Pathology Department provides specialty support services for young children and teens who have been diagnosed by the physician to have a voice disorder. The speech pathologist continues the evaluation process in order to determine if the child may be misusing, overusing, or "abusing" his voice and can develop a plan of treatment if indicated. Many different approaches to voice therapy can be considered and should always be tailored to a child's individual learning style. The speech pathology staff is also able to consult with a child¹s local speech pathologist as needed for continuity and convenience. We believe that a young person's voice is a reflection of who they are and that therapy should be positive and enjoyable.
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