The Voice Clinic offers both medical and therapeutic treatments for a wide variety of voice disorders in children. When you visit our Clinic, your child is seen by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor and a specially trained speech therapist called a voice therapist.
The Voice Clinic may be right for your child if you or their provider notice that your child has a hoarse voice, loss of voice, or their speech sounds all seem to come through their nose.
What voice disorders are treated at the Voice Clinic?
The Clinic treats voice disorders in children resulting from:
- Congenital causes like vocal cord paralysis (total interruption of nerve impulses to the voice box muscles)
- Infectious disease
- Inflammatory conditions like laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx or voice box)
- Benign vocal cord growths like nodules and papillomas
- Neuromuscular disorders like vocal cord paralysis
- Trauma, such as bruising and fractures
Special appointment times are scheduled for children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. This condition is also known as DiGeorge Syndrome and Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome (VCFS). It causes poor development of several body systems, which can cause health problems such as hypernasal speech, heart defects, a weakened immune system and kidney problems, to name a few.
What to expect from the Voice Clinic
Assessment of pediatric voice disorders is accomplished through computerized speech analysis, nasometry, videonasendoscopy, videolaryngoscopy and/or videostroboscopy:
- Speech analysis is performed by having your child speak into a microphone while recording the sounds using a special program. Nasometry is done by placing a microphone on a platform just under your child’s nose while sound and airflow is measured.
- Videoendoscopy is performed with a small fiberoptic scope. The ENT doctor slips the scope into your child’s nose. The doctor can see and evaluate movement of your child’s palate, adenoid size and velopharyngeal closure as they repeat phrases like “pick up the baby” and “go get a cake”.
- Videolaryngoscopy is used to evaluate vocal fold (vocal cord) movement, nodules, masses, redness and swelling. The scope is advanced a little further down into the throat and the vocal folds and larynx come into view. Kids are asked to repeat “ahh” sounds and sing at low and high pitches.
- Videostroboscopy is used to evaluate subtle vocal fold vibrations that cannot be seen using videolaryngoscopy.
We may call in other pediatric specialists to provide care for your child if they need treatment for other conditions, such as hearing impairments.