Voice Disorders - Dysphonia

A voice disorder is any abnormality in an individual’s quality, pitch or loudness.

Common causes of voice disorders among children include:

  • Vocal nodules (blisters on the vocal cords)
  • Chronic laryngitis (swollen vocal cords)
  • Vocal misuse/abuse

Vocal misuse/abuse is often the underlying cause of most vocal pathologies. That is, even in the presence of vocal nodules or laryngitis, behaviours of vocal misuse or abuse lead to the formation of these pathologies. The following behaviours are frequent examples of vocal abuse among children:

  • Yelling
  • Screaming
  • Loud talking
  • Frequent crying
  • Vocal noises (e.g. roaring)
  • Whispering

Other factors that may affect voice include:

  • Family history of vocal nodules
  • Relevant medical history such as respiratory problems, allergies, frequent colds
  • Irritants and environmental factors such as dusty or dry atmospheres, households with tobacco smoke, lack of fluid intake in other words not drinking water, regularly
  • Vocal use and demands, for example, does the child talk incessantly?

How can the Speech and Language Therapists, at Articulate, help my child?

  • Proven expertise. Hulya Mehmet has been a specialist in treating children’s speech disorders, including dysphonia, for almost twenty years, and has the expertise to identify, diagnose and treat a range of difficulties.  We understand that an infant, child and adolescent larynx is still in the development or ‘growth’ phase and is different to that of an adult larynx, therefore it requires specific child-focused intervention.
  • Specialist Intervention. Hulya has an incredible success rate of treating children with speech disorders. Our therapy sessions are based on clinical expertise with a focus of fun for your child. Your child will have a great time in their therapy session and won’t want to leave. They are proud of their ‘homework’ we set and can’t wait to show us what they’ve achieved. We work hard to ensure your child develops good breathing techniques with correct posture and excellent voice quality. Clear speech with a good speaking voice helps your child to become happy, confident and articulate with brilliant communication skills not to mention often has a positive impact on their behaviour. It is a win-win.
  • Proven Assessment. To assess and treat Dysphonia, we use only well researched and proven assessments. We evaluate pitch, intensity, breath support and control, rate of speech, resonance, site of vocal tension, quality of voice, severity, posture, vocal stamina and articulatory features. To test how your child says sounds we do a thorough assessment and analysis of motor movements of speech, if indicated. Assessment of your child’s articulatory features include: oral–motor skills, speech prosody (intonation, rate, volume etc.), and how your child says different sounds. We are proud of our track record. We achieve excellent results treating Dysphonia, the child usually requires no more than eight sessions to achieve normal voice quality.

We’re on Your Team. We understand how tough it can be to find the right therapist and also get the right amount of therapy for your child. At Articulate, we provide what your child needs. We treat the child, in addition, as part of each session we also train the parent to do ‘therapy’. This empowers parents with the skills to support and develop their child’s speech, language and communication. Together we get better results, faster.