Voice Program

We are a specialized care team created to establish the diagnosis, treatment, and management of children with voice disorders.

The voice is an important part of communication and how we interact with the world around us. Voice disorders, especially in young children, have the potential to negatively impact speech and language development, education, emotional development, and even social development.

Dell Children’s Ear, Nose, and Throat Center offers a pediatric Voice Program for evaluation and management of pediatric voice disorders, including structural and functional voice conditions.  These include conditions causing a hoarse, rough, raspy, breathy, or weak voice. We offer close coordination of care between the pediatric otolaryngologist (ENT) and speech pathologist, allowing for complete evaluation and treatment during the same office visit.

Evaluation

During your child’s office visit, a full ear, nose, and throat examination is performed.  We are also able to evaluate the anatomy of the vocal cords with nasolaryngoscopy with videostroboscopy.  In this way, we can see the vocal cords in real time on a screen, and at the same time, listen to your child’s voice.  A complete objective voice evaluation is also performed by our speech pathologist.

Treatment

Once the cause of the voice problem is diagnosed, we devise a treatment plan, which can include surgical intervention, voice therapy, and often, a combination of both.  In almost all of these conditions, voice therapy is incredibly important to help your child learn behaviors to avoid straining the voice (vocal abuse) and other habits of healthy vocal hygiene. 

Conditions Treated

  • Vocal cord lesions, such as vocal nodules, polyps and cysts
  • Vocal cord immobility or paralysis
  • Suspected vocal cord dysfunction/paradoxical vocal fold motion disorder
  • Chronic cough
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux
  • Vocal or voice strain in singers
  • Functional Dysphonia
  • Resonance Disorders (Hypernasality, Hyponasality)

Voice Therapy

Pediatric Voice Therapy involves a variety of behavioral treatment approaches aimed at improving vocal technique. During your child’s initial evaluation, a Speech-Language Pathologist who specializes in voice disorders will evaluate your child’s voice and trial several different forms of exercises. If your child responds well to these exercises, a course of voice therapy may be recommended to improve their voice. Therapy sessions are typically once per week for eight weeks and treatment plans are specifically designed for each child with engaging and motivating activities.