Voice therapy is used to support children who have difficulties using their voice or have an abnormal pitch, rate, resonance, and volume and voice quality that is not appropriate for their age and gender. Voice therapy can be used to increase the healthy use of your child’s voice and to reduce the effects of certain behaviors on the voice. Voice therapy is tailored to your child’s difficulties and needs.
Voice therapy can help your child identify behaviors that are damaging to their voice as well as learn how to use their voice in a healthy, non-abusive or damaging manner.
Who is suitable for voice therapy?
Voice therapy is suitable for any child who has any difficulty using their voice in manner that is non-abusive and appropriate for their age and gender. Voice therapy may be suitable for:
- Voice disorders
How to spot a child who needs voice therapy
A child who’s is struggling to use their voice in a safe and healthy manner and may benefit from voice therapy can often present with the following:
- A persistent or progressive hoarse, breathy, rough or a croaky sounding voice.
- An effortful or strained voice.
- An extremely loud voice.
- Repeated occurrences of voice loss.
- Uncontrolled sudden changes in pitch when talking or singing.
What’s involved in voice therapy?
Voice therapy would involve working to improve your child’s use of their voice. This can be done in several different ways such as working one to one with your child or working with parents and teachers to change the child’s communicative environment.
Voice therapy would initially begin with educating your child about the nature of their difficulties, the causes and the behaviors that may be impacting the voice difficulties. Followed by teaching your child about normal voice production including how the voice is produced, breathing and resonance. The speech and language therapist will also provide your child with strategies and exercises to help reduce and eliminate vocal abuse and misuse. The speech and language therapist will also give advice about vocal hygiene and how to keep a healthy voice.
The speech and language therapist may choose to work with parents and teachers to reduce the strain put on a child’s voice due to their environment. A child who lives in a loud and busy household may have to regularly speak in an excessively loud manner to be heard, this can put a strain on the child’s voice. The speech and language therapist may give advice on how to create a more communicatively friendly environment.
Improvements made through voice therapy
Voice therapy can provide many benefits to your child’s social interactions and quality of life. Benefits of voice therapy include:
- Elimination of habits that can cause harm to voice.
- Optimisation of the voice.
- Better education on healthy voice maintenance.
- Increase social communication and interaction.
- Reduced frustration and anger as well as increase in confidence.
Voice therapy can have a range of benefits for your child, it can provide them with skills needed to use their voice in a healthy manner that is not damaging to their vocal cords.