Can Speech Therapy Help with Voice Disorders?

Whenever you hear the word speech therapy, you probably assume that it only helps people who need help developing their speech sounds. Some people also believe that speech therapy is only for people who stutter. However, that isn’t the case. Speech therapy can also help people who have voice disorders. 

So, what is a voice disorder? How can a speech pathology help with this issue? Today, we’re going to share with you several things you should know about Ontario speech pathologists and voice disorders. 

What’s a Voice Disorder? 

For those who don’t know, a voice disorder is when the loudness, pitch, and quality aren’t suitable for the geographic location, cultural background, gender, or age of a person. 

According to ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), a voice disorder is when a person shows concern about having a weird voice that doesn’t meet their day-to-day needs.  

There are a lot of various forms of voice disorders. There are also different reasons why people develop this problem. Typically, they’re organic. This means there is something neurogenically or structurally causing change to the voice. It can often be functional. This means it has resulted from wrongful use of the voice even if the structural parts are normal.  

There are particular groups of kids who have higher possibilities of developing voice disorders. One of the most common groups is kids with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Oftentimes, these kids utilize their voice in a hypofunctional approach or have a loud voice. 

How To Know If Your Kid has a Voice Disorder? 

Kids with voice disorders might show the following indications. 

  • Kids with voice disorders may completely lose their voice. 
  • They might constantly clear their throat or cough a lot. 
  • Voices that sound like the kid is releasing a lot of air from their nose.  
  • Voices that are hypo-nasal, which means they sound like they’ve got a blocked nose while speaking. 
  • Voices that are extremely quiet or extremely loud. 
  • Voices that are much lower or higher compared to other kids of their gender or age. 
  • A hoarse or harsh sounding voice.  

Why Does a Voice Disorder Occur? 

Typically, voice disorders in kids are caused by loud talking or excessive shouting, excessive use of their voice during play, or frequent screaming.  

Kids can also experience a voice disorder after common childhood illnesses. Voice disorders can also occur due to psychological or emotional reasons. There are also a couple of rare illnesses that can cause voice disorders in kids. 

What Should You Do If Your Kid has a Voice Disorder? 

A voice disorder may not appear like it will have a huge influence on your kid. However, your kid might develop chronic voice disorders that can persist until they become an adult. This is particularly true if you don’t support them. 

Having a voice disorder can result in problems around confidence and self-esteem. It can also lead to stress and anxiety in cases where your kid needs to use their voice, such as giving a speech or during a recital.  

If your kid has a voice disorder, don’t hesitate to visit a professional speech pathologist for help.