Like a collection of secrets scrawled in a forgotten tongue upon tattered scrolls stashed within a locked treasure chest deep undersea in a corner of the Bermuda Triangle. To parents, voice therapy for children can seem mysterious.
1. You can’t see a voice: Unlike, say, when you’re getting physiotherapy for a sprained ankle, you can’t view the anatomy used to produce the voice easily. When we set out to help a child with a voice problem, we’re literally dealing with a black box – the voice box (also known as the larynx).
2. Everyone’s an expert: Let’s blame American Idol or Glee: on the Internet and in the real world, hundreds of (largely unregulated) “voice experts” or “gurus” are actively marketing and selling voice services and products that promise the world. On inspection, many of these ‘therapies’ don’t appear to reflect even a basic understanding of how the voice box actually works. This un-Googleable morass of information and misinformation makes it hard for parents and non-voice experts to tell which information can be trusted.
3. Research challenges: Research into voice disorders for children is still in its early days. We know that some evidence-based voice therapy techniques work for common voice problems like nodules (e.g. Aronson, 1990). But there’s still a lot we don’t know. A big reason for for this is simply a lack of money. Getting public funding for research into child voice disorders is really hard.
In our upcoming series of articles, we’re going to remove some of the mystery about voice therapy for children.
And we’ll start by answering an important question: why should parents care about their child’s voice problems?
- Indirect voice therapy: 10 practical things you can do to help your child achieve and keep a healthy voice
- Voice therapy for kids who like to talk and talk. When “vocal rest” isn’t an option
- My child has a voice problem. So what?
Banter Speech & Language is owned and managed by David Kinnane, a Hanen- and LSVT LOUD-certified speech-language pathologist with post-graduate training in the Spalding Method for literacy, the Lidcombe and Camperdown Programs for stuttering, and Voicecraft for voice disorders. David is also a Certified PESL Instructor for accent modification.
David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean’s Scholar. David is a Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP).