Speech and Language Development

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What is Vocal Cord Abuse?

Date: June 1, 2014 Author: Michele Dickson Categories: Speech and Language Development 1

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The last week of Better Speech and Hearing month.  What better way to end the month but to raise awareness about vocal abuse.  I have been seeing more and more children with vocal and pre vocal nodules.  What are nodules? They are benign growths on both vocal cords that are caused by vocal abuse.

Overtime repeated abuse of the vocal cords results in swollen spots on each vocal fold (asha.org).  Think of a vocal nodule as a callous that forms on each vocal cord similar to how a callous forms on your feet.  Vocal nodules cause a change in the voice to hoarseness, breathiness,or a scratchy quality voice..Vocal nodules are common in young children or teenagers because they tend to talk loud or do other vocal abusive behaviors such as; clearing throat, cheering, coughing and whispering.  Many children who exhibit a hoarse voice quality will see their pediatrician and then will be referred to an ENT.  An ENT will determine if there are vocal nodules and recommend voice therapy.

11Things you can do to improve vocal abusive behaviors.
1.Drink water to keep vocal folds hydrated
2.Avoid caffeine remember chocolate has caffeine!
3 .Discourage child from straining his/her voice. Talk about using indoor and outdoor voice and demonstrate using them.
4. Avoid coughing and clearing throat. Practice swallow or taking a drink if you need to clear throat
5.Talk in front of people and avoid screaming across the room
6 Teach voice rest is important that its ok to rest our voice at the end of day. Start in short increments and increase depending on child’s age.
If hoarseness persists after 3 weeks then contact your pediatrician.

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1 Comments: "What is Vocal Cord Abuse?"

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