Voice Disorders in Medically Fragile Children While much emphasis is placed on a child's language and articulation, it is the child's voice that is needed to carry symbolic messages. If a child's voice is deviant from acceptable quality, he or she is affected in both observable and subtle ways (Senturia & Wilson, 1968). Voice disorders ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2006
Voice Disorders in Medically Fragile Children
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Janet H. Middendorf
    Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / School-Based Settings / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2006
Voice Disorders in Medically Fragile Children
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, June 2006, Vol. 7, 17-22. doi:10.1044/sbi7.2.17
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, June 2006, Vol. 7, 17-22. doi:10.1044/sbi7.2.17
While much emphasis is placed on a child's language and articulation, it is the child's voice that is needed to carry symbolic messages. If a child's voice is deviant from acceptable quality, he or she is affected in both observable and subtle ways (Senturia & Wilson, 1968). Voice disorders can range from a mild dysphonia to aphonia. The child may react with increasing vocal effort to avoiding answering in class to decreased communication, especially if he or she is asked to repeat. Tendency of classmates to “name call” as the children age is possible, which reinforces the reactions of avoidance and may lead to inappropriate responses. Voice problems in children are often an under identified area of communication disorders. Lee, Stemple, Glaze, & Kelchner (2004)  reviewed a variety of voice surveys and found the incidence of voice disorders in children vary between 6–23%, with hoarseness being the most common complaint.
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