Voice Evaluation & Therapy Services

Voice Evaluation and Therapy Services

Speech production lab Philosophy:

The Youngerman Center provides evaluation and treatment of patients with voice disorders caused by abusing the voice, progressive neurologic disorders, psychogenic voice disorders, reflux laryngitis, head and neck cancer, viral infections, intubation, and spontaneous vocal conditions from an unknown cause.

These disorders include:
  • Vocal nodules
  • Vocal polyps
  • Vocal fold granuloma
  • Vocal fold cysts
  • Vocal fold papillomas
  • Partial or total laryngectomy
  • Tracheostomy/speaking valves
  • Bowing of vocal folds
  • Vocal fold paralysis
  • Spasmodic dysphonia
  • Reinke's edema
  • Chronic hoarseness
  • Psychogenic voice disorders, like conversation dysphonia or aphonia

Evaluation:

Our Center has some of the most advanced technologies available today, such as:
  • Voice acoustic recording and analysis which quantifies the signal of your voice by measuring its pitch, loudness, quality, and variability as well as by gauging its acoustic parameters and your breathing dynamics.
  • Voice aerodynamic recording and analysis measures laryngeal function and the interaction between the respiratory and laryngeal systems by capturing pressures and airflows during speech production. These measures help to diagnose and differentiate laryngeal and respiratory pathologies.
  • Speech Ventilation measures such as O2 consumption and PCO2 during speech production can indicate how the patient is using the respiratory system to support speech production.
  • Movements of the rib cage and abdomen are tracked using the RespitraceTM. Observations of breathing patterns are made by studying the rib cage, abdomen, and lung volume during speech and rest breathing. These measures demonstrate:

    1. Indirect muscular functioning.
    2. Input about breath support that is used for speech or functional use of the respiratory system.
Also included in the evaluation:
  • A report of the findings including functional therapy goals for the client is available post testing.
  • Specialized training in therapy techniques if required. The following is a list of therapy techniques used in these populations:
    • Increase breath support for speech using multiple external devices
    • Improve the overall understanding and use of the respiratory system
    • Reduce inflammation of the vocal folds typically associated with vocal nodules, vocal polyps, and cysts
    • Diminish vocal abuse and misuse
    • Provide consultation and therapy pre- and post-surgery for laryngectomee patients
    • Improve vocal quality in neurologically-based voice disorders (i.e., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease)

Therapy:

The Center also offers a wide range of therapeutic services to patients with voice disorders, including:
  • Direct voice therapy which focuses on reducing habits that abuse your voice and establishing optimal vocal hygiene.
  • The Lee Silverman Method which treats weak voices caused by Parkinson's disease.
  • Supportive management of tracheostomy (an incision in the trachea, followed by a tube inserted to overcome an obstruction) is provided as well as voice therapy.

Related website links:

National Center for Voice and Speech
Voice and Speech Teacher Association
The Voice Foundation
The National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association
International Association of Laryngectomees

 


Page modified 7/15/14