Lannon Twomey: Speech-Language Pathologist

Treatment Areas: Speech - Voice Disorders

Lannon Twomey: Speech Pathology With A Difference

Voice refers to the combined systems of respiration, phonation and resonance involved in producing and shaping sound from the voice. With enough breath from respiration and tension and coordination of the muscles in the larynx (voice box), the vocal folds vibrate and thus produce a sound. This sound is then directed upward into the pharynx (throat), nasal cavity and mouth to resonate. It is later shaped by movement of the articulators in the mouth.

A voice disorder relates to a problem with coordination of the processes of respiration, phonation or resonance. A voice disorder also is frequently related to habitual voice abuse further exacerbated by the presence of vocal nodules or polyps on the cords themselves. Please refer to Habits for a Healthy Voice for more information.

A child with a voice disorder may:

  • have reoccurring or persistent laryngitis that lasts for longer than 2 weeks.
  • have symptoms consistent with a cold, even when illness is not present.
  • use a higher or lower pitch and/or louder or softer voice in comparison to others of the same age/gender.
  • frequently use vocally abusive habits including constant or excessive talking, throat clearing, coughing, making loud animal or car noises, or yelling/screaming.
  • demonstrate excessive tension in the neck and upper chest.
  • have vocal nodules, polyps, edema, cysts or a granuloma as identified by an Otolaryngologist (ENT).