Voice disorders occur in around 7% to 9% of children. Most voice disorders are caused by excessive shouting and loud talking, excessive use of certain harsh voice ‘sound effects’ during play, or they can be caused by common childhood infections.

Your child’s voice may sound harsh, hoarse or they may have ‘lost’ their voice entirely. If you are concerned about your child’s voice, please see your local doctor who can refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor. ENT specialists are experienced in diagnosing voice problems and work closely with speech pathologists throughout the assessment and treatment process.

What is a voice disorder?

A voice disorder is when the quality of a person’s voice is noticeably different to that of others their age and sex. People with voice disorders often complain that their voices tire easily or that they have difficulty projecting their voice.

Children with voice disorders may have harsh or hoarse voices or voices which are too high or low, too loud or too nasal.

A poor voice quality may make it hard for a child to communicate effectively, and may make them lose self confidence or affect the way other people see them.

Causes

  • talking or shouting loudly
  • talking or shouting excessively
  • common childhood infections
  • Some children’s voice problems may be related to how they are feeling emotionally or psychologically

There are some rare medical conditions which may cause a child’s voice to change in quality. Please see your local doctor if you have concerns about your child’s voice.

What should I do if I think my child has a voice disorder?

  • Talk to your family doctor about a referral to a speech pathologist or Ear Nose and Throat Doctor

This information was provided by Speech Pathology Australia. for more information, go to www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au