Voice Therapy is widely used for a variety of speech problems
NSI & DOOD Radio interviews Shari Gill
Voice therapy was the last thing I thought I needed when I became chronically hoarse two years ago. I believed I had a throat infection and that antibiotics would clear it right up. When that did not clear it up my doctor tried steroids. Nothing was working and it terrified me. I wanted to dismiss it as the late effects of the polio virus I had as a child. Then I blamed the neck fusion I had had in 2011. How about my chronic reflux? Well, maybe all of the above played a part in the fact that I now sounded like a frog and could not speak loudly. I was also extremely uncomfortable. Holy moly I thought I was losing my voice permanently! My voice is very important to me and I was in a panic.
I needed voice therapy right away
Voice therapy and speech pathology are essentially the same thing when you are being treated by a certified/licensed speech- language pathologist. The average person does not give a great deal of thought to their ability to communicate effectively. It happens naturally most of the time. However, many of us use our voices incorrectly for years and do not really realize that we have issues until we are midlife or older. The onset of adult speech issues can be caused by illness, misuse of the vocal cords, breathing problems, head or neck surgery, trauma to the brain such as a stroke, and professions where a person is using their voice excessively.
Children often struggle with communication in their very early years. Initially, we tend to think it is baby talk. Some of the issues if left untreated can develop into life long communication problems. I have two children. Suddenly I noticed that my youngest had childhood speech issues. She had a lisp. When she tried to pronounce anything that began with the letters TH her tongue would get in her way. Initially we thought it was cute. When she entered first grade we realized that she needed to see a speech therapist. After a series of sessions, the problem was corrected. There are other issues that are more complicated to correct such as stuttering. Nevertheless, most issues can be corrected when addressed early on.
Hoarseness is a common problem in adults. When laryngitis sets in and we lose our voice usually it is caused by a virus or the everyday cold. If the problem persists long after the cold has ended, that is the right time to visit a speech therapist. A voice therapist who is certified can easily diagnose the issue and plan for the correct treatment specifically designed to correct your issue. I do not want to make speech problems sound inconsequential because they could be indications that something is seriously wrong. Most of the time your internist or an ear, nose, and throat physician will perform the appropriate tests to make sure the problem is correctly diagnosed.
When is voice therapy needed and what are the most common reasons that will require treatment?
Voice therapy is commonly used for both children and adults for a variety of communication issues. Shari Gill is the Speech Pathology Coordinator at Wellington Regional Medical Center in the state of Florida. The Wellington Rehabilitative Services Program offers inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy as well as lymphedema therapy. Their Speech Pathology department offers services in swallowing therapy, including videofluroscopic swallow studies, and swallowing therapy. It also includes voice issues, videostroboscopic evaluations and therapy, speech and language therapy. They have a knowledgable and experienced staff to serve your communication and swallowing needs. If you are located in other areas of the country, please visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association online for assistance.
Common communication problems which need voice therapy include the following:
- Chronic laryngitis
- Voice volume and pitch which is known as speaking to softly or too loud.
- Phonation disorder which is commonly known as hoarseness, breathlessness or raspiness.
- Resonance disorders- which is recognized as a voice that is too nasal.
- Difficulty swallowing food or liquid, which is often caused by illness.
- Fluency disorders, which interrupt the speech pattern preventing a person from speaking smoothly.
- Apraxia-is a disorder that creates an issue for a person who struggles to get the words out.
- Auditory or receptive disorders- this disorder is the inability to decipher what is being said to an individual.
- Expressive Disorders- difficulty putting the words together in the right order.
- Aphasia-this is a language disorder when there is difficulty remembering words.
The conditions mentioned above are really just the most common communication issues that voice therapy can successfully treat. Having the ability to express yourself vocally in a comfortable and confident manner is an important aspect to living a successful life and building great relationships. If you are experiencing any voice issues, do not hesitate to see a certified speech pathologist in your area.
NSI & DOOD Radio is pleased to introduce you to Shari Gill. This interview is going to teach you a lot about how we can carelessly abuse one of our most precious gifts, our voice. Do not despair, Sherry Gill is here to help as well as other professionals located throughout the US. Shari Gill is the Speech Pathology Coordinator at Wellington Regional Medical Center. The Wellington Rehabilitative Services program offers inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy as well as lymphedema therapy. The Wellington Speech Pathology department offers services in swallowing therapy, including videofluroscopic swallow studies, and swallowing therapy, voice, including videostroboscopic evaluations and therapy, speech and language therapy. The Center has a knowledgable and experienced staff to serve your communication and swallowing needs.
About Shari Gill
Shari has been a Speech Language Pathologist for nearly 25 years. In that time she has worked in almost every setting and with almost every population. She has found her niche in the acute care and outpatient practice at Wellington Regional. There she shares her knowledge with patients and their families, encouraging them to succeed and to help themselves to recover their best communication skills.