Speech-language pathologists (SLP) are highly qualified professionals who are licensed in the evaluation and treatment of articulation, language, stuttering, voice, cognition and swallowing disorders. Within an ENT clinic, they typically provide rehabilitation services related to voice therapy (ex, for hoarseness) and swallowing therapy.
What is a voice team and why should I choose an SLP who works with a voice team?
A voice team is a concept used by most tertiary centers specializing in diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders. This is an approach whereby the laryngologist (ENT voice and swallowing subspecialist) works alongside SLPs, often performing the evaluation together, to allow for clear communication of the diagnosis and treatment plan. Through this voice team approach, our voice clinic can offer patients a higher level and more comprehensive care of voice disorders, from pediatrics through geriatrics.
Who is involved in and what can I expect during my evaluation?
- A laryngologist can diagnose the disorder using a comprehensive head, neck and voice evaluation which typically includes:
- A complete history
- A complete physical exam of the head and neck region
- Imaging/X-rays, when warranted
- Blood work/lab testing, when warranted
- A speech-language pathologist – will test voice function and quality.
Speech-language pathologist affiliated with a voice team, such as within our clinic, are usually referred to as a voice therapist rather than a speech-language pathologist. Speech-language pathologists are responsible for voice therapy and rehabilitation, which is comparable to physical therapy for an orthopedic condition. Our voice therapist will analyze your voice use and teach you proper voice support, relaxation, and voice placement to optimize use of the voice during speaking.
Our voice therapist is a member of the Voice Foundation. SLPs who subspecialize specifically in voice provide more incisive, and often more effective, treatment for voice disorders than most general SLPs. For this reason, it is worthwhile for patients with voice problems to seek out a subspecialist to improve the likelihood of a rapid and optimal treatment result.
If you are having concerns with your voice, call DeFatta ENT & Allergy at (715) 828-2368 for more information or to schedule an appointment.