Your voice gives you power. The stronger your voice is and the more you believe in it, the more others will believe in it (and you) too.
But, believing in your voice is hard if you have a developmental disability or other assorted speech problems. Instead of trusting your voice to express things for you, you get nervous that you’ll be made fun of.
We understand that, maybe better than anyone. That’s why all our services and therapists work tirelessly with clients.
Want to learn how voice therapy can help you have less difficulty talking? Read our what-to-expect guide below.
What is Voice Therapy?
Your vocal cords are a muscle, like any other muscle in your body. Every time you speak you’re training them to perform a certain way. But some of us are training them incorrectly, though we don’t mean to.
Voice therapy aims to retrain our vocal cords to perform better, in the way they should. Unlike speech pathology, it doesn’t focus on certain sounds or words.
You can think of it as personal training, but for the inside of your throat.
What Does the Process Look Like?
When assessing your need for vocal therapy, a doctor or therapist will perform an evaluation. They’ll listen to you speak and may record your voice with specific devices. These will listen for the aerodynamic instrumentation and acoustic properties of your voice.
After the evaluation, the therapist may ask you to complete or take home a set of vocal exercises. These are like pre-homework.
If you take them seriously and your therapist hears an improvement next time you see them, it’ll inform your future voice therapy plan.
Your budget, your schedule, and your specific needs will decide how often you see your therapist. Most people complete a session every week for four to eight weeks.
But arrangements can be made to fit each patient’s needs.
At your therapy appointments, your therapist will perform tests to see how your progress is going. They’ll listen to your practice exercises and yes, they can tell if you’re not doing your homework.
They may set you up to test on different machines each time or make sure that each lesson looks the same. It’s all about the patient. For example, an autistic child may not do well with ever-changing appointment schedules.
But a singer who’s working on getting over trauma from a throat surgery may not require that kind of sensitivity.
Finishing Your Sessions
Like anything in life, there isn’t one moment where you’ve “fixed” the problem and don’t ever need to worry about it again. Voice therapy is a continuous process and sometimes issues return after a period of time.
Once you’ve finished your initial therapy plan, your clinic may ask to see you back in six months or a year. If issues return, they’ll address where to go from there, then.
To ensure you get the best results, it’s advisable to do your vocal exercises every so often, even when you’re done with your sessions.
You don’t quit doing squats forever because you’re not working with a personal trainer anymore, right? It’s the same idea.
Who Should Use Voice Therapy?
Voice therapy means something different to each patient, though we do have common client types.
Some parents bring their children in for voice therapy as a supplement to speech lessons. Other times there was an injury and the person needs a voice therapist’s help recovering and returning to their normal way of life (voice).
Singers and vocalists often work with voice therapists if they’re encountering a change in the sound of their voice or have developed health issues. Vocal nodules are some of the most common issues we treat.
It’s also common to use vocal therapy as part of a recovery plan after surgery for vocal polyps or cysts.
What are the Goals of Voice Therapy?
In essence, the goals of voice therapy are to reduce any difficulty talking. We’re here to help people regain their voice and their confidence.
That said, the main goals of our services are:
- To help find a better voice quality
- To reduce fatigue and strengthen vocal muscles
- To treat a chronic cough or hoarseness
- To reduce pain
- To make speaking/singing easier for all clients
So, to return the point above, anyone who wants to accomplish any of these goals can benefit from voice therapy.
What to Look for in a Vocal Therapist
Finally, the quality of the therapy you get is only as good as the quality of the therapist who gives it. You need to make sure the therapist you’re working with has a relevant educational background as well as hands-on experience.
Look for them to have certifications from accredited organizations, like the American Speech and Language Hearing Association. You can find this out on the clinic’s about us or staff page, and by reading online clinic reviews.
Treating Difficulty Talking
If all this sounds like the right treatment plan for you, we’ll be happy to work with you. Our therapists are all well-educated and hold the proper accreditations.
Your difficulty talking doesn’t have to define you or continue to hurt your confidence. With help from us, hard work, and a therapy plan, we can make your voice better than it ever was before.
And, even better, all of our services are online so they fit into your budget and schedule better. You won’t have to take off work or school and commute, you can improve in the comfort of your own home!
Want to learn more? Click here to get started with our voice therapy services.