Friday, April 12, 2013

FAQ Friday: Vocal Abuse

Friday could not come soon enough this week.  With state testing and paperwork and evals, I'm about to pull my hair out over here!  I guess it's just that time of year...sigh.  April and May are always so ca-razy!

Weeelll, you know what Fridays also mean...FAQ time!  Get your questions ready!  :)

Today's question is voice related.  Even though I haven't had an extremely large amount of kids with voice disorders in my career, it seems like my friends are usually the vocal abuse culprits.  I've had some singer friends fight nodules as well as some hard core Tiger football fans!  In light of this, back to today's question:

To prevent vocal abuse, let's take a look at some behaviors that cause it.  That way we know what to avoid!  According to ASHA, these behaviors can cause abuse that can later lead to nodules:

  • Smoking
  • Allergies
  • Muscle tension
  • Singing
  • Coaching
  • Cheerleading
  • Talking loudly
  • Drinking caffeine and alcohol.  

Kids can also abuse their voices when they cry loudly, yell, scream, make silly noises, or make other harsh sounds.  Sometimes these behaviors can have long term effects, causing their voices to sound breathy or raspy.

The NICDC has some great tips for taking care of your voice.  Here are a few ways you can prevent these vocal problems:

Also, check out these Handy Handouts from Super Duper on voice problems HERE and HERE.  You can also view this ASHA article for more info.

As always, if you have concerns about your or your child's voice, it's best to contact a local SLP for an evaluation.  He or she can give help educate you on proper voice techniques and give you specific recommendations.

What do you think?  Do any of you have voice clients on your caseloads?


  1. I love the tips list! We're doing a handout for teachers in our school for BHSM so this is a great resource (as is the SD handout!) Thanks :)

    BTW, I have one three year old on my caseload with vocal nodules.

    1. Thanks, Carrie! I bet that 3 year old is a challenge! Great idea about the teacher handout. I might have to do the same! :)


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