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Voice

A voice disorder is characterized by any deficit in an individual's voice that makes it difficult to verbally communicate. These differences can be in the pitch, loudness, or overall vocal quality/control. One study cited as many as one in 13 adults in the U.S. will experience a voice disturbance annually with few pursing treatment (Bhattacharyya, 2014). Additionally, the pediatric population can also be diagnosed with a voice disorder. 

Resources

Various medical sources, such as the Cleveland Clinic, present objective and professionally reviewed information regarding a variety of voice disorders and their symptoms. 

Evaluation

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An evaluation for voice can include recording and analysis of a variety of measures, including frequency, loudness, vocal effort, breathiness, roughness, and resonance. From the evaluation results and client report, a treatment plan is developed with trial therapy conducted typically during the evaluation session. It should be noted that visual instrumentation, such as stroboscopy, must be conducted elsewhere especially if vocal pathology is suspected (e.g. nodules, polyps, granuloma, hematoma, etc.). 

Development of a treatment plan and a trial therapy session will occur within the evaluation session. Each treatment plan is customized and tailored towards each client's individual needs for their voice goals from a variety of therapy approaches. Exercises and home therapy will be recommended for each client as it ensures efficient and effective progress. Vocal hygiene, a set of habits that assist in vocal health, will also be discussed with recommendations unique to each client.  

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Treatment

Gender-Affirming Voice & Communication Therapy

Services are available for those who wish to align aspects of their voice and/or overall communication with their gender identity. Recent research has shown that incongruent voice and gender identity may negatively impact an individual's quality of life (Oates & Dacakis, 2015). Auburn Speech and Apraxia provides inclusive and affirming services for all. Gender-affirming voice and communication therapy is an ever-evolving area of speech-language pathology thanks to continuing research and feedback from the community. University-based clinics provide some of the most up-to-date information available regarding gender-affirming healthcare.

Per Alabama S.B 184, it is against the law to provide gender-affirming healthcare to minors. In the state of Alabama, age 19 is considered the age of majority.

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