The role of the Speech-Pathologist in Treating JRRP
Although the primary treatment for JRRP is surgery, a speech-pathologist can help the child, parents, and caregivers by providing support and by educating the family about the effects of JRRP and subsequent surgeries on the voice. Children who have age-appropriate communication skills or who are receiving other speech-language services to meet developmental milestones are appropriate candidates for voice therapy intervention. Goals of therapy could include respiratory retraining, avoidance of inappropriate compensatory behaviors in voice use, and helping the child adjust to changes in the vocal mechanism that might result in a voice quality that sounds different from other children. The speech-language pathologist who specializes in voice treatment may function either as a one-time resource for the family, or as a team member who works with the child at various stages of JRRP treatment. Exercises for home practice and voice games used in the office are examples of ways the voice clinician might treat dysphonia associated with JRRP.