Ours is a multidisciplinary clinic, meaning that the Pediatric Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat physician) and Speech-Language Pathologist work closely together throughout the evaluation to develop the most appropriate treatment plan. Within this service model, the larynx and vocal tract can be evaluated simultaneously by both providers. We understand that undergoing a laryngeal examination can be intimidating and our model is designed to help the child to be as comfortable as possible throughout the evaluation.
The visit will likely begin with the Speech-Language Pathologist, who will talk with you about the nature of the voice problem, as well as engage your child in conversation about their school, friends, interests, etc. The purpose of this conversation is not only to evaluate the child's vocal quality, but also begin to help your child feel more comfortable. Please don't worry if your child is shy or difficult to engage right away, we'll work together to help him or her feel more comfortable.
The next step is the application of a topical anesthetic to prepare your child's nose for examination of the vocal folds. Your child will have an opportunity to see and touch the instrument used for the nasal spray. The spray has a bitter taste, but he or she will be offered water to help clear the taste.
We will then proceed to the examination, which involves placing a small endoscope in the nose that allows for visualization of the vocal cords. The endoscope is similar to a cooked spaghetti noodle in size and length. Again, your child will have the opportunity to see and touch the scope prior to the examination. Children are able to choose if they would like to sit on someone's lap or hold a hand during the procedure. Once the scope is in place, your child will be asked to say "eee" and possibly a few other sounds. After the necessary images have been obtained, the scope is removed. The procedure typically lasts less than 5 minutes. The images are recorded, so you and your child will have a chance to view the images after the procedure is complete. Children are often very excited to see their "nose movie" that they've worked so hard to complete!
The Otolaryngologist will then examine your child and view the video of his or her vocal folds. The Otolaryngologist and Speech-Language Pathologist will talk with you about the nature of the voice problem and possible treatment options.
Please talk to your child about what to expect during the visit, using as much detail as you feel will be helpful. It's often beneficial to tell your child that we will all work together to "take pictures" of their vocal cords, and that their nose and throat will get to star in their own movie!
If your child is referred for evaluation of possible vocal cord dysfunction, please be sure that they arrive dressed in exercise clothes and shoes, as they will likely be asked to exercise briefly as part of their evaluation.
Please feel free to contact our clinic should you have any further questions about your upcoming visit. You are welcome to being a USB drive if you would like a copy of the laryngeal examination. We look forward to meeting you!
How to Make an Appointment
Please contact our office regarding scheduling appointments. Prior to scheduling an appointment, our providers often need to review chart notes related to the reason you want to be seen in order to coordinate any additional tests they may need in order to make the most of your visit. In some cases, we will require a referral from your primary care physician. We would be happy to discuss this with you to ensure we have all we need to expedite the scheduling process. Please contact us by phone or email to begin the process.
Phone: NW Clinic for Pediatric Voice 503-494-5350
If you have a question for one of our providers, please email us.