Breathiness happens when there is too much air loss when a person speaks, sings, etc.

Symptoms you may notice in your child include:

  • A “weak” voice
  • Quiet voice
  • Running out of air when speaking
  • Hoarseness or a rough sounding voice
  • Occasionally “losing your voice”

Things that cause Breathiness:

  • Vocals do not completely close
  • Lack of movement of one or both of the vocal folds
  • Vocal cords are malformed
  • Tissue change


Several health professionals will need to evaluate your child to assess the voice problem. The pediatric otolaryngologist and a voice- trained speech-language pathologist will start the evaluation. They will refer to other medical specialties as needed. A pediatric voice evaluation involves a thorough medical history, acoustic and aerodynamic measures, assessments of voice quality while your child is speaking, a procedure done with a scope to look at the larynx, and medical examination by a physician.

The rehabilitation evaluation will be completed by a Speech Language Pathologist. (SLP). The evaluation will include an interview to discuss the child’s medical history and a comprehensive evaluation on the use of the voice. The SLP will then do a physical evaluation on the child’s mouth and throat and will complete voice assessment activities with your child.

Rehab treatment interventions:

Depending on the diagnosis, some voice disorders are treated by medication or surgery. Other voice disorders can be treated with voice therapy by a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP).

Speech Therapy usually centers on stopping old vocal patterns and learning new ways to use your voice.

  • Identifying and eliminating harmful voice patterns
  • Improving vocal health
  • Using vocal exercises designed specifically for the disorder
  • Using the new voice in everyday communication

Your SLP will work with your child, will teach you ways to work with your child at home and will give you and your child home exercises and assignments to do daily.

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