A quality of the voice that is high pitched and difficult to understand. It is caused by too much air flowing through the nose during the production of speech.
It is often associated with velopharyngeal insufficiency (the muscles between the mouth and nose do not close.) or cleft palate (split in the palate in the mouth). Hypernasality can also occur for a variety of reasons.
A healthcare team will work together to correctly diagnose your child and help you care for your child. When hypernasality is severe, your child may need to have corrective surgery. The rehabilitation care will be provided by a Speech language Pathologist (SLP).
At the speech evaluation the SLP will talk with you about your child’s medical history and your current concerns. The SLP will examine your child’s mouth and nose. They may perform a nasometer test. Your child will perform some speaking activities so the SLP can assess the quality and characteristics of his speech.
The SLP will work together with you and your child. In therapy your child will learn how to make speech sounds correctly.
Treatment activities including the use of:
- Listening feedback – listening to recorded speech, use of a listening tube to help your child hear herself using correct speech and incorrect speech sounds.
- Visual feedback – biofeedback machine called a nasometer, mirror, see Scape activities.
- Touch feedback - child touches nose to feel vibration and no vibration, feel the air coming through the mouth, etc.
- Speech exercises
- Mouth strengthening exercises
Parents participate in the therapy session. You will learn how to work with your child every day at home. Practicing frequently outside of therapy will determine how well and how quickly your child will progress.