Pediatric Voice Conditions

Pediatric Voice and Swallowing

Pediatric Voice Conditions

Contact Information

Pediatric Voice Clinic, American Family Children's Hospital

(608) 265-7760


Adult Services

Voice and Swallowing


Information From Kids Health

For Parents: Speech-Language Therapy

child yellingThe experts at our pediatric Voice Clinics at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, are internationally recognized for excellence in research, diagnosis and treatment of pediatric voice disorders.

By performing an initial voice evaluation for every pediatric patient, our team can effectively diagnosis and treat our patients' concerns.

Our comprehensive voice evaluations can include taking a history of the problem, visualization of the vocal folds, analysis of vocal sound and airflow, physical examination and trial therapies.

We provide a wide range of general and specialized care for the voice. We recognize that the voice is quite a complicated function that can affect a child's swallowing, breathing and speaking abilities.

Voice Concerns

Common voice concerns include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Scratchy, weak or breathy voice
  • Difficulty with loudness
  • Pain or discomfort with speaking or singing
  • Change in singing voice
  • Increased effort to talk
  • Frequent laryngitis
  • Voice fatigue (worsening voice quality or discomfort with voice use)
  • Changes in voice after trauma or surgery to the neck, throat or larynx

Voice disorders can be caused by a variety of factors and are frequently related to vocal nodules, polyps, cysts, granulomas, cancer, papilloma, vocal fold paralysis, vocal edem (swelling), muscle tension dysphonia or other changes to the vocal folds and how they move.

We also evaluate voice problems related to:


We perform an initial evaluation on all of our pediatric patients to determine the best approach to care for their voice concerns. A typical evaluation for a pediatric patient may include:

  • A thorough review of the history of the patient's concern, as well as any medical, surgical, lifestyle, occupational, or emotional factors that might be related to the voice problem
  • Observing the vocal folds with a camera and specialized light source, called videostroboscopy
  • Observing the vocal folds with a high speed camera
  • Analysis of the sound of the patient's voice (acoustic analysis)
  • Analysis of airflow and air pressure during voice production (aerodynamic analysis)
  • Manual assessment of tension in the muscles used to produce voice
  • Trial therapy to help predict success and to determine the best method of therapy for the individual patient

Other tests may be scheduled, as determined by your voice care team. This team initially includes an otolaryngologist and a speech-language pathologist, but may also include nursing, pulmonology, asthma/allergy, neurology, gastroenterology, audiology, psychology or radiology specialists.

Pediatric Performing Voice Program

UW Health provides comprehensive diagnosis and care for children and adolescent performers of all training and experience levels.