Beyond these considerations, voice disorders may also be categorized with consideration to the same three dimensions by which all sounds may be delineated: loudness, pitch, and quality (Emerick 57). Quite often, voice disorders encompass two or all three of these dimensions.
In evaluating the client of this question who arrives with an unspecified voice disorder, the first order of business for the speech therapist or other clinician is simply to listen to the client's speech to gain a first-hand impression of what is wrong with the patient's vocalizations.
The speech therapist must also conduct a case history interview, asking in particular about the patient's vocation since certain professions tend to produce certain remediable voice problems. An unsatisfactory job that requires a person to talk a great deal under adverse conditions is far more likely to produce voice problems than a well-liked job requiring minimal talking in a quiet area (Emerick and Hatten 317).
A speech therapist should also investigate the patient's health history, examining both the patient's general health, his or her family background and the frequency of any habits such as smoking that can have a direct and deleterious effect upon the voice. Physical examination should be made of the lips, jaw, tongue, teeth, hard palate and velum (Emerick 66). It is important to determine if a physical cause for voice problems exists that must be treated medically before speech therapy may be effective.
A speech therapist attempting to diagnose a voice problem would also conduct respiration analyses to determine both the underlying basic health of the patient as well as confirming whether sufficient air is being exhaled to power normal speech (Emerick and Hatten 318-22).
Auditory tests should also be conducted in the case of any vocal disorder complaint to determine if lack of proper auditory feedback is interfering with the patient's speech (Emerick and Hatten 322...
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