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Why Your Child Should See an ENT to Support their Speech Development

Making sense of Ear Nose and Throat Issues that may impact your child's speech development.

Girl poking out tongue ready for ENT and speech assessment

My child is already seeing a speech pathologist? Why should I consider a referral to an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT)?

Do you have a little person who's struggling to speak clearly, they're trying hard but only you or their siblings understand them! Or perhaps their voice sounds a bit croaky or hoarse, maybe they shout a lot and it’s causing them to be hoarse at the end of the day. Perhaps they’re regularly snoring or breathing through their mouth or constantly snotty.

When you visit a speech pathologist, our case history forms and initial interviews will explore these concerns comprehensively. Our focus extends beyond speech; we consider the entire scope of your presentation.

Sometimes, there are no underlying causes of speech sound delay, but there can be factors that are causing it, or are limiting the effectiveness of therapy. That's why we frequently suggest that a child with a speech sound disorder see an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist, especially if you, as a parent, have concerns about their voice, snoring, allergies, or breathing.

The Role of ENT Specialists in supporting speech development:

What sets ENT specialists apart? Well, for starters:

  1. ENTs can identify any unusual issues with the vocal cords, nose/sinus, or ears could be causing or exacerbating the speech or voice difficulties. They know what’s normal and what’s not! Particularly when it comes to repeated infections like tonsillitis or a constantly runny nose. ENT specialists are experts at spotting these sneaky conditions and developing a management plan to tackle them.

2. Hearing also plays a crucial role in speech, and ENT specialists, along with audiologists, conduct tests to ensure the auditory system is functioning optimally.

3. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. Whether it involves removing tonsils, repairing a cleft palate, or addressing vocal cord issues, ENT specialists provide assessment and surgery as required.

Addressing speech, voice, and communication issues is a collaborative effort involving speech pathologists and ENTs, often joined by other professionals such as audiologists, general practitioners, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists. Together, we identify all the underlying causes of a speech delay and develop a comprehensive approach to address these issues, helping families achieve their goals.

If you're noticing your child struggling with speech clarity, enduring a hoarse voice, or showing signs of frequent snoring and mouth breathing, it may be time to delve deeper. At Newcastle Speech Pathology, we're dedicated to a comprehensive approach that goes beyond speech alone. We assess the whole picture, collaborating with ENT specialists to identify and manage any underlying conditions that might be affecting your child's speech development.

Don't wait for small issues to become bigger challenges. Contact Newcastle Speech Pathology today for a detailed assessment and find out how we can work together to support your child's communication needs and help your family reach your communication goals. Together, we can ensure your child receives the best possible care and support on their journey to clear and confident communication.

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