Katherine Verdolini Abbott (USA)
Emerging Models of Pediatric Voice Therapy: Voice Conservation, Be Gone!

Brief Biography

Dr. Verdolini Abbott is Professor Communication Science and Disorders and Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA).  She is also a faculty member in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, and in the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.  She has received continuous funding since 1997 from the National Institutes of Health (USA) for her research in voice and voice disorders.  Her research interests have focused on the effects of hydration and dehydration on voice, voice production biomechanics, models of perceptual-motor learning applied to voice, physical pathways in mind-body connections in voice, interactions between breathing and laryngeal function, and exercise physiology.  She is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), from which she also received the highest Honors in 2009.  She is former Editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, and also G. Paul Moore Lecturer at the 2011 Voice Foundation Symposium in Philadelphia.  She recently completed a Master of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and has interests in spirituality and health.

Emerging Models of Pediatric Voice Therapy: <em>Voice Conservation, Be Gone!

Many conditions may affect children’s voices.  However, by far the most common conditions are those attributable to voice use patterns, such as nodules. The first-line approach for the treatment of such phonotraumatic conditions is overwhelmingly behavioral. Traditional models of behavioral intervention have emphasized voice conservation.  The logic is that if voice use caused the problem, a reduction in voice use should help to cure it. On the surface, the logic is sensible. However, at a deeper level, it is flawed in two ways.  First, we are communication specialists.  As such, it is paradoxical for us to address a communication problem by asking a person to communicate less.  With this approach, our patients are either impaired either by their disease or by their treatment.  Second, new data on the biology of laryngeal injury and wound healing suggest that some forms of tissue mobilization – for example those found in resonant voice and some other voicing patterns – may actually be reparative for acute and possibly chronic vocal fold injury. This presentation will review the biological data and apply them to emerging models of voice therapy for children.  Attention will also be given to theoretical factors in perceptual-motor learning in children, which should also shape our therapies.  Brief examples will be provided of how both biomechanical and learning variables are integrated in a new model of pediatric voice therapy, Adventures in Voice.

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European CPLOL Congress 8-9 May 2015 Florence Italy
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