A 2008 study found that chronic dysphonia in children negatively affected their lives by inviting negative attention and limiting their participation in important events (J Voice. 22(2):197-209).
Vocal disorders often refer to hoarseness, which is the most common symptom. According to Gayle Woodson, MD, professor and chair in the division of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Ill., hoarseness may be present at birth because of a congenital problem such as vocal fold paralysis or a laryngeal web but often presents later due to acquired vocal fold lesions or laryngitis.
“In my practice, the most common pediatric voice disorder by far is vocal nodules or calluses on the vocal folds. These children speak or scream loudly, and the cause is assumed to be vocal abuse,” she said. “Once nodules have developed, it is difficult to speak softly and so children have to speak loudly.”