A child's voice is precious, so imagine not hearing your child's first words or giggles or hearing a voice that doesn't sound entirely normal.
Enter Jonathan Ida, an Ear, Nose and Throat physician at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, who oversees the hospital's Pediatric Voice Program, Chicago's only program dedicated to voice conditions.
One of the most common conditions is hoarseness. It is brought on by a number of causes, including vocal cord nodules, cysts and paralysis or intubation upon birth. Ida says that while hoarseness is extremely common in kids, it is not normal, especially as the children grow older.
The program offers a number of advantages to families, including resources and expertise in extensive airway surgery, a voice team that has strong experience in how the voice relates to swallowing and breathing, and skilled pediatric-specific speech therapy.
The Pediatric Voice Program is only offered at the main hospital, but evaluations are available at the New Lenox and Westchester outpatient centers. To make an appointment, call Carrie Jones at (312) 227-6811.
Lindsey is Chicago Parent's summer 2013 intern. She is a senior at Ball State University.
See more of Lindsey's stories here.