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Speech & Language Therapists? Sound Engineers? Amplification of voice box?

(48 Posts)
KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 09:57:35

My dad has Lung cancer & he has lost his voice due to pressure on the nerve for his voicebox.

He can whisper & he finds it frustrating

Can he buy a bit of 'kit' that will amplify his voice

My husbands radio mike (for dance teaching) is a bit bulky and plugs into an amplified so wouldn't be very portable - and is several (maybe 5) years old

What could he use?

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 10:00:16

I've found this page but tbh I'd need to learn shed loads of stuff before being able to understand enough to buy something

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 10:02:26

& this stuff but how on earth do I know enough to choose

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 10:55:05

I'll keep bumping this throughout the day - as my chances of catching my chosen careers people is fairly small wink

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 12:03:31

bump

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 13:41:05

bump

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 14:54:48

bump

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 15:39:54

bump

2kidsintow Sat 12-Jul-14 15:52:43

Hi Katy. I didn't want to read and run so had a look at the amazon link. THe first aker one (and cheapest) seems like something worth a try - one of the links says someone is using it for someone who is having trouble being heard. I don't think you need the larger amp ones, which seem more for the idea of public address.

I'm a teacher and may give the first one a try - rather than shouting!

2kidsintow Sat 12-Jul-14 15:53:39

Although the postage is... Wow! On that first one.

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 16:08:31

Thanks - I wondered about the need for volume

they are all about £22-24 on amazon so the low price is a lead in con.....

Some are supplied from the UK so much quicker to get here

I think my dad might buy one - I just didn't know if the neck thing was worth paying for (iykwim) he only wants to talk at home I think

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 17:55:40

Stubborn parent that he is....he actually wants to speak to a S&LT

Damn - how do I find a private adult S&LT?

SideOfFoot Sat 12-Jul-14 18:07:34

Hi, I am assuming that an S&LT is a speech and language therapist, forgive me if I'm wrong. On that basis, you should find one in the yellow pages or google. I had one privately for my dd, just a normal speech problem dd had. I just phoned one up and she was very helpful, and came very quickly to help, albeit she was quite expensive but worth it.

Have a look, there should be a few to choose from, phone up and explain what you want.

Good luck and best wishes to you and your dad.

littleducks Sat 12-Jul-14 18:11:09
KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 18:16:00

Thanks Guys

There isn't one close enough in that booklet - so I'll google

Are speech & Language generally adult vs child? I've only ever dealt with child ones

SideOfFoot Sat 12-Jul-14 18:18:59

I got the impression that the one I used would deal with adults or children.

Btw, she came to our house so that kind of thing might be useful to your dad.

littleducks Sat 12-Jul-14 18:19:06

You need a specialist.

Also check you can't get an NHS referral. You may then be able to borrow and trial of any equipment.

littleducks Sat 12-Jul-14 18:21:44

Which hospital is your dad being treated at. Look on their website for a speech therapist working with head and neck cancer team and/or voice clinic

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 18:22:29

Littleducks - I'm not sure he has time to wait for NHS - for children round here it's 6-9 months

I found these people I can ring on Monday

But I think they will need to accept a self-referral....as the oncologist won't do anything for my dad's voice 'until after the chemo is finished' which is 16 weeks off; but it is upsetting him now

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 18:26:01

I can't see any speech people at the hospital - or voice

littleducks Sat 12-Jul-14 18:29:22

Waiting times will be wildly different for children vs. Adults. In adults you are dealing with very different conditions.

On that link they say needs to see a consultant ENT because if you have a voice disorder you have to see an ENT Dr to rule out cancer before being referred for therapy.

If the reason for the disorder is known and is being treated/managed by your dad's Dr I think it shouldn't be an issue. The may still need to be some liason though.

Curlyfrizzball Sat 12-Jul-14 18:33:55

I am a speech and language therapist but not sure if I can help you as I only work with children. However, I can tell you that the best place to find an independent speech therapist is www.helpwithtalking.org

Therapists do usually do either adults or children, though some larger private companies will do both - like the one you've linked to, by the look of it.

The NHS list for adults is unlikely to be as long as it for children - might be worth a phone call just to see how long the wait is, as it may save you some money.

I really don't know much about voice, sorry, but I really would get some professional advice about the best things to do, so he's not putting extra strain on it and making it worse. Sorry I can't help more.

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 18:34:29

OK - I guess I'll ring the GP on Monday

My dad can't as you can't hear him hmm it makes patient confidentiality fun - "Well he can give you permission to talk to me but you will struggle to hear it!

KatyMac Sat 12-Jul-14 18:37:41

Thanks Curlyfrizzball - we think the problem is the nerve is stretched by the tumour & it has paralysed some of the vocal chords so he whispers really well

To some extent making it worse is a moot point as he will probably die first <rolls eyes>

He earnt his living with his voice - a natural comedian and lecturer! It sounds so odd when I hear it on his ansaphone message- so different to now

I would second what Curlyfrizzball says re: www.helpwithtalking.org (I'm a SLT too). I work in independent practise but with children. It sounds to me like you're looking for absolutely the right thing.

It's a shame the oncologist won't do anything about your dad's voice for now, although I presume that's because they want to let things settle. He should still be eligible to be referred to the SLT service attached to the hospital he is attending though - you can self-refer (as far as I'm aware, although they will want to liaise with your dad's medical team. As others have said, I doubt the waiting list will be as long and I'd hope that your dad would be prioritised as he is a current patient. They should be able to advise on the amplifier and be able to lend your dad ones to try - there might also be a local NHS AAC (Assistive & Augmentative Communication) technology service (I know of one local to me but I am in Scotland) who specialise in assessment and provision of anything techy to do with supporting communication. You usually need to be referred via a community or hospital based SLT though. The independent service you have linked to look ideal and like you say, at least you won't have to wait.
I hope you find someone to help - it must be so frustrating for your dad, especially as someone whose voice played such a large part in their professional life and identity.

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