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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


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


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


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


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

Can recommend Claire Wells at Northwick Park Hospital. But lots of options listed here.

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 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

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

bloomingheather Sat 12-Jul-14 19:02:45

I would second what Curlyfrizzball says re: (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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