Speech Disorders/Mute daughter

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QUESTION: My daughter Ryielle is 9, and she has some kind of a congenital speech problem. For her entire life, she's been completely mute. She can hear just fine, but she can make no sound out of her mouth. She can't talk at all, when she cries there's no sound, something's just wrong. I've taken her to several doctors, and they've all said that something's wrong with her vocal cords and or larynx, but they don't know what. When we do know is that it's not caused by something in her brain. I find it odd that my daughter can't make a single noise out of her mouth. I'm not looking for a diagnosis from you, I'm just wondering what you think so I can do some research on my own. What do you think could have caused this? Are there any specific conditions? Thank you

ANSWER: First of all, I am sorry that you had to come to this website because that means nobody was able to solve your child's problem.
I have a lot of questions for you first, if you allow me to get a more specific understanding of the situation.

1. Has she ever produced a sound? Even if only in dangerous situations?
2. Have you ever heard her react to nightmares using vocal sounds?
3. Is she on school? Is she able to read/write? If so, did you ask her what she feels about her condition and what is causing it?
4. There a few exams that she can take in order to see if her vocal cords and larynx function adequately such as endoscopy or videostroboscopy, but this aren’t comfortable exams for children. Did she ever go through any of these?
5. How does she feel about not being able to speak?

Thank you for your question and I hope I will be able to help you in the future

Cátia Oliveira
Speech Therapist.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I apologize for how long it's been since I first contacted you. We've been dealing with quite a few legal battles lately, so I've been pretty busy. I hope you can still help me.


She's never produced any sound; not even the slightest. Not during nightmares, no when she's scared or mad. When she was a baby, she cried but there was no sound. She goes to a private school along with our other kids. She can read and write like every other fourth grader. She's expressed through sign language that she wishes she could speak, but she's use to it. Most of the time she doesn't mind not being able to talk. She had some internal exams done when she was younger, and they said they didn't know what exactly was wrong but something was. I would love for her to talk one day, but I'm not sure if she will.

Thank you for your help.

Answer
Hello, dear Brenlynn

I'm very sorry to hear the reasons you have been absent. I have thought about because I don't understand how you child hasn't been helped already. Being unable to talk and smart enough to understand it is the hardest things I have encounter in my work.
I believe that your daughter's problem might be an organic one, since there is no evidence of her being able to produce sounds. However, this problem is not supposed to be looked at lightly because your child deserves to know what is going on with her and if there is any hope for her to ever talk, and for the family, of course. I imagine how anxious you are to hear her voice. I wish I could tell you how to solve this, but only seeing her larynx with allow me to understand were the problem comes from. Is there any ENT that you can consult and that can evaluate her? If you can consult one, maybe they will consider doing an endoscopy to understand how her phonatory system is working. As a speech therapist, obviously, I would say not to give up searching for someone who can answer your questions, however it is fundamental that you can understand that it is not you who is at fault. I do not know if you are from the USA, but if you are, write Dr. Mary camarata, from Vanderbilt center, at mary.camarata@gmail.com, she is a very caring person and maybe she van refer you to someone in your state. I wish I could help you.
If you are from another place, please let me know to see if I can refer you to someone.

Best regards,

Catia Oliveira.

Speech Disorders

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Cátia Oliveira

Expertise

Questions related with children's development on areas such as language, communication, speech, and motor skills related to speech. I can also answer questions related to giftedness and Einstein Syndrome.

Experience

Speech Therapist and Tutor at clinics and tutoring centres for the past 3 years. Teacher of a second grade gifted student.

Organizations
Primary School of Francelos Centro de Estudos Motivarte (Tutoring centre Motivarte) Centro de Estudos A+ (Tutoring Centre A+)

Education/Credentials
Speech Therapy Licentiate Superior School of Technology of Heath of Porto

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