Purpose: Velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD) is most common in cleft palate that can cause hypernasality and/or nasal emission during speech. Although VPD with non-cleft causes often present in clinical practice, in some cases, they may not be properly diagnosed or treated. This case report introduces the effectiveness of speech therapy for patients with velopharyngeal dysfunction due to faulty vocal pattern and articulation habits.
Case Report: This report describes the speech therapy for 2 patients with resonance disorders: case 1 patient, a 22-year-old man, produced /i/ vowel only with nasality and case 2 patient, a 24-year-old man, presented moderate hypernasality. For case 1, a total of 8 sessions of speech therapy were conducted once a week, 40 minutes per session using tongue protrusion /i/, yawn-sigh, opening mouth with chewing approach. Case 2 underwent speech therapy (5 sessions, once a week, 40 minutes per session) and facilitating techniques with posture alignment correction and focus method were used. All training sessions were conducted by the same speech-language pathologist. The speech intelligibility test was implemented and nasalance was measured using a nasometer before and after therapy. Significantly improved speech intelligibility and reduced hypernasality were achieved following speech therapy.
Conclusions: Inappropriate phonation and articulation habits may cause hypernasality and nasal emission. Tongue protrusion/i/, opening mouth with chewing, yawn-sigh method help reduce hypernasality and nasal emission especially in high vowel /i/ by releasing tongue tension and airflow through the mouth. In addition, posture correction, opening mouth, and focus(voice placement) may be useful as a stimulability technique for patients who have hypernasality to modify the vocal pattern and change the poor articulation habits.