The aim of this study was to describe the laryngeal anatomy, perceptual, acoustic and aerodynamic vocal characteristics of school-aged children with and without ADHD. The predisposition that children with ADHD have for laryngeal injuries are recurrent in nature and are more often than not overlooked as laryngitis. Previous studies have reported varied results on the prevalence rates of paediatric VFN within the school-aged ADHD population. A static, two-group comparison was used in the study to investigate the clinical, perceptual, acoustic and aerodynamic vocal characteristics of children between 7 and 9 years old with and without ADHD. The study replicated the protocol as executed by Barona-Lleo and Fernandez (2016) with additions. The Multidimensional Voice Program (MDVP) and the Voice Range Profile (VRP) as additions to the assessment of vocal parameters were used with which comparable dysphonia severity index (DSI) scores were calculated. Once-off clinical, perceptual, acoustic and aerodynamic voice assessments were conducted on 20 age-gender matched participants. The difference in assessment results between the vocal characteristics of children without a history of ADHD (control group) and those of children with ADHD (ADHD group) was then investigated and described. Forty five percent (n=9) of the total sample population had laryngeal pathology. Comparable parent reported etiological voice symptoms and vocal habits were seen across both groups. Both groups performed similarly across both perceptual and aerodynamic voice assessments. Acoustically, the control group achieved significantly higher producible pitches than the ADHD group (p=0.028) and were found to have more dysphonic DSI scores than their ADHD group peers (p=0.034). Prepubertal, school-aged children with or without ADHD may have similar vocal characteristics than previously thought. This variation in school-aged children warrants further research into larger sample sizes with this population with a special focus on the effect that CNS stimulants may have on the voice.
Dissertation (MCommunication Pathology)--University of Pretoria, 2019.