- Voice therapy with a suitably qualified SLT
- pre- surgical assessment with an SLT which will involve accurate pitch measurements being made by the therapist and discussed with the client. The possible benefits and possible limitations of surgery will also be discussed (not all SLT’s have experienced with pitch elevation surgery so they may refer you to an experienced SLT). An explanation of the surgery will also be given to the client.
- Referral to an experienced Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) doctor for an assessment.
- If surgery is carried out, post surgical review with the SLT is very important. This is to give post surgical exercises and guidance and to review the voice quality. If the person had a course of speech therapy prior to the surgery, fewer sessions are required post surgically – sometimes only 2 – 3 are required.
Unfortunately, not all areas of the UK have a service for transgender individuals. Voice feminisation therapy has traditionally been very niche and specialist not least due to the small numbers of clients within the population as a whole. However, as the rates of referral have increased so have the number of treating clinicians. Since 2002, I have run training courses for SLT’s role to ensure carry over of skills and broaden the availability of this specialist kind of Voice therapy.and am happy to see that more SLT’s now wish to acquire skills in this area and continue to attend the 3 day courses I run. From 2008, I developed the junior developing specialist role at the West London GIC, offering full training within that role to the developing specialist with a view to succession planning.
It is also possible to begin speech therapy privately practising SLT at any time in your transition process. You can do this if you have been referred to an NHS service and are waiting to be sent an appointment. You can continue with private SLT whilst having NHS sessions or in addition to, providing that that your NHS SLT and your private SLT are not the same person.
You can download the app for iOS devices from here as well as being available on Google Play