Before the appointment
Preparing your child
- Read the book What to Expect When You Come to the VPD Clinic at Seattle Children’s on our What to Expect Photo Books page.
- See Evaluating VPD in Your Child (PDF) (Spanish).
- If you are worried about how your child will tolerate the procedure, contact us at 206-987-2014 and ask to have a child life specialist contact you before the appointment and/or attend your appointment. Child life specialists are professionals who work with children and families to help relieve tension, express concerns and fears and feel more in control about their medical experience.
- Learn more about preparing your child for a clinic visit.
What to bring
- A favorite book or toy.
- A snack or lunch, if you are scheduled for more than one appointment. You can also visit the nearby hospital cafeteria.
What to expect during a VPD clinic visit
Your child may need 1, 2 or 3 appointments to complete an evaluation for velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). Before someone calls you to schedule, we will determine which appointments your child may need.
- A speech and language pathologist (SLP) specializing in VPD will assess your child’s speech. This usually takes 30 minutes to an hour. It is called a perceptual VPD evaluation.
- After speech testing, your child may have 1 or 2 additional tests, or they may be done for the day. Additional tests are scheduled an hour or more after the speech test.
- If your child may need surgery or a speech appliance, they will see an ear, nose and throat doctor (otolaryngologist).
- The doctor will insert a flexible tube into your child’s nose to see the back of their throat. This is called a nasopharyngoscopy.
- Depending on the specific information needed to plan surgery, your child may still have one more test, or they may be done for the day.
- Sometimes we do a video X-ray of your child’s palate and throat while they talk. This is called a video fluoroscopic speech study.
- The speech language pathologist does this test.
We record these procedures and review them with you. Our recommendations are based on the results of these tests.
For more information, see Evaluating VPD in Your Child (PDF) (Spanish).
If you schedule all 3 speech testing appointments on the same day, you will be at the hospital most of the day.
If you do speech testing first and have the other 1 or 2 procedures on a different day, you should allow a half-day for those appointments. They usually happen on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday and Thursday of the month.