Clinical considerations in speech therapy for the male-to-female transgender populations
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Purpose: The purpose of the present study is to determine the treatment strategies that male-to-female transgender individuals consider to be critical to passing as their true gender as well as the unique factors that may contribute to these individuals seeking speech therapy services. This study also seeks to determine awareness of the transgender population in regards to the availability and scope of speech therapy services relative to transitioning or passing as their true gender. Method: A 38-question electronic survey (N= 17 respondents in final data corpus) was developed to address our research questions and was distributed via email to various transgender listervs, organizations, etc. Results: Although male to female individuals, regardless of their age or geographic location, reported speech therapy to be an important part of the transition, they did not seek speech therapy for themselves. They are highly motivated to achieve an overall feminine presentation, specifically a more feminine vocal quality. These individuals are aware of speech therapy services but are not familiar with specific factors targeted in therapy or the breadth of services available. Conclusion: Preliminary results revealed the rated importance of speech therapy services for the male to female transgender population as well as the lack of awareness and availability of the breadth of speech therapy services available to transgender clients. These findings will further enhance our ability to meet the needs of the male to female transgender client.