ORAL-MOTOR DISORDERS

Inability to use the oral mechanism for functional speech or feeding, including chewing, blowing, or making specific sounds.

Oral-motor disorders are diagnosed by the SLP directly observing the child, doing what is called an “Oral-Motor Exam”. In this exam, the therapist asks the child to do a variety of tasks (such as pursing lips, blowing, elevating tongue, etc), looks inside the child’s mouth, observes the child eating and listens to the child talk. The therapist will also listen for the child’s ability to produce rapid oral movements. The SLP will determine how “intelligible” the child is (how much of what the child says can other people understand?), and may complete a formal speech test.

 Some children with oral-motor disorders are considered to be orally hyper-sensitive or to have tactile defensiveness. These children tend to have very rigid lips, and appear to be tight around their mouths. They may hate having their teeth brushed, dislike many foods, and get upset when their mouths are touched. Other children are hypo-sensitive. These children may drool, because they have weak lip muscles. They may also stuff food in their mouths until they gag or choke; these kids don’t have normal sensation in their mouths and it takes a lot of food before they realize their mouth is full. These type of children need to develop more normal sensitivity. A SLP can work with these children, using a variety of exercises designed to normalize sensitivity. These can include deep touch (for the hypo-sensitive child), chewing exercises, blowing a variety of whistles, working with straws, and more. Talk Tools Oral Motor Program developed by Sarah Rosenfeld- Johnson, is one of the methods used at PSLLC. If these children have multiple speech production errors, the SLP includes oral-motor exercises in every therapy session, and match the oral-motor exercise to the sound being targeted. For example, if the child has weak lip closure (tapping on the upper lip, drinking from a straw, blowing a whistle), then immediately working on words starting with [p],[b],or [m]. This way the exercise directly relates to the speech sound.

 The most important thing to remember about speech production disorders is that therapy can, in most cases, make a huge difference. The earlier and more intensive the intervention, the more successful the therapy.

SIGNS/SYMPTOMS:

  Low muscle tone in the face (i.e. “droopy face”)
  Open mouth posture/Trouble keeping lips closed
  Tongue hangs forward
  Drooling
  Speech sounds are unclear/Makes speech sound errors
   Leaves food in cheeks after eating or does not chew it up well
  Teeth grinding
  Oral defensiveness (i.e. Will not let you touch their face or doesn’t like food on it)
  Oral Hyposensitivity (i.e. crave sensory input so will mouth non-edible objects such as toys and clothes etc, to increase awareness in the mouth)
  Difficulty moving tongue side to side, up and down, or point it outside of the mouth
  Head does no move independently of the tongue (i.e. when move tongue side to side the head goes with it)
  Bites on fork/spoon/straw when eating/may bite on a horn while blowing
  Feeding problems

 EVALUATION:

If your child exhibits these signs, our staff of highly-skilled speech-language pathologists can assist you. Our ultimate goal at PSLLC is to provide a comprehensive oral-motor/ speech evaluation to assess the structure and function of your child’s mouth for speech and feeding, in addition to evaluating their production of speech sounds. Should your child require speech therapy following the evaluation, we offer several oral-motor programs and treatment options to meet your child’s specific needs.

 THERAPY:

  New and innovative oral-motor exercise programs
  Myofunctional therapy for tongue thrust such as the  SMILE program
  Talk Tools Oral-Motor Program -straw and horn hierarchies for oral strengthening for speech sound production
  Jaw grading/strengthening exercises
  Oral awareness exercises/ “mouth wake-ups”/ sensory mouth tools

 

Supported  by
CLINICAL PEDIATRIC ONLINE

Yudhasmara Foundation Indonesia

JL Taman Bendungan Asahan 5 Jakarta Indonesia 102010

phone : 62(021) 70081995 – 5703646

email : judarwanto@gmail.com,

http://clinicalpediatric.wordpress.com/

 

Copyright © 2009, Clinical Pediatric Online Information Education Network. All rights reserved.

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