If a speech pathologist has diagnosed your child with apraxia of speech, you will understandably be concerned. This can be a serious condition and may lead to frustration for you and your child. The more you learn about this speech problem, the more comfortable you can be in getting the right treatment. It is helpful…
How Speech-Language Pathologists Use Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
Orofacial myofunctional therapy is used to treat disorders that lie in the mouth and facial area. The majority of the disorders display themselves as abnormal patterns of movement. A few examples include thumb sucking, tongue thrust, resting with the lips spread open, and pushing the tongue against the teeth while resting.
While orofacial myofunctional disorders contribute to dental and breathing problems, they can also have a serious effect on speech. When the mouth does not function the way that it is supposed to, the result may be difficulty pronouncing certain words or lisps, both of which require intense therapy to address. Continue reading to find out more about orofacial myofunctional therapy.
Orofacial myofunctional therapy for speech disorders
The following information outlines how speech-language pathologists use orofacial myofunctional therapy to address certain speech disorders.
Relevant speech disorders
Orofacial myofunctional disorders can cause speech problems if the tongue and lips become improperly positioned. When not tackled in a timely manner, the problems may become permanent, which is why therapy is needed. Below are a few of the most common speech problems that result from orofacial myofunctional disorders.
- Difficulty articulating or pronouncing certain words or letters
- Lisps, which can cause speech to sound altered or improper
How orofacial myofunctional therapy is used
Once any medical concerns associated with orofacial myofunctional disorders are tackled, then a speech pathologist can come in to determine the best course of therapy. Speech pathologists may do the following during orofacial myofunctional therapy.
- Encourage the individual to articulate sounds in a clear and precise manner
- Implement tongue movement techniques
- Require the individual to practice breathing so that it matches up with speech
- Ask the individual to get comfortable with where and how the tongue and lips are supposed to be held and positioned
- Request an alteration when it comes to chewing and swallowing, as both can contribute to OMD
The practices listed above are just a few that a speech pathologist may use when administering orofacial myofunctional therapy. Of course, each individual will have varying needs. However, over the course of therapy, the goal is to refine speech and eliminate any behaviors that may be contributing to the disorder and inability to properly communicate.
The role of a speech pathologist
A speech pathologist studies everything related to the mouth, including how it functions. When it comes to OMDs, speech pathologists are able to use the diagnosed problem to determine what type of therapy is needed. For example, if the tongue rests improperly then the speech pathologist may recommend practices where the letter S is annunciated multiple times.
Get started with therapy
When struggling with an orofacial myofunctional disorder, it is a good idea to consult with a speech pathologist. While the disorder itself may require the assistance of a dentist and another medical professional, a speech pathologist is actually quite credible for therapy. Because they spend their careers dedicated to refining speech, their therapeutic approach can be helpful for addressing OMD. To find out more about orofacial myofunctional therapy or to get scheduled for a consultation appointment, reach out today.
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