There are many conditions we need to be aware of, and look for, as we raise our children, and staying educated with all phases of development can often seem difficult. Earlier education not only helps our children learn and develop into unique individuals but allow other adults and professionals to see what actually makes our precious little ones the unique beings they are. Our NYC speech therapist, Stacey Miller, SLP, has over seven years of experience treating sensitive speech and learning disabilities and is an expert in Oral Motor Therapy.
Some children develop extreme sensitivity towards the parts of their mouths, including the lips, tongue and jaw. For various reasons, they feel that the use of their mouths is an unpleasant and uncomfortable chore. As a result, they try to avoid any form of muscle movements of their face and mouth, which then causes these muscles to become weak, inhibiting their speech production. The end result is the child unable to speak fluently or unable to pronounce long words, phrases, and syllables. These children also refuse to repeat the same words over and over. To counteract these feelings, our NYC speech therapist has found Oral Motor Therapy to be extremely beneficial.
Using oral motor exercises as a form of speech therapy, our NYC speech therapist uses Oral Motor Therapy to bring about significant improvement in the oral skills of children. This form of therapy helps to stabilize the jaw, and distance the tongue from the jaw, pursing of lips, etc. There are very simple activities used in this type of therapy that involve the lips, the tongue and jaw. We are well aware that little children tend to get nervous while undergoing speech therapy so our NYC speech therapist incorporates games and toys as effective therapy tools. This keeps Oral Motor Therapy fun while improving their skills at the same time. Tongue twisters can also be used for practicing oral motor therapy. We start out by asking the child to focus on pronouncing each of the words of the tongue twister properly. Once they seem comfortable with the word, we encourage them to speed up the sentence. Puzzles, construction toy games, board games that use pictures of ‘therapy words’, car races, hide and seek are some of the other games that kids love to play can have therapeutic value as well. Oral Motor Therapy can make speech sound better but will also help your child, age 3 and above, to deal with problems like eating and swallowing much easier.