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[It just might be--here's helpful info for you.] A few weeks ago, we SLPs were sitting across from our therapy-kids, interacting and enjoying our time together.
That’s changed. For now, hopefully.
I must admit, prior to interviewing two super knowledgeable SLPs for my podcast (The Speech Link; #26 and #40) I was skeptical of doing online therapy. I am now a proponent and I believe it to be beneficial. But there is a learning curve.
Most of us speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have uttered the following frustrating phrase, “This child has no clue where his/her tongue is—so what do I do?” We use mirrors, verbal descriptions (multiple times in multiple ways), even show the child our own mouth, but sometimes even that isn’t enough. That’s where, quite literally, intra-oral therapy tools come in.
Making new year’s resolutions doesn’t work for me, personally or professionally. But here’s what does. On January 17, 2018, in the first Therapy Matters to you, I declared that “JOY” was my word-for-the-year. This was the first time I had done this with any level of determination and consistency.
The holidays are upon us! Time is in limited supply, especially for planning therapy. So, here’s an idea I think you and your therapy kids as well as their parents/caregivers will like. This suggestion meets the theme criteria, takes minimal time and effort to set-up, allows for a variety of age and capability therapy tasks.
“EBP creates an interesting predicament because the efficacy of NSOMEs has been questioned based both on empirical data and on the basic underlying assumptions for their use (Clark, 2003, 2005; Forrest, 2002; Kamhi, 2006; Lof, 2003).”
Lof and Watson wrote the above in their 2008 survey article (p. 393). As you read, they specifically listed five references as a base to their “NSOME” concerns and criticisms.
So, I zeroed-in on those five documents and read them very carefully....
During the time when numerous anti-oral motor articles were being published and when Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) came into vogue, a comprehensive literature review of language intervention with children was done by Cirrin and Gillam in 2008. Although the article is almost 12 years old, I bet you’ve never heard of it--or the results.
There is very little research, practical or otherwise, about the tongue’s characteristics during speech sound productions. Most typically, we’ve used descriptors such as “place, manner, and voice,” or binary distinctive feature terms which have pretty much fallen from favor. Currently, the terms most often used are phonological processes. While they are excellent at describing speech oral error patterns, they don’t provide much by way of describing desirable speech production—which is the goal, of course.
Right up there with negativity of “oral motor” therapy (i.e. therapy to build oral movement capability and speech skills) is anything that has to do with “SENSORY” therapy.” In fact, it’s even more taboo.
While preparing The Perfect Oral Motor Storm (podcast/handout), I came across a statement by Dr. Gregory Lof (2017). I nearly fell out of my chair: “Awareness and its role in therapy is always questioned.”
In therapy, have you ever had a child ask you if they could take home the boardgame you’re playing? For me, usually it was some game I’d purchased at Super Duper or somewhere. The kids were so disappointed when I said the game had to stay at school so other children could play, too.