Oral motor therapy works on the oral skills, which is necessary for proper speech and feeding development. These skills include: awareness, strength, coordination, movement and endurance of lips, cheeks, tongue and jaw. Children who are born prematurely are diagnosed with various syndromes including Down’s syndrome, Autism or are “late talkers” most often they have weak muscles of the face. Development of oral motor skills includes stimulating these muscles to move in the right way in order. For the children, this therapy helps them to learn how to swallow, chew and speak. Speech- language pathologist and occupational therapist trained in oral motor therapy. They will be able to assess the situation prescribe a course of action and guide you through the process.
- Therapist use Z – vibe to normalize sensation within the oral cavity. Hyposensitive individuals have little to no awareness of what’s going on inside their mouths. On the other hand hypersensitivity individuals are overly sensitive and often experiences aversion to textures, temperatures, tastes etc. Both cases can significantly affect speech & feeding development. The tip attachments for Z-Vibe come in various shapes and textures. Therapist uses them to stroke and apply gentle pressure to the lips, cheeks (Both inside and outside), the tongue vary the pressure, the direction of the strokes, and the length of the pressure.
- it is also a simple and effective way to provide oral stimulation
For the lips
- Say “ooo” with exaggerated lip movement. Then say “eee” combine them for “oo-ee” really round the lip.
- Say “puh” and pop the sound with emphasis
- Make a big smile. Relax and repeat.
- Puff out the cheeks while keeping the lips sealed. Relax and repeat. Puff out one cheek, then both. Then puff out the upper lip followed by the lower lip. Relax and repeat the same.
- Pulse the lips to make a kiss slide the kiss to the right and then to the left or vice versa.
- Blow bubbles, whistles, horns kazoo etc.
For the tongue
- Say “lalalala” without moving the jaw up and down. Only move the tip of the tongue.
- Place the tongue tip on the alveolar ridge just behind the upper front teeth. Hold for as long as possible, working up to three minutes swallow when necessary then get back into position.
- Practice tongue tip sounds. Say tttt, nnnn, dddd, and t-d-n.
- Do a tongue pop. Suck the tongue up to the root at the palate and pop it.
For the cheeks
- Put the lips together and contract the cheeks.
- Make an “o” with the lips. Then move the lips in a circle. Repeat several times and then reverse the direction.
For the jaw
- Place a bite – n- chew tip or the loop of the grebe in between the front teeth. Bite and hold up to a count of 10.
- Use the probe, bite-n-chew tip, grabber, ory- chew to push down on the jaw while the individual pushes up for isometric exercise.
- Say “butter cap” rocket ship” five times in a row both words the tips, the tip of the tongue and back of the tongue.
- Say “puh tuh kuh” three times. Say slowly and increase the rate. Then mix the order and do it again.