The Orofacial Myology Clinic
The Orofacial Myology Clinic at The Speech Network focuses on remediation of thumb sucking/finger sucking, nail biting, forward tongue postures and open lip postures (incorrect oral rest postures), tongue thrust swallow (incorrect oral phase swallow patterns), and other difficulties that support appropriate growth and development of the orofacial structures.
We have specialized Orofacial Myofunctional programs, which include highly structured treatment plans provided by specially trained and certified Orofacial Myologists for children, teens, and adults with abnormal lip, tongue, and jaw resting positions or improper swallow patterns or sucking habits that impact their orofacial development, speech or swallowing.
What is Orofacial Myology?
Orofacial myology includes the evaluation and treatment of abnormal structure and/or fucntioning of the tongue, lips, and jaw in relation to oral rest postures, swallowing/chewing, and speech. The prevelance of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders has been found to range from 38% in the general population to 81% in children with speech production difficulties (Kellum, 1992, Maul et al, 1999).
Related or causal factors can include allergies, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, excessive or extended thumb/finger sucking habits, excessive or extended pacifier or sippy cup use, and strcuture abnormalities such as tongue tie or lip tie. These have all been linked to OMDs and should be addressed to ensure proper orofacial development.
But is the treatment for OMDs really effective?
Studies have supported the treatment programs offered for OMDs can be 80-90% effective in remediating abnormal swallowing and oral rest postures and functions with retention over years after treatment completion (Hahn & Hahn, 1992).
The Orofacial Myology Clinic offers a structured and phased OMT program to address open mouth rest postures, forward tongue postures at rest and in function, forward and/or lateral tongue movement during swallows, immature chewing patterns, weak or uncoordinated food manipulation, and associated postures and functional impacts related to the OMD. This program is typically includes 3 phrases with the first 12 weeks being intesive 1x per week sessions. A maintenance program is then utilizes to ensure generalization of new skills into daily routines and tasks. Progress is monitored through pre- and post-assessment for each phase of treatment, photo comparisons, and evaluation of functional tasks at each session.
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