Over the last 4 months I have taken about 20 hours of continuing education in oral myofunctional disorders / Oromyofunctional Therapy (OMT). Today I completed the two day TOTS Training (Tethered Oral Tissue). For those of you who have not heard about OMT, one of the goals is to help our clients keep or establish good oral resting posture. When we are not eating, swallowing, chewing, talking the tip and front part of our tongue should be resting on “the spot” (the bumpy spot behind your upper front teeth), our teeth are barely apart, lips lightly closed and breathing through our nose. This resting posture is important especially as children’s oral structure is developing (i.e., jaw, palate, nasal cavity, dentition). Ever heard of someone having a “tongue thrust” or “frontal lisp”? This is when the tongue protrudes forward between the teeth when speaking. When a child has poor oral resting posture they could develop a “tongue thrust” (frontal lisp). Contact Leanne at email@example.com if you have questions about OMT.
Fall Activities that Target Speech & Language Skills
I love Fall! When it comes to planning therapy during the Fall, I like to use things that I find in my yard or use decorations from my home. Two of my favorite things to use during therapy are pumpkins and leaves.
Leaves Activity: About 5 years ago I lived in the DC region and the leaves changed beautiful colors up there. Now I live in Texas and although some trees change colors, there aren’t as many varieties of colors. So when I was in DC, I decided to laminate these real leaves that I found. I collected big brown leaves, pointy yellow leaves, small red leaves, round orange leaves. (The reason I use a variety of leaves is because I can teach a variety of descriptive concepts (size, color, shape) when using the leaves in therapy.) Next I drew a simple tree on two pieces of white printer paper and laminated it. Popped some Velcro on the leaves and tree and then I was finished preparing the activity. There are so many goals I target with this fun activity. Here are a few: 1) follow directions with one to two embedded attributes 2) child tells me where I should put the leave focusing on expressing spatial concepts (top, middle, bottom, side) 3) child asks for a leaf using a complete sentence and descriptive word (color, size, shape) 4) focus on producing the “l” in leaf while asking for the leaf or telling me where he/she wants to put the leaf. Here is a picture of my tree and leaf activity:
We also sing some songs about leaves. One goes with the tune “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and the other goes with the tune “Wheels on the Bus”.
Pumpkin Activity: I like decorating with real pumpkins. So after about a week of using them in therapy, I then add them to my Fall decor. I buy a big orange pumpkin, a variety of small pumpkins, a bumpy pumpkin, and multi colored pumpkins. There are so many to choose from in the grocery store. I made a book about pumpkins with basic facts and created questions (I included the option to have 3 picture choices of answers if the child was not able to answer correctly). Here is how the session looks: I read the book, the child answers the questions, then we look at my real pumpkins and talk about them. Possible goals to target: 1) Describe the pumpkins (color, size, shape, texture, stem length) 2) Follow directions – (i.e., Give me the big orange pumpkin. Put the white pumpkin next to the bumpy pumpkin). This week a child started stacking the pumpkins so I targeted spatial concepts and following directions (put the small pumpkin on top of the big orange pumpkin). It was a fun therapy session!
Teletherapy/Telehealth Services started in 2020
When COVID-19 caused school closures and local shut downs, we started offering Telehealth services to our clients. We are thrilled that through telehealth services many of our clients continued to maintain skills and make progress!
When working with young clients ( 3, 4, 5 year olds) we recommend that a parent/care taker sit near the child while their child receives speech therapy online. What we have loved seeing through this mode of therapy is the parent involvement! We think it is important to empower parents so that they know exactly how to work on the speech and language skills with their child during everyday situations. This collaboration has shown great progress with many of our clients. If you are interested in learning more about our Telehealth, please email us at: SLP@dynamicspeechllc.com. We are only licensed to provide telehealth in Texas at this time.
Strategies to work on your child’s speech & language skills
With the Coronavirus impacting everyone and causing schools to close, I wanted to share some strategies that you can use at home with your child. If you have an iPad, you may want to purchase the app My PlayHome (it’s free now for a few days). This video explains how I use this app in speech therapy. Hope you find it helpful!
Problematic Consonants “tr”, “dr”, “du”, “tu”
This week in my accent modification class we discussed how to produce the “tr”, “dr”, “du”, and “tu”. These are some of the most common consonant errors that non-native English speakers of English make. Watch my video on how you pronounce these consonants.