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Unlocking the Power of Oral Myology: A Guide for Speech Pathologists

Unlocking the Power of Oral Myology: A Guide for Speech Pathologists

As a speech pathologist, continually enhancing your skills and expanding your knowledge base is essential. The research paper titled The Speech Pathologist and Oral Myology by Marvin L. Hanson provides valuable insights that can significantly improve your practice, especially when dealing with tongue thrust disorders.

Understanding Tongue Thrust

The research highlights the importance of recognizing tongue thrust as a behavior rather than a syndrome. Identifying and understanding the behavior is the first step in providing effective therapy. Key characteristics include:

Principles for Effective Therapy

Hanson emphasizes three primary approaches for effective therapy:

  1. The Organismic Approach: Focuses on the integration of new habits while acknowledging that old neuro-muscular patterns may resurface under certain conditions. This approach involves:
    • Training parents and patients to watch for signs of relapse
    • Addressing all components of the problem to prevent recurrence
    • Establishing correct habits as early as possible
  2. Behavioral Modification: Involves three key steps:
    • Establishing a baseline to determine what the patient is doing correctly and incorrectly
    • Modifying behavior by strengthening under-used muscles and developing awareness of correct movements
    • Extending stimulus control to ensure correct patterns are used in all environments
  3. Distinctive Features: Focuses on correcting the feature of dentalization during the production of anterior consonants. This involves:
    • Working on tongue resting posture from the initial consultation
    • Using behavioral modification principles to habituate correct postures
    • Practicing reading or repeating phrases to reinforce correct tongue placement

Additional Therapy Principles

Hanson also provides several miscellaneous principles for more effective therapy:

Conclusion

The efficacy of therapy for tongue thrust has often been questioned due to inadequate training. However, with the right approach and principles, speech pathologists can effectively address this issue. Incorporating these research-backed methods into your practice can lead to significant improvements in your patients' outcomes.

To read the original research paper, please follow this link: The Speech Pathologist and Oral Myology.

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