Tagged "Liz Smithson"


Ask A Therapist: Reverse Swallow In Drinking

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi TalkTools,

I have a question about the straw hierarchy. I have a 5 year old with severe phonological processing disorder and recently repaired posterior tongue tie. I have started the straw hierarchy with her. She is on straw #3 and able to take in a single sip and multiple, consecutive sips, but seems to take too big of a water bolus which causes her to pause before swallowing to make a suckling motion to manage it in her mouth before swallowing it. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Jody

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Hi Jody,

I am thinking based on what you are saying that she is demonstrating a reverse swallow. I am gathering that you are saying that this is what you are seeing on multiple swallows and not single sips. If she is not doing it on single sips I would try to stay there for an extended period of time to get her used to swallowing in the correct way and then build up to multiple sips. Your client can demonstrate tongue protrusion with the first 4 straws but cannot move to #5 without tongue retraction. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have other questions.

Thanks,

Liz

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Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 11 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

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Ask A Therapist: Bite Block & Tongue Depressor Questions

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

I have a student who is using the red bite blocks. He just started. When I put the bite block #2 between his teeth he slides them over. Is this normal or should I reposition them?

I have another student who is having a very hard time holding the tongue depressor between his lips. He has a hard time dissociating between his lips and his tongue and jaw. His tongue is retroflex for l. He is currently working in l in the final positing of words and is having a hard time bringing the tongue forward and not back. Any advice?

Thanks

Rebecca

 

Hi Rebecca

I would definitely reposition. I often have to have the patient bite a couple of times until it is positioned correctly especially with patients with severe weakness. You may even want to practice the biting without the bite block for correct position first and then go in with the bite block. Sometimes that helps as well. 

As far as the second part of the question, I would make sure that I have addressed any jaw weakness first. That is typically the foundation of the issue. As far as the tongue placement I would work on stimulating with the toothette the forward placement of the tongue. I would touch with the toothette on the alveolar ridge where you want the tongue tip to touch and then I would touch the tip of the tongue with the toothette. You can use vibration with the toothette if your client will accept that. This has helped many patients I have worked with find the appropriate placement. 

Please let me know if you have any other questions. We are always here and happy to help.

Thanks, 

Liz

 

Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 11 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

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Ask A Therapist: Does Straw Therapy Help Accelerate Speech?

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

My 2 year old (almost 3 year old) daughter with Down Syndrome is still having difficulty with speech. She has many signs, but her words are limited to ones such as "ball" and "book." I have asked her speech therapist about the Straw Kit. Her therapist does not seem to be in favor of anything other than traditional speech therapy. Does the straw kit help accelerate speech?

Also, her OT would like her to drink out of a cup. Which cup would be best, or is it best to continue with straws for now? Thank you!

Ana

Hi Ana,

Sorry to hear that your daughter is having difficulty with speech. I do believe that the straw kit is something worth pursuing.  I often work with children with another therapist in a situation like this.  One can work on traditional speech techniques and the other oral placement for speech production and feeding.  That might be something to think about.  The straws work on different levels of tongue retraction and lip rounding which are both movements used in speech production. I do find with my patients that speech comes faster with oral placement therapy.  As far as a cup I would recommend starting with the pink cut out cup.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.  We are always here to help.

Thanks,

Liz Smithson

Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 10 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

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Ask A Therapist: 24 Year-Old Male With Severe Stuttering

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

I am a speech-language pathologist in private practice. One of my clients is a 24 year old male with severe stuttering. He also has a diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy. His most noticeable dysfluent behavior is the inability to initiate speech due to blocks at the vocal fold level. Do you think any of the Talk Tools would help? Thank you!

 

Jody

Hi Jody,

According ASHA, most treatment methods for stuttering are centered around behavior; however there are treatment protocols that focus on breathing. This is true of Dr. Martin Schwartz who wrote Stutter No More in 1991 about the "Passive Airflow Technique". For this method  stutterer is taught to 1. Release air 2. Slow down the first syllable and 3. Intent to rest between verbalizations.

Since the goal of Oral Placement Therapy is to provide tactile cues for speech sound production, we would consider OPT tasks that specifically target phonatory control and diaphragmatic breathing if the client was not using proper airflow to support speech. Phonatory tasks such as the horn kit, spirometer or bubble tube could be tools that would assist improved speech breathing; however we would also be certain that we were using more specific evidenced based therapy techniques for stuttering. These methods alone would not directly facilitate fluent speech but rather assist you in the pre-requisite skills needed to engage in airflow methods.

We would try blowing with horns or bubbles or encouraging airflow of any kind on his hand.  Once we felt like he was able to coordinate his breathing and blowing we would then move to humming or adding the "m" sound. We would work on this very gradually.  

Please keep us posted on how it goes and let us know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,

Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP & Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP
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Ask A Therapist: Horn blowing for a 3-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hello,

 

I'm hoping for some advice. My 3 year old ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) son is doing TalkTools through our SLT. He couldn't blow at all to start with so we taught him using a water flute first, now he has gone onto Horn #1 but he can't make a sound. His neurotypical twin sister can't either so I'm wondering if his lungs are maybe too small to be able to use this horn? (He is small - more the size of a two year old.) Our SLT said just keep trying but I'm worried it will put him off blowing as he won't be getting any noise feedback like he did with the water flute.

 

Thanks,

 

Claire

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Hi Claire,

I think I would continue working on the horn as your therapist recommended but I would also try using the Pre-Hierarchy Horn while bouncing on a therapy or yoga ball and providing abdominal pressure. This horn is extremely easy to blow and with the abdominal pressure and bouncing I feel you would be more likely to get a sound, which would be rewarding for your son. I do not think the lung size is the issue but that is not really a question I can answer.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.  

We are here and happy to help.

Thanks,

Liz

 

Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 10 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

Read more →
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