Ask A Therapist: Jaw Stability with Underbite

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hello,

I recently attended a TalkTools "Three Part Treatment Plan for Oral Placement Therapy" workshop. I have a patient that I want to complete the jaw stability assessment. However, she has an underbite. The underbite has caused her upper cuspids to be ground down below the level of her central incisors. If I place the bite block for jaw stability it is either too far forward or the central incisors will hold it in place regardless of jaw stability. Does this mean I can't complete the exercises to improve jaw stability? Or should I skip this placement and still work on bite block and twin bite block placements? Or do you have an alternative suggestion? 

Thank you!

Katherine

See Line's answer:

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Ask A Therapist: Analyzing Jaw & Lip Movements

Posted by Casey Roy on

Hi, 

I hope I’m not bothering you, but I’m needing help. I have taken many OPT courses, most recently your tongue thrust course. Thank you, it was awesome!!

I have a little boy that I started seeing when he was 7. He presented with open mouth posture and breathing, frontal lisp on /t, d, l, s, z, ʃ, tʃ/. We worked for 10 months. We targeted resting position, went through the bubbles, bite blocks, gum chewing, tongue exercises, nose breathing...

Then they took a 9 month break and just came back for a “refresher” today. He is jutting his jaw to the right in speech (his bite is perfect when asked to smile) and his top lip has a lot of tension for /s/. Is the lip tension because of jaw instability? Would you go back to jaw work? I know this is a silly question, but still confuses me some: if he juts to the right, that indicates jaw instability on the right and we strengthen the right side, or is it the total opposite? Why is my mind playing tricks on me?!?!?!

He still needs to practice resting position and nose breathing. He is suffering with allergies now.  

What would you recommend? Thank you so much for your time.

Meredith 

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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: Persons with DS have larger tongues?

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi,

I work for a not for profit helping connect families to community resources. I just attended an appointment with a mother and 3 month old infant with Down Syndrome at the child's Family Physician's office. When the mother made the statement that she feels like her child is choking on its tongue and asked if this would change, the doctor told the mother that persons with DS have larger tongues and hopefully as her child grows his mouth would grow. 

​***This is just not true. Low muscle tone may make the tongue appear to be enlarged but tongues of people with a diagnosis of DS are not larger than the typical population. If this child is choking it may be secondary to low muscle tone, the insertion of the tongue, or inability to coordinate suck, swallow and breath. Starting a muscle based program from birth will make a difference. Feel free to look at the resources on the TalkTools website, particularly the DS feeding class, at this point.***​

The mother also raised a question about her child's head shape and if it would change (there has been a referral for a helmet consult and a request for referral for PT that the PCP does not want to make until after the helmet consult). The PCP told the mother that it may or may not change and the PCP associated the child's head shape with the child's diagnosis of DS. How can I better educate this mother about this? I am beside myself. Is there not information that states otherwise?

​***I am not an expert in head shape...however some babies with DS do have some asymmetry or a flat back of the head. I have had a number of babies on my caseload that have successfully worn helmets.***​

Lisa

Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT

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