This is a repost from Conversations in Speech Pathology written by Jeff Stepen & Robyn Merkel-Walsh.
The following is an in-depth conversation between Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP and Jeff Stepen, MS, CCC-SLP.
Reposted with permission from the author.
Jeff: Thanks so much for doing this Robyn! I’d like to kick things off by first asking you a two-part question. First, what kind of feedback did you receive regarding our episode? Second, do you feel the conversation on the topic of OPT has moved anywhere since?
Robyn: Hello Jeff. Thanks for the opportunity to converse with you once again. I am happy to share what has been happening since our podcast.
To answer your first question, I received a great deal of positive feedback from our podcast. Of course, the therapists I generally converse with are those who are using oral sensory motor techniques, OPT (oral placement therapy) and Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy. I have not been approached by any therapist opposing these techniques directly to negate the comments made in our discussion, but rather received many comments from SLPs who do practice oral motor therapy/OPT and felt it validated the work they do. I have seen it cited on social media when therapists feel they need more information.
In regards to your second question, there definitely has been ongoing debate more specifically on social media. Unfortunately, debates are not always professional. There has been a trend of “shaming” therapists online as well as banning the topic itself from certain Facebook Groups. When therapists try to post evidence and studies they are quickly removed from the group. Banned topics include OPT, PROMPT, tongue-tie, and myofunctional therapy. I myself have been banned from several of these groups. Words like “pseudoscience” and “controversial therapies” are repetitively used. It is unfortunate that these therapists are not willing to accept other opinions or perhaps take a class and see for themselves.