WEBINAR | Structure, Motor and Muscle: Part 1 - Differential Diagnosis [February 21, 2020] [RECORDING]
WEBINAR | Structure, Motor and Muscle: Part 1 - Differential Diagnosis [February 21, 2020] [RECORDING]

WEBINAR | Structure, Motor and Muscle: Part 1 - Differential Diagnosis [February 21, 2020] [RECORDING]


Date: February 21, 2020

Location: Webinar (03:45PM-05:45PM EST)

Presenter: Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP, COM®️

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Course Description

Speech-language pathologists are challenged by the differential diagnosis of developmental, muscle-based and motor execution articulation disorders. To compound the complexity of diagnostics, SLPs must know how to conduct a proper oral-peripheral examination to include structure, which would need to include any anomalies present. The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association published a Practice Portal on Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders in 2018. The portal states that : the clinician will visually examine the client for structural differences/abnormalities (e.g., proportion and symmetry) of the orofacial complex (including face, nose, eyes, ears, mouth,-skull, and profile); abnormalities of the tongue ; size of tonsillar tissue with regard to airway (obstruction of airway will force tongue to move forward, creating an obligatory forward placement of the tongue);the configuration of the hard and soft palates; status of the dentition, including occlusion and tactile sensitivity outside and inside the mouth.

This is critical in being able to rule out anomalies of the orofacial complex before diagnosing dysarthria, apraxia and /or developmental sound errors. This course will walk through a basic craniofacial assessment, pointing out red flags of orofacial myofunctional anomalies. It will also compare and contrast speech sound errors in relation to developmental , vs, motor , vs. muscle-based patterns commonly seen . Clinicians will be challenged to watch videos of patients and determine what could be the underlying etiology of the speech clarity issues, which will then drive the patient’s treatment plan.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Participants will be able to identify at least 3 signs and symptoms of structural anomalies that could be related to speech clarity issues.
  2. Participants will be able to identify 2 symptoms of a motor speech disorder.
  3. Participants will be able to list at least 2 symptoms of a muscle-based speech disorder.

Content Disclosure: This presentation will focus on treatment methods related to the use of TalkTools® OPT resources. Other similar treatment approaches will receive limited or no coverage during this lecture.

This program is offered for 0.2 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate Level; Professional Area)(see TalkTools ASHA CEU Policy and Process for more information)

Webinar Details


Schedule (03:45PM- 05:45PM Eastern)

  • 5 minutes       Welcome
  • 30 minutes     Abnormalities of structure and associated articulation challenges
  • 30 minutes     Motor based speech disorders
  • 10 minutes     BREAK
  • 50 minutes     Muscle-based speech disorders
  • 10 minutes     Wrap-up/Q&A


Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP, COM®️ Instructor Bio and Financial Disclosure 

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