Testimonials from families fill blogs for Down Syndrome for good reason, and that reason is success. Success documented in early oral motor skills development supports both feeding and speech development.
Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) techniques developed by Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP are gaining respect not only among therapists, but within families and support groups for children with Down Syndrome.
What is OPT?
Oral Placement Therapy for speech targets the movements necessary for standard speech production through a combination of therapy techniques.
This therapy differs from traditional speech therapy in that the strategies continue to utilize auditory and visual stimuli while adding the tactile and proprioceptive sensory systems. This allows the client to feel the movements as well as hear and see them.
A full assessment by an appropriately Trained Therapist examining the relationship between the child’s oral sensory system, feeding skills, oral placement skills and speech will help parents make the right decision.
How Does OPT Apply to My Child With Down Syndrome?
Feeding and speech involve fine motor function. The child can develop these fine motor skills within the mouth using Oral Placement Therapy.
OPT helps to strengthen the relationship between a child’s oral sensory system, feeding skills, oral placement skills and speech. This is crucial to develop normal function and should be initiated during infancy for optimum results.
What Will an Assessment Tell About My Child’s Needs?
The Results of an OPT Assessment Will:
- Identify if the child is on target for oral motor, feeding, and speech development (Traditional therapies are usually for children with typical oral motor skills who have speech disorders)
- Identify areas that are delayed
- Identify compensatory strategies a child may have developed in an effort to “keep up”
North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat is pleased to be able to offer OPT/ TalkTools Therapy.As areas of weakness are identified, additional therapy techniques can be introduced to support the base skills needed for successful feeding and speech.
Contact NCEENT for further information.
Treatment will incorporate a variety of oral motor techniques, and will transition placement and movement skills into feeding development and speech skills as early as possible.