Down Syndrome Goals

By Pam Marshalla

Q: My two-year-old client with Down syndrome has dysphasia and the classic forward tongue posture.  Which of your books will guide me to work on oral-motor skills so I can strengthen the oral structure for swallowing and speech?  

Therapy is rarely about “strengthening” oral movements.  Therapy for developing expressive speech in a toddler with Down syndrome usually includes the following:

  • Activities to encourage a wide variety of oral movement through feeding and oral play activities.
  • Activities to get the jaw to move up-and-down to encourage the CV.
  • Activities for increasing breath support for speech to encourage syllable prolongation and sequencing.
  • Activities for developing better oral awareness and discrimination.
  • Activities for stabilizing the tongue at the back lateral margins so that it stays inside the mouth.

These are subjects that I currently teach in my seminars, and some of this is in my classic book called Oral-Motor Techniques in Articulation and Phonological Therapy.

My next book called The Marshalla Guide (webpage coming later) will have chapters about each of these topics.

I know Sara Rosenfeld John has new DVD seminar on Down Syndrome that you might want to check out.



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