This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Q: I see kids in a school setting. My 3-year-old client has a private SLP who is using kinesio tape on his mouth to help improve lip closure and resting posture. I had not yet heard of this technique but I am intrigued. I would love to know your opinion regarding this method.
Some traditional SLPs placed tape on the side of the lips to signal the client that he was moving them instead of his tongue*. You see it discussed as a method for working on /r/ and /l/. Traditional therapists used regular household sticky tape and bandage tape. Today we have kinesio tape, which is far gentler––so gentle that it even can be used on babies’ skin. You may have seen it on some of the athletes in the summer Olympics, especially the volleyball players. The tape is bright and comes in many colors. One also could use nasal strips in the same way.
I have used kinesio tape and nasal strips as described above on children seven years and older. It never occurred to me to use it on a preschooler, and I have never recommended it to establish rest position. But I could see how someone might.
I would use kinesio tape sparingly, and I would NEVER use it to tape a child’s mouth shut. I hope his private therapist is not using it that way. That could be dangerous and life threatening.
* For example see reference book: Berry, M. F., & Eisenson, J. (1956) Speech Disorders: Principles and Practices of Therapy. NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts.