Mobius Syndrome and Articulation Therapy

By Pam Marshalla

Q: What type of articulation therapy should be provided for children with Mobius Syndrome?

I have only seen a few children with Mobius Syndrome, and those were seen for diagnosis only.

As I understand it, facial paralysis is the main problem and the paralysis can involve some or all of the facial muscles, particularly the upper lip in most cases.

The breadth and scope of the paralysis will guide speech involvement.  One client I saw had paralysis only in the upper lip.  Since the upper lip moves very little in speech, her speech was excellent.  She could not smile, however, and that was the family’s concern. Clients with more areas of involvement will have more difficulty.

One article I read years ago demonstrated that these kids improve in speech slowly over the years and that we should not give up on artic. (Sorry, no reference, article missing).

I would treat a Mobius client simply as another case of dysarthria– distortion due to muscle tone impairment. I would use exaggeration of speech as my main focus. I also would use quick stretch on the facial muscles to see if I could stimulate their function.  And I would use resistance to stimulate more active facial movement.

I also would search the web for more info. I am sure there are SLPs posting info about their therapy with these clients.

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