Oral-Motor is Not a Trivial Topic

By Pam Marshalla

Q: I am going to evaluate a 15-year-old male with an orofacial-myofunctional disorder. He will get braces soon. What general oromotor exercises do you recommend to get us jump-started? What materials should I order?

Your question is far too general for me to answer. There are no “oral-motor exercises” I can give you to get you “jump-started.” The study of oral motor is deep and complex, and it contains many levels of understanding and direction.

Your questions suggest that you have absolutely no idea what the study of oral-motor is. You are treating this subject with too much triviality. You need to do some reading in this area, and to attend some continuing education courses, before you embark on an analysis and treatment of an oral-motor deficit of any kind.

Think about how your questions would sound if asked about the topic of language: “This child has a language deficit. What activities can I do to get him jump-started? What materials should I order?” There is no way to answer a set of questions like that. The topic is far too broad. The questions are far too general.

If, after you see this client, you have a specific question about his assessment, or about certain treatment methods or procedures, please feel free to contact me again.

If I have misread the inexperience of your questions, I offer my sincere apologies.

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