Tag: Oral Motor Controversy

Vivifying Tongue Movement – Getting the Tongue to Move

By Pam Marshalla

Q: I currently have a female client age 2;5 who cannot lateralize or elevate her tongue. Would you have any suggestions for me? When a client has the type of limited tongue movement you describe, I think we have to follow Charlie Van Riper’s most basic advice, which is to get the tongue to move in any and all new directions. He called it “vivifying” tongue movement. To vivify means to enlighten or animate. This means that at first we…

Training the Eye to See Potential Oral Motor Problems

By Pam Marshalla

A professor wrote me several years ago. She said she taught articulation and phonology, she had tenure, she did research in phonology, she supervised students, and she had published many articles. She said that she could not “see” the oral-motor problems I was talking about in my writing. She wanted to know what I had to say about that. I wrote back and said that she could not “see” the OM problems I was talking about because she could not…

Why Use Untested Methods?

By Pam Marshalla

Q: I have been told not to attend your seminars because you teach methods that have not been tested. I am new to the profession and am confused. Why do you feel it is appropriate to use and to teach methods that have never been tested? The simplest way I can answer this question (answered before here) is to quote another writing duo: “Clinicians’ imaginations conjure up exercises, techniques, procedures, and approaches, which are first tried on a few patients,…

Saving the Profession by Wagging the Tongue

By Pam Marshalla

Q: Every week I encounter more statements by SLPs about never doing anything in therapy that has not been proven in research. These statements virtually always concern oral-motor techniques. How do you respond to this? I am so concerned about the limited thinking that has begun to dominate our profession that my heart is bleeding.  I am not concerned only with OM.  I am concerned about the profession at large.  🙁 Follow me here.  Let’s talk about OM and then…

Small, Gentle Jaw Control

By Pam Marshalla

Q: My client lowers the jaw too much when he speaks, and he has a frontal lisp. He tends to clench the jaw when I tell him to hold the jaw up. I may have taught him this when using a bite stick to position the jaw. Not sure what to do now. As you have discovered, making a strong crushing bite on a firm object is not what he needs.  The term “jaw stability” does not mean “jaw rigidity.”…

Evidence-Based Practice and Oral Motor Research

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I am a graduate student and I am writing a paper on the efficacy of oral motor exercises in children with articulation difficulties.  Having attended a seminar of yours, I am wondering if there are researchers you could point me to who have used EBP in their research. Please see the articles we have published on the Oral Motor Institute website. OMI home page List of published articles

My Heros in the SLP Profession

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I heard you say that Van Riper was your greatest hero of all time in the profession, but then you said you had others that you didn’t mention. Who else do you admire in the field? What an interesting question! Okay, here are the people that have been the most influential to me, presented in categories that are the most important to my work. Articulation The one-and-only Charles Van Riper wins this top place of honor because he is…

Explaining “Articulation” and “Oral Motor”

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I have been arguing with a colleague about “oral motor” and “articulation.” She does not seem to know what an articulation deficit is. She disputes the notion of an “articulation deficit,” and claims that there are only “phonological deficits.” Can you help me? I know what I mean, but I can’t seem to put it in the right words for her to grasp. I need help explaining what an “articulation deficit” is, and help in relating this to “oral…

The Tools of Articulation Training

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I am confused over the term NS-OME (Non Speech Oral Motor Exercises). Some people are saying that we cannot use things like toothettes, bite sticks, whistles, or straws in therapy. I use many things like this in therapy. Shouldn’t we do whatever we can to help our clients learn to make speech sounds? Your question is a good one.  Yes, we are supposed to use whatever we can to help our clients learn to produce speech sounds.  Van Riper…

What Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Really Means

By Shanti McGinley

This opinion paper was originally posted as a downloadable PDF on my website’s resources page. I am slowly formatting the articles over there for posting to this blog. This post was authored in mid- 2011. Download the original PDF here. *** What Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Really Means Q: It is surprising to me that you find it reasonable to pass on non-evidence based ideas. I don’t think this meets a best practice standard at all. I’m curious to know how you demonstrate efficacy this…