My kid's still in speech therapy for /r/ after 2 years. Is it supposed to take that long?
Updated: May 5, 2019
Speech therapy for articulation involves a lot of work because it's about unlearning bad habits, retraining new habits, and then generalizing those skills to your child's everyday conversation.
Traditional speech therapy works for the majority of children who have trouble producing their speech sounds correctly. It's been used since the 1970's and there is plenty of research to back it up.
But sometimes traditional speech therapy isn't enough... there are other things that can affect your child's ability to produce certain sounds.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD) are disorders that affect the structures of the face. They are related to how the facial muscles and structures work together for healthy breathing, healthy speaking, and healthy swallowing.
It is not unusual for a child who has trouble producing an /r/ sound to present with an OMD.
How do I know if my child might have an OMD?
1. Does your child breathe through their mouth?
2. Is your child's mouth open when they are not talking or eating?
3. Does your child snore?
4. Does your child suck their thumb or fingers?
5. Does your child grind their teeth?
6. Does your child have a tongue-tie?
7. Did your child use a pacifier or sippy cup for an extended period of time?
8. Did your child have difficulties nursing?
Speech language pathologists are trained in the anatomy and physiology from the neck up. Many SLPs who seek advance training in orofacial myology remediate speech sounds differenlty than traditional articulation therapy by taking an in-depth examination of the structures of the mouth and the mouth muscles. They incorporate muscles exercises for the lips, tongue, and cheek. They work closely with a team of ENTs, Dentists, Orthodontists and other airway focused professionals who treat the mouth and airway holistically.
At Best Speech Therapy, PLLC - our head SLP, Marcia, has advanced training in orofacial myology and is currently a candidate for a Certification in Orofacial Myology, COM. If you suspect your child has an OMD, book an evaluation now.