Thursday, March 17, 2011

Does OMT ever NOT work?

When I put the post up from Andi Durkin in regards to her son's oral motor development achievement, I received a comment on that post,

OY...sometimes reading posts like this really bother me. I've been doing OM therapy on Olivia since she was five months old. I wanted to be as proactive as possible so I started early. Unfortunately breast feeding wasn't an option since she had acid reflux. I learned the proper way to have her take a bottle. I read James McDonald's book too and parrot back her sounds and would add one (I still do) - it hasn't made a whit of difference she still doesn't babble! She did do some good back and forth raspberries though. I've given her curcumin - and still no babbling. We started Beckman Oral Motor therapy when she was five months old - BUT she never really babbled. AND she doesn't make sounds properly at all. She most likely has apraxia having lost a few sounds. About four months ago I started Talk Tools therapy, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

It IS totally possible for a child with Down to have minimal oral motor issues despite what the parent does. So while all this is great there ARE NO GUARANTEES - the child is who the child is. This is the part that is so frustrating! A parent can do everything proactive and still the child can be non-verbal.
I wanted to comment on Csunshinegirl's comment. It is absolutely true that there are some children who will have additional challenges that just oral motor therapy won't address. I would never say that Oral Motor (Placement) Therapy will not work for a child. But, there may be situations where a lot more than OMT/OPT is needed. And a child could have good muscle tone in the mouth, yet still have speech issues.

Apraxia is one of those examples. While I wholeheartedly believe that O would be talking much, much better had we been able to start OMT at a very young age, I do know that he does seem to have an extra challenge. And that appears to be Apraxia of speech. I've discussed Apraxia a few times, but one main post on it can be seen here. OMT will help facilitate speech with Apraxia, but it may be slower going.

Other children may have other challenges as well: Inadequate nutrition & health. If their body is not functioning at it's best state, that will slow down their development. Surgeries & complicated health issues. If a child spends most of their life in and out of the hospital with surgeries or various health issues, this can also slow doe the speech process. Yes, you can work on OMT with your child through all that, but it isn't necessarily going to happen like it should because of medical procedures.

Then there are other kids who may have dual diagnoses of a whole slew of things: Autism, vaccine damage, hearing impairment, etc. That will also all slow down the speech production even if OMT is being used.

That's one thing which is also extremely important in proper speech production: good hearing. If the child has a hearing impairment or fluid in their ears, that will all hinder proper speech.


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4 comments:

Looking Up said...

Children with DS are individuals. They each have their own strengths & weaknesses. While some may see better results from OMT than others, I don't think there is anything wrong with you saying that you know of people who have tried OMT & you feel that their loved ones have benefited as a result. At the end of the day, we all just want to help our loved lead happy, healthy, & productive lives. If we can give each other tips along the way to help accomplish that, then all the better......

Csunshinegirl said...

HEY! Thanks for addressing my post. :) To address some of your points, Olivia doesn't have any hearing loss, but does have tubes. She hears GREAT. No autism - I am ALWAYS on the lookout for this and no one suspects this at all. Apraxia on the other hand is DEFINITELY suspected. She just has trouble making sounds. It's frustrating at times to say the least. But I keep on keeping on!!!

Csunshinegirl said...

HEY! Thanks for addressing my post. :) To address some of your points, Olivia doesn't have any hearing loss, but does have tubes. She hears GREAT. No autism - I am ALWAYS on the lookout for this and no one suspects this at all. Apraxia on the other hand is DEFINITELY suspected. She just has trouble making sounds. It's frustrating at times to say the least. But I keep on keeping on!!!

Qadoshyah said...

You're welcome Csunshinegirl!

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