Clinical Forum  |   July 2008
Nonspeech Oral Motor Treatment Issues Related to Children With Developmental Speech Sound Disorders
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dennis M. Ruscello
    West Virginia University, Morgantown
  • Contact author: Dennis M. Ruscello, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, P.O. Box 6122, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505-6122. E-mail: Dennis.Ruscello@mail.wvu.edu.
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   July 2008
Nonspeech Oral Motor Treatment Issues Related to Children With Developmental Speech Sound Disorders
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools July 2008, Vol.39, 380-391. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/036)
History: Accepted 06 Nov 2006 , Received 12 Sep 2005
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools July 2008, Vol.39, 380-391. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/036)
History: Accepted 06 Nov 2006 , Received 12 Sep 2005

Purpose: This article examines nonspeech oral motor treatments (NSOMTs) in the population of clients with developmental speech sound disorders. NSOMTs are a collection of nonspeech methods and procedures that claim to influence tongue, lip, and jaw resting postures; increase strength; improve muscle tone; facilitate range of motion; and develop muscle control. In the case of developmental speech sound disorders, NSOMTs are employed before or simultaneous with actual speech production treatment.

Method: First, NSOMTs are defined for the reader, and there is a discussion of NSOMTs under the categories of active muscle exercise, passive muscle exercise, and sensory stimulation. Second, different theories underlying NSOMTs along with the implications of the theories are discussed. Finally, a review of pertinent investigations is presented.

Results: The application of NSOMTs is questionable due to a number of reservations that include (a) the implied cause of developmental speech sound disorders, (b) neurophysiologic differences between the limbs and oral musculature, (c) the development of new theories of movement and movement control, and (d) the paucity of research literature concerning NSOMTs.

Clinical Implication: There is no substantive evidence to support NSOMTs as interventions for children with developmental speech sound disorders.

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