is a myofunctional disorder?
myofunctional disorder, the most common characteristic is
that the tongue moves forward in an exaggerated way during
speech and/or swallowing. The tongue may lie too far forward
during rest or may protrude between the upper and lower
teeth during speech and swallowing, and at rest.
are some signs or symptoms of a myofunctional disorder?
Although a reverse swallow is normal in infancy, it
usually decreases and disappears as a child grows. If the
reverse swallow continues, a child may look, speak, and
swallow differently than other children of the same age.
Older children may become self-conscious about their
effect does a myofunctional disorder have on speech?
children produce sounds incorrectly as a result of a myofunctional disorder.
A myofunctional disorder
most often causes sounds like /s/,/z/, "sh", "zh", "ch" and
"j" to sound differently. For example, the child may say
"thumb" instead of "some" if they produce an /s/ like a "th".
Also, the sounds /t/, /d/, /n/, and /l/ may be produced
incorrectly because of weak tongue tip muscles. Sometimes
speech may not be affected at all.
a myofunctional disorder diagnosed?
A myofunctional disorder is
often diagnosed by a team of professionals. In addition to
the child and his or her family or caregivers, the team may
dentists and orthodontists may be involved when constant,
continued tongue pressure against the teeth interferes with
normal tooth eruption and alignment of the teeth and jaws.
Physicians rule out the presence of a blocked airway (e.g.,
from enlarged tonsils or adenoids or from allergies) that
may cause forward tongue posture. SLPs assess and treat the
effects of a myofunctional disorder on speech, rest postures, and swallowing.
treatment is available for individuals with a myofunctional disorder?
A clinician with experience and
training in the treatment of a myofunctional disorder will evaluate and treat the
speech sound errors
a treatment plan to help a child change his or her oral
posture and articulation, when indicated.
Treatment techniques to help both speech and swallowing
problems caused by a myofunctional disorder may include the following:
increasing awareness of mouth and facial muscles
increasing awareness of mouth and tongue postures
improving muscle strength and coordination
improving speech sound productions
improving swallowing patterns
If airways are blocked due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids
or allergies, speech treatment may be postponed until
medical treatment for these conditions is completed. If a
child has unwanted oral habits (e.g., thumb/finger sucking,
lip biting), speech treatment may first focus on eliminating