Pronunciation problems can be caused by many reasons, including low muscular strength in the mouth, oral perception and sensitivity, trouble controlling mouth muscles, hearing loss, etc. Penny has Dysarthria, a speech disorder. Before she came to KickStart, she had been doing speech therapy at a local hospital. Her parents said that Penny was disinterested in the activities; therefore, the outcome was not great. That’s why they decided to come to KickStart.
The oral muscle group that controls speech composition is also part of the muscles of the whole body, so I designed vestibular activities to stimulate and adjust Penny’s overall muscle tone. This will also help her develop her vestibular functions and alertness. This way, Penny will be able to keep a clear mind at school even if she sleeps late at night due to being a night owl.
I added in proprioceptive exercises such as the whole-body muscle stretch to help enhance Penny’s use and control of her mouth muscles, tongue, lips and throat muscles. In addition to this, I taught Penny’s mother how to conduct the Wilbarger Protocol (brushing therapy), the joint-compression method, and the Silva Massage. I chose these techniques specifically to help develop Penny’s tactile perception as I had noticed once that Penny couldn’t feel she had peanut butter on her lips until she saw a reflection of herself. About a month and a half into her treatment, Penny was able to notice bits of fiber that fell from her mask onto her face. This was good progress!
Aside from sensory integration exercises, I planned in the iLs (Integrated Listening System). This system was different from the generally dull pronunciation training, it allowed for recording and playing back of a child’s conversation with the therapist so that Penny can hear her own voice through the headphones. This meant she could learn to imitate and adjust her speech to improve her pronunciation.
At KickStart, we believe in having fun during therapy. We don’t want to force the children into doing activities they don’t like because then they will only remember a bad experience, which is the complete opposite of what we wish to achieve. With our wide selection of treatment programs, oversea trainings, and on-site transfer of experiences, I feel that I can confidently provide the children and parents with a high quality of care here at KickStart.
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