Role of Parents and Children in Oral Motor Exercises
A damage to a certain area in the brain can affect the control over the oral muscles. Oral motor exercises are thus necessary to address speech difficulties caused by a stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or tumours. The speech production in individuals who suffer from various extents of injury due to these factors can improve reasonably well if provided with the proper therapy.
But, enough care and motivation from both parents and children is necessary during these exercises.
Oral Motor Exercises for Speech Improvement: Verbal apraxia, oral apraxia and dysarthria are a few common speech disorders caused by an injury or damage to the brain. Let us look at a few tips for speech improvement in sufferers and for communicating with them.
Communication Tips: The following can be useful while communicating for a person suffering from speech disorders.
- It is important that the sufferer lets people know that he/she suffers from a speech disorder.
- The production of speech need not be fast but in fact it has to be slow and better if intentional. Speaking shorter sentences is also a good way to deal with speech difficulty.
- If at all longer sentences have to be spoken, it is necessary to pause or rest somewhere in between.
- A good posture also helps the speech. So, it is necessary to maintain one. Maintaining an erect posture while standing or sitting helps proper breath control which is very essential while speaking.
- In case producing speech becomes difficult and frustrating, one can use writing or drawing as a means of communication.
- It is necessary that a patient maintains positive attitude while exercising. The results may take some time to yield, but it is important not to give up practice.
Tips for Parents and Caregivers: During the course of the exercises, it is the parents’ responsibility to see that the child is provided with enough motivation while speaking. Keep the following in mind.
- Make sure the patient is respected and loved during the course of therapy.
- It is important not to obstruct the flow of speech in the speaker at any time. Only offer help when the person speaking gets utterly frustrated but, it is better to let the speaker finish first.
- Never let the speaker get distracted and any factor or object that distracts should be eliminated.
- It is important that the speaker knows that his/her listener is able to understand what is being conveyed. When in doubt, ask the speaker yes/no questions to let them no you do not understand what is being said.
A child requires motivation not only from his/her side but also from the parents’ side during oral motor exercises.