New Treatment Options for Kids in Speech Therapy

New Treatment Options for Kids in Speech Therapy

Today’s tip is brought to you by
Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center

Parents of children who are in speech therapy may be interested in several new treatment options:

The SmartPalate is a biofeedback device that lets kids (over 8 years of age) and adults see their tongue movements during speech. Speech therapists use the SmartPalate to treat clients with pervasive speech sound production disorders, such as continued difficulty producing the /r/ sound after receiving traditional therapy.

The device itself is a thin sheet of molded plastic that conforms to the client’s upper palate and detects tongue movements using electronic sensors. It resembles a very thin, clear retainer. The client only wears the device during therapy. The therapist coaches the child on improving production of target sounds moving toward independent production of the sounds in conversation and outside of therapy.

What sounds may be treated using the SmartPalate?
According the device manufacturer, the following sounds have been successfully treated using the SmartPalate: r l ch j t d s z k g sh
Each SmartPalate device comes with a practice palate, which the client may wear to acclimate to the device before therapy begins.

For appointments or more information, call 216-231-8787

The Opti-Speech Clinical Trial at CHSC
Preschool children and toddlers often make speech errors with the tongue that can make it difficult for them to be understood.  Sounds like “k,” “s,” and “r” commonly have errors because saying them accurately requires high-level coordination of the muscles in the tongue. In fact, 15% of children age 4-6 have some delay or error in speech sound production, without any known cause.

When a child this age is unable to be understood by others, it is important to bring them to a speech therapist for an evaluation and treatment. Traditional speech therapy for these errors can include games, drills, and some work to describe or show how the sound should be produced. Many times, these errors can be resolved with less than a year of treatment. Sometimes, even with strong work in speech therapy, the speech errors continue.

Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center is in an NIH-funded phase II clinical trial of Opti-Speech. The technology uses the captured motion of sensors on the tongue to animate a real-time 3-D avatar tongue. The speech therapist can set spherical targets to “show” the client how to shape the tongue for particular speech sounds. For those who have not had success with traditional speech therapy, the Opti-Speech clinical trial may be a great alternative.

For more information about Opti-Speech, contact Rebecca Mental at [email protected] or call 216-325-7541.

Speech Pathology Telepractice
Telepractice is a method for receiving speech language pathology services using a computer instead of in-office appointments. Telepractice is ideal for families short on time, and who prefer the privacy of their own home or office. All that is needed is a computer and a high-speed internet connection. Appropriateness for Telepractice sessions needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. For more information, call 216-231-8787.

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