The Speech Clinic: Oral Placement Therapy
Welcome to The Speech Clinic, a leading clinic in Dubai specializing in Oral Placement Therapy (OPT). Our dedicated team of speech-language pathologists is committed to providing effective interventions and support for individuals with speech and swallowing difficulties. Through Oral Placement Therapy, we use combination of: (1) Auditory stimulation, (2) Visual stimulation and (3) Tactile stimulation to the mouth to improve speech clarity.
Clients with motor and/or sensory impairments benefit from tactile and proprioceptive components because speech is a tactile-proprioceptive act. We address oral motor weaknesses and promote improved speech production, feeding skills, and overall oral function.
Understanding Oral Placement Therapy
OPT is used to improve articulator awareness, placement (dissociation, grading, and direction of movement), stability, and muscle memory; all of these are necessary for the development of speech clarity. By improving muscle strength, coordination, and awareness, individuals can enhance their speech clarity, feeding abilities, and overall oral motor skills. OPT is a specialized approach that focuses on developing and refining oral motor skills necessary for speech and swallowing.
OPT can be used in following conditions:
- Autistic Spectrum Disorders
- Down Syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
- Feeding Difficulties
- Apraxia of Speech
- Syndromes including Rett Syndrome
- For people who cannot imitate targeted movements using auditory and visual stimuli “Look, listen and do what I do”
- For people who cannot follow specific instructions to produce targeted movements “Put your lips together”
- For people who need a more tactile approach
- OPT is also useful for adults with neurological condition.
At The Speech Clinic, we follow a comprehensive and individualized approach to Oral Placement Therapy. Our highly skilled speech-language pathologists assess each individual's unique needs and develop personalized intervention plans to address specific goals and challenges.
Hierarchical Approach: OPT is implemented in a hierarchical and structured manner. Therapy tasks are broken down into smaller, achievable steps, starting with basic movements and progressing to more complex tasks. Each step builds upon the previous one, allowing for gradual skill development
The goals of oral placement therapy include:
- Developing oromotor skills
- Enhancing feeding abilities
- Improving articulation
- OPT exercises can target tongue movements and control
- Promoting sensory awareness
- Facilitating oral hygiene
We begin with a thorough assessment of the individual's oral motor skills, speech production, and feeding abilities. Our speech-language therapist will assess the individual's oral motor skills, speech patterns, and feeding abilities to determine their specific needs and goals.
Our assessment helps identify areas of weakness, oral motor coordination difficulties, and underlying factors contributing to speech and swallowing challenges. This assessment forms the basis for developing targeted intervention plans.
Individualized Intervention Plans
Based on the assessment results, our speech-language pathologists create individualized intervention plans that address the specific needs and goals of each individual. These plans incorporate a range of OPT techniques, exercises, and activities tailored to improve oral motor function and speech clarity.
Tool Selection: Therapy tools are carefully selected based on the individual's needs and goals. These tools can include items like straws, chewy tubes, horns, z-vibes, jaw graders, or other specialized devices.
Oral Motor Exercises and Techniques
Oral Placement Therapy utilizes various exercises and techniques to target specific oral motor skills. These may include tongue exercises, lip exercises, jaw stabilization exercises, facial massage, and specific movements to strengthen and coordinate the muscles involved in speech and swallowing.Our techniques focuses on:
Sensory Stimulation: The therapy tools are used to provide sensory stimulation to the oral structures. This stimulation helps increase awareness and sensory feedback, improving the individual's ability to discriminate and modify their movements.
Graded Movements: The therapy tools are used to facilitate specific movements required for speech production. For example, a straw may be used to target lip rounding for producing certain sounds. The movements are practiced and graded, gradually increasing in difficulty or complexity.
Muscle Strengthening and Endurance: OPT focuses on improving muscle strength, stability, and endurance in the oral structures. Repetitive exercises and activities are used to build muscle memory and strengthen the targeted movements.
Feeding and Swallowing Therapy
OPT can also address feeding and swallowing difficulties. OPT techniques can assist children with special needs who experience difficulties with sucking, chewing, swallowing, and overall oral control during feeding.
Our therapists utilize oral motor exercises, sensory-based approaches, and strategies to improve swallowing function, oral control, and feeding skills. This helps individuals develop safe and effective feeding practices.
Sensory Integration Techniques
For individuals with sensory processing challenges, we incorporate sensory integration techniques to enhance oral sensory awareness and improve overall oral motor function. OPT activities often involve sensory stimulation, which helps children become more aware of the sensations within their oral cavity and enhances their ability to discriminate and modify their movements accordingly.
These techniques help individuals tolerate and explore different sensory experiences related to oral activities.
Parent and Caregiver Involvement
We believe in the importance of parent and caregiver involvement in the therapy process. Our therapists provide education, training, and support to parents and caregivers, empowering them to reinforce OPT techniques and strategies at home. Collaborating with families ensures consistent progress and promotes carryover of skills into daily life.
The Speech Clinic in Dubai is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to provide an optimal environment for Oral Placement Therapy. Our clinic features dedicated therapy spaces, specialized tools, and resources to support effective assessment, intervention, and monitoring of progress. Throughout the therapy process, progress is regularly monitored, and therapy goals are adjusted as needed. The ultimate aim of OPT is to improve the individual's speech intelligibility, oral coordination, and feeding abilities by targeting and enhancing their oral motor skills.
Embark on Your Oral Placement Therapy Journey at The Speech Clinic
If you or your loved one can benefit from Oral Placement Therapy, The Speech Clinic is here to support you. Our comprehensive approach, individualized intervention plans, and skilled therapists ensure the best possible outcomes for speech production, feeding skills, and overall oral function.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards enhancing oral motor skills, improving speech clarity, and promoting optimal oral function through Oral Placement Therapy.