Food for Thought: Evaluating the Evidence Base for Oral-Motor Therapies The aerodigestive tract is shared among many activities including respiration, mastication, swallowing, and speech. Each of these activities requires the coordinated efforts of respiratory, laryngeal, velopharyngeal, and oral-articulatory subsystems. It is enticing to believe that these various activities use the aerodigestive subsystems in the same way. Many exercises have ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   March 01, 2003
Food for Thought: Evaluating the Evidence Base for Oral-Motor Therapies
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • John E. Riski
    Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
  • John Riski is director of the Speech Pathology Laboratory and clinical director of the Center for Craniofacial Disorders at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. john.riski@choa.org
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Food for Thought
Viewpoint   |   March 01, 2003
Food for Thought: Evaluating the Evidence Base for Oral-Motor Therapies
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), March 2003, Vol. 12, 30-32. doi:10.1044/sasd12.1.30
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), March 2003, Vol. 12, 30-32. doi:10.1044/sasd12.1.30
The aerodigestive tract is shared among many activities including respiration, mastication, swallowing, and speech. Each of these activities requires the coordinated efforts of respiratory, laryngeal, velopharyngeal, and oral-articulatory subsystems. It is enticing to believe that these various activities use the aerodigestive subsystems in the same way. Many exercises have been developed using one type of activity (i.e., sucking) to assist another activity (soft palate function for speech). Other therapy programs have been developed that isolate one subsystem in hopes that it will then function in a coordinated way with other subsystems. Still other therapy programs have been developed on the premise that the development of nonspeech oral movements must precede speech oral movements. Therefore, these programs promote the concept that nonspeech movements must be taught first and this will enhance the learning of speech movements. Despite a proliferation of oral motor therapies, there is an absence of efficacy that demonstrates their effectiveness (Shuster, 2001).
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