Oral Motor Therapy & Down Syndrome Abstracts

Down Syndrome Research and Practice 11 (1): 1-8 (2006)

The development of oral motor control and language

Alcock, Katie
Department of Psychology, Lancaster University

Motor control has long been associated with language skill, in deficits, both acquired and developmental, and in typical development. Most evidence comes from limb praxis however; the link between oral motor control and speech and language has been neglected, despite the fact that most language users talk with their mouths. Oral motor control is affected in a variety of developmental disorders, including Down syndrome. However, its development is poorly understood. We investigated oral motor control in three groups: adults with acquired aphasia, individuals with developmental dysphasia, and typically developing children. In individuals with speech and language difficulties, oral motor control was impaired. More complex movements and sets of movements were even harder for individuals with language impairments. In typically developing children (21-24 months), oral motor control was found to be related to language skills. In both studies, a closer relationship was found between language and complex oral movements than simple oral movements. This relationship remained when the effect of overall cognitive ability was removed. Children who were poor at oral movements were not good at language, although children who were good at oral movements could fall anywhere on the distribution of language abilities. Oral motor skills may be a necessary precursor for language skills.
Acta Odontol Scand 54 (2): 122-125 (1996 Apr)

Effect of palatal plate therapy in children with Down syndrome. A 1-year study

Carlstedt K, Dahllof G, Nilsson B, Modeer T

The effect of palatal plate therapy on oral dysfunction in children with Down syndrome was studied during a 1-year period. Twenty-nine subjects with a mean age of 24 months were randomized to a test group or to a control group. The variables concerning orofacial muscle function--that is, "closed mouth", "tip of the tongue visible", "open mouth", "inactive protrusion of the tongue", and "active protrusion of the tongue"—were monitored by video recordings. After 12 months of therapy the mean duration of the factor "closed mouth" was significantly longer (p > 0.001) and "inactive protrusion of the tongue" significantly shorter (p > 0.001) in the test group than in the control group. The results indicate that in children with Down syndrome, palatal plate therapy may be a valuable complement to a training program for improving orofacial muscle function.
Eur J Orthod 13 (6): 446-451 (1991 Dec)

Oral dysfunction in children with Down's syndrome: an evaluation of treatment effects by means of video registration

Glatz-Noll E, Berg R

The objects of the study were: (1) to analyse lip and tongue function in 24 children with Down's Syndrome as compared to an untreated control group of 19 healthy children; (2) to evaluate treatment effects of stimulation plates of the type Castillo Morales, in children with Downs' Syndrome. The range of the observation period during treatment was 4-11 months. Video recordings of 5 minutes (300 seconds) duration served as a basis for stop watch registrations of tongue protrusion and open mouth habit. Before treatment, the duration of tongue protrusion in the Downs' Syndrome group amounted to approximately half of the registration time as compared to an average of only 6.4 seconds in the control group. The values for lip closure differed only slightly. Following the insertion of the stimulation plate, the duration of tongue protrusion, in general, dropped markedly. No improvement in mouth closure or lip posture could be observed. A normalization of tongue function without the plate inserted was achieved after 4-11 months of treatment in 12 out of the 24 children. Follow-up registrations, ranging from 5 to 20 months, could be obtained in 7 out of the 12 successfully treated children. The results appeared to be stable in five of these children.
Dev Med Child Neurol 29 (4): 469-476 (1987 Aug)

Efficacy of two treatment approaches to reduce tongue protrusion of children with Down syndrome

Purdy AH, Deitz JC, Harris SR

Five children with Down syndrome aged between 21 and 31 months, all of whom demonstrated habitual tongue protrusion, were randomly assigned to receive either oral-motor treatment or behavior modification. Tongue posture of all three children who received oral-motor treatment improved. For two of these the improvement leveled off after treatment had ended, but the third continued to show improvement. One of the two children receiving behavior modification showed improved tongue posture during treatment and maintained the improvement, but for the second there were insufficient data points to draw firm conclusions. Both forms of treatment appear to be effective, but further study is needed before definite conclusions can be made.
Am J Ment Defic 88 (6): 647-52 (1984 May)

Reduction of tongue protrusion of a 24-year-old woman with Down syndrome through self-monitoring

Rudrud EH, Ziarnik JP, Colman G

Tongue protrusion of a 24-year-old moderately retarded woman with Down syndrome was reduced through self-monitoring. A series of six, 30-minute audio cassette tapes, with decreasing numbers of beep tones, served as cues to self-monitor. Tongue protrusion was measured by an interval recording method with 10-second intervals for two, 5-minute periods randomly selected within two, 30-minute self-monitoring periods. Tongue protrusion decreased from 95% of intervals during baseline to 0% of intervals during intervention and 3-week follow-up. This reduction of tongue protrusion was maintained when the self-monitoring procedures were gradually faded and withdrawn. The implications of fading self-monitoring procedures to promote response maintenance are discussed.