Three Medical Interventions That Can Help Speech Pathology Succeed

Health & Medical Blog

Speech pathology helps so many children and adults speak with more confidence and speak more clearly. However, there may be some physical issues with your child's tongue, sinuses, and mouth that may prevent the speech pathologist from succeeding in the work he or she does. If you have not already had your child's mouth assessed by an otolaryngologist, (an ear, nose and throat specialist) you should. The following three medical interventions are the result of a diagnosis and treatment of oral, nasal, palette and sinus issues, which can prevent your child's success with speech pathology therapy.

Cutting a "Tied" Tongue

The lingual frenulum is the tiny membrane that holds your tongue in place from underneath. Some kids are born with a frenulum that does not stop at the middle of the tongue, but instead goes part or all the way to the tip of the tongue. It keeps your child from forming specific dipthongs, such as "th" or "sh" and a few other single consonant sounds. An otolaryngologist can cut the frenulum back to the point where it is supposed to be, "untying" your child's tongue and allowing him or her to learn how to make these sounds without getting frustrated.

Repairing a Cleft

Even if your child has the tiniest and least noticeable of clefts in his or her palate, clear speech may still be difficult for him or her to articulate. Getting a cleft in either the soft or hard palate of your child's mouth surgically repaired is essential to the success of speech pathology and speech therapy. The hard and soft palates of your mouth are responsible for many of the nasal and hard letter sounds. Usually, you will know when your child is born that he or she has a cleft palate that needs to be repaired and surgery can begin as young as a few months old.

Using Medication for Problematic Sinuses

Kids with continuously congested or infected sinuses sound very different from their peers when they are speaking. An otolaryngologist can find out what is causing these congested sinuses and prescribe a decongestant or antibiotic which will help your child get past the blocked sinuses. Blocked sinuses can prevent the necessary amounts of vibration from the soft palette, which is located directly underneath the sinuses. The daily decongestant a doctor prescribes clears the sinuses, enabling your child to make the "n" and "b" sounds.


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