Oral Placement Therapy: Clinical Implications for Tongue Thrust and Lisps


Course Description

Robyn’s SMILE Program (SysteMatic Intervention for Lingual Elevation) is an effective way to help children remediate articulation errors including persistent lisps, interdentalized productions of t-d-l-n-s-z, and distortions of s-z-∫-t∫-dʒ-ʒ. The program targets the root of the speech problem which is often an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD). Robyn discovered in a school-based setting that by combining oral placement, swallowing and articulation therapies progress rates improved. Participants learn how to perform a thorough structural assessment and determine if an OMD is present. This one-day seminar differentiates therapeutic strategies for <4 and >4 populations for the best prognosis. SMILE manual is included with the course.

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Learning Outcomes
  1. Participants will be able to diagnose myofunctional disorders based on oral placement skills/swallowing skills/articulation skills.
  2. Participants will be able to list defining characteristics of a myofunctional disorder.
  3. Participants will be able to determine if oral-motor prerequisite skills are intact in order to initiate myofunctional therapy techniques (Jaw-structure-tone).
  4. Participants will be able to measure treatment outcomes throughout the therapeutic process.
  5. Participants will be able to combine oral placement, swallowing and articulation therapy techniques for those children who present myofunctional disorders.
  6. Participants will be able to implement at least ten exercises for a tongue thrust program. 

The "Tongue Thrust" course is an interactive, hands-on workshop. When taking this course as a self-study it is encouraged that you follow along with all of the activities.


Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP bio

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