Speech therapy of tongue thrust swallowing in Szeged

It is commonly known phenomenon that children at an early stage of development don’t start to speak clearly, certain sounds are replaced by others or the phonation itself is „baby-like”, they push out their tongue while speaking. This phenomenon is the so called speech with tongue thrust swallowing. This may spread out to numerous sounds, it may have impact on the formation of soundings: sz,z,c,s zs,cs,t,d,n,l,ty,gy,ny.

The distorted or supplementary forming of sounds is collectively called lisping. In the first years of the period of shaping coherent speech and routinous application (3-5 years) this phenomenon may be considered to be of physiological nature. (physiological lisping). The necessity of correction of speech disorders accompanied by speech therapy emerges when at the age of 5 the number of mistaken or incorrectly formed sounds still exceeds 10.

It may occur that lisping is combined with other disorders in this development stage, in such case it is justified to look for a speech therapist for children under 5. It is worth paying attention to the ponits below:

  • deviation involving pregnancy and birth process
  • previous development disorders, diseases in the family
  • deferred or obstructed speech development, previously occured in the family, dyslexia (dygraphia, dyscalculia – i.e. difficulties with reading, writing, counting at school age), left-handedness
  • deferred, immaturity or disorder symptoms int he movement development of children
  • frequent diseases of the upper respiratory
  • allergic diseases
  • oddities in social behaviour, communication
  • expansion of start of speaking (at the age of 3 or later)
  • baby language, double-talk, constant maintenance of self-made words
  • suspected disorders in speech attention, speech-orientation, speech perception and understanding
  • long remaining double-handedness (no dominance shaped up to 5)
  • erratic speech
  • left-handedness
  • deviations in movement coordination, balance, spatial orientation, attention, activity, biorhytm irregularities

Tongue thrust swallowing

The background of defective artculation has frequently the above mentioned swallowing peculiarity in the background, the so called tongue thrust swallowing. Its subsistance until the change of teeth can be considered as physiologic phenomenon, but later on abnormal. The initial, voluntary stage of the swallowing process takes place within the mouth and for those who produce the abnormal form occurs like this: by swallowing the dentures don’t close and the tongue produces an almost horizontal in-and-out movement (up and down) so sliding between the front or the side teeth, respectively it will push them at all swallowings. From speech therapy aspects this leads to the distorted formation of the already mentioned sounds sz,z,c,s zs,cs,t,d,n,l,ty,gy,ny, the formation occurs in such cases spectacularly between the two dentures making the tip and the front side of the tongue visible. Is is often followed by the open status of the lips at normal breathing, too.

The following factors may play a role in the formation of defective swallowing (sometimes even breathing):

  • peculiarities of infants and childhood nutrition (artificial nutrition, use of insuffient sized pacifier, or the too big whole shaped on it).
  • By teeth changing the tongue conforms to the changing mouth area anatomy and performs compensation movement and this is not being settled by the existence of the remaining teeth.
  • Thumb sucking, prolonged use of pacifier.
  • Upper respiratory diseases, because of which the tongue (also its front side) falls forward (increased nose or pharyngeal tonsils, allergic diseases).
  • Generally sluggish muscles all over the body, disorder of muscle tone, overall weakness of movement coordination.

Setting up diagnosis as well as indication of the necessary therapy shall be made by a team of specialists including an ear-nose-throat sepcialist, a dentist, an orthodontics specialist (orthodontus), a speech therapist, in some cases a phoniater (if the phonation changes spread out on the tone, too). In the longer period of therapy the speech therapist and the orthodontus have a major role, since both the swallowing and the speech can be shaped to an activity that takes place properly even in spontanous use in the course of a long, practicing-strenthening-automating process.

The mechanical influence of the position of tongue and teeth is often necessary, this is the professional field of the orthodontics specialist who is in charge of deciding what device might promote the shaping of normal denture, biting, tongue position, swallowing. The „tempering” of muscles around the mouth and inside it, the formation of correct resting and speech breathing, the change of speech sounds formation adjusted to the standard, are followed by speech therapist. The expression „follow” is not accidental here; during the succesful outcome of the therapy the motivation of child and parent as well as the regular practicing of trained movements and exercises at home have the same importance as the job of the professional team.

This following, speech correction service became available also in Szeged.

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