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Hypotonia, a condition of decreased muscle tone which significantly impact feeding, swallowing, oral-motor mechanism and speech development. Therefore, once hypotonia has been diagnosed the child should be seen by a speech language pathologist for a complete speech and language evaluation. The evaluation must be performed by a licensed and certified Speech Language Pathologist. Speech language pathologist may assess the following:
• Oral-motor mechanism
• play skills
• receptive language skills
• expressive language skills
• social pragmatic skills
• speech development
Early collaborative intervention, as well as parental involvement is imperative for success and optimal outcomes. When working with your child always remember to have fun; play is best with constant positive reinforcement.
Fun ideas to improve oral structures:
• Have your child blow musical instruments, bubbles, or even cotton balls through a straw.
• These fun activities will help with lip closure and strengthening of lips, jaw, and cheeks as well as the diaphragm (muscle of respiration).
• Have your child hold a tongue depressor between her lips and hum (Happy Birthday song), (ABC’s), or any other short songs. These activities will help strengthen lips, among other structures.
• Have your child be “silly” and make funny faces to improve overall strength, coordination, and range of motion of the lips, jaw, and tongue.
• Have your child blow on a window/mirror to make fog. This helps with coordination of breathing and lip movement.
• Have your child imitate animal sounds such as: monkey, dog, elephant, lion, etc. to improve overall range of movement for the oral motor musculature.
I hope this information is helpful and always be an active participant in your child’s therapies.
Contributed by Diana Ramirez, Speech Language Pathologist
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International Hypotomia Society © 2015
This "website" www.hypotonia.org is designed to help families and users find and understand general information on certain ("hypotonia") subjects. and is designed to provide useful information in regard to hypotonia. The information guarantees neither the accuracy nor completeness , and is not intended to replace medical advice.