Oral Motor Exercises

Oral Motor Exercises

Many children face some problems in developing their speech and articulation. Oral motor exercises as a speech therapy help overcome these problems, by combining the most effective exercises with fun. In the long run, these are extremely effective communication enhancers.
AptParenting Staff
For young children who are around the age of 2 - 4 years, oral motor exercises can go a long way in helping them overcome various speech impediments and for developing effective oral motor techniques. These kind of issues can cause some serious concern in the minds of parents and can get severely unnerving if the problems persist. The best form of therapy for kids is one that is started at a young age and as soon as some problems start appearing. Applying some exercises for speech clarity is highly recommended in such cases.

There are a number of exercises for articulation, diction, clarity of speech, and for general effectiveness of all oral motor skills. There are specialized speech pathology doctors as well that treat these cases. Communication is a major part of a human being's life, and all measures must be taken to ensure that a child can carry out effective communication.

Oral Motor Exercises

Usually, the root cause of oral motor problems lies in the weakness of articulators and muscles in the face that are used for the production of speech. The only way to overcome this problem is by carrying out some suitable exercises. Speech clarity, easier movement of the mouth, stronger ability to chew and swallow food, and stronger ability to make sounds are some of the many advantages of undergoing this therapy. Some of the most effective and popular exercises are listed below.
  • Bubble blowing is known to be one of the best therapies for kids. This is a lot of fun and the whole point of it is to make it fun for the little ones. It also helps the child control breath and purse lips as well.
  • One of the effective exercises for drooling is having the child lick the sides of an icecream cone as it melts down the sides. Ensure that the child is using only the tongue and not lips. This is also good as a tongue exercise.
  • A good alternative is to give your child a harmonica and ask him/her to go crazy with it. It may not sound very melodious and pleasant, but it will fulfill the purposes that most other exercises cannot.
  • A straw fulfills many purposes in our lives and if used correctly, it can greatly strengthen the speech producing muscles on our face. Have the child use a straw on a regular basis, and this will serve as a great exercise.
  • Another really fun form of therapy is to make silly faces with your child while looking into a mirror. Have a competition to see who can make the silliest face, and this really stretches all the muscles and articulators in the child's face. You can come up with a lot of exercises all by yourself, by using a little creativity and ingenuity.
  • Peanut butter is a great tool and can be used for many purposes. Smear some on the child's lips and have him/her lick it off using their tongue only, or place a blob of it on the upper roof of their mouth and have them eat it off using the tongue only. These exercises can improve the tongue's flexibility and turns out very beneficial eventually.
As long as you can make these exercises fun for the child, things will work out just fine. You can also visit a specialist as he/she can provide you with some experienced expertise. A speech therapy session also helps you interact with other parents and get some ideas from people who have gone through similar situations in the past.

At the end of the day, it is for the benefit of your child. So, do not hesitate to seek as much help as you can possibly get. Keep an open mind, and have faith that these exercises will certainly work, and your child will grow and develop just fine.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.
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Making silly faces
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