Here at MPPT, we have occupational therapists trained in the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol. Oral motor skills refer to the movements of the muscles in the mouth, jaw, lips, tongue, and cheeks. During training with Debra Beckman, they participated with hands on-learning to skillfully utilize assessments for determining oro-facial movement patterns, compensatory handling techniques, and oral motor interventions and treatment techniques.

Why are oral motor skills important?

          Oral motor skills are crucial for our daily and most basic functions. We must control our secretions, swallowing, and maintain alignment of the oral structures so that breathing is uninterrupted while we sleep and complete daily tasks. From birth, oral motor skills impact basic survival instinct, such as, sucking and swallowing in an infant while still in utero. Proper development of oral motor skills are important for feeding at all ages. Poor oral motor skills can result in delayed or reduced skill development in sucking a nipple, utilization of utensils, including straws, cups, spoons and forks. Poor oral motor skills may also be described as hypersensitivities to food or textures, drooling, tooth grinding or gagging

What are Functional Deficits of Poor Oral Motor Skills?

Drooling

Picky or Messy Eaters

Difficulty Chewing Fooding

Food Pocketing

Excessive Time Required for Feeding

Feeding Difficulties

Transitioning from Bottle to Cup

Teeth Grinding

Utilization of utensils

Brushing Teeth

Our therapists are skilled and ready to help you answer the following questions for your child:

  • Are poor oral motor skills affecting my child’s development?
  • Are sensory processing difficulties affecting my child’s oral motor skills and functional development?
  • What interventions are appropriate for developing my child’s oral motor skills?
  • What interventions would decrease tongue thrust, drooling, and improve overall feeding skills?
  • How can I help my child be successful and independent with feeding challenges?
  • What is age appropriate for my child?
  • How can I get my child to allow me to brush their teeth?

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