Curious about oral function therapy? We explain three benefits this therapy has for your child with special needs.
What is oral function therapy?
Oral function therapy, according to the National Institute of Health, is a neuromuscular re-education of muscle function to improve the functions of swallowing, tongue, and oral breathing. It also improves the resting posture of lips, tongue, and cheeks. This therapy is the same/similar to orofacial myofunctional therapy, oral motor therapy, and oral physical therapy.
Why would a child need oral function therapy?
Children may have difficulty with mealtime behavior, chewing, oral intake, food refusal, or gagging. Oral function therapy helps correct these behaviors.
1. Improved muscular strength
Oral function therapy exercises, like the one in the video above, improve coordination, mobility, and strength of the mouth. This helps with feeding and sensory needs.
2. Improved oral breathing
Oral breathing is improved by the child using their muscle to open their mouth and breathe through their mouth.
3. Improved swallowing
This therapy improves swallowing by using oral motor treatment strategies to strengthen muscles for a safer and more efficient swallowing pattern. It helps with lip closure while swallowing.
Oral function therapy helps children develop important skills to improve the movement of their jaw, cheek, tongue, and teeth. It helps them learn how to swallow, breathe, and eat!
Why should my child go to Tender Care PPEC?
Tender Care PPEC provides care for medically complex and fragile children from birth to 21 years of age in a daycare-like environment staffed with nurses, CNAs, and therapists. We are the first independently owned PPEC in the State of Florida with our initial center opening in 1988. This means we have an abundance of experience and knowledge in providing loving care to this special pediatric population. We have 6 Tender Care PPEC centers throughout Florida, with our newest facility located in Lake Park.
Our goal is to enhance the development of each child through collaborative relationships between families, physicians, nurses, and therapists. This holistic approach to care is carried out in an environment that allows the child to engage in social interactions with their peers. This results in thriving children, well-positioned to achieve their greatest potential. We also offer transportation at no cost and provide nutritious meals throughout the day.
What sets us apart is that we care for and treat every child like family. We have passion in our hearts for our children and a desire to see them succeed.
*This is not medical advice, always consult with your child’s doctor before making any changes to their lifestyle.