I just evaluated a client who was seen previously for tongue thrust therapy by another therapist for over two years. The mother said he was receiving tongue thrust therapy. There were many sections of the initial oral exam that he could not do. Some were the most basic skills. How is it possible that this child was in therapy for so long and cannot even perform the simplest oral movements? I did not find anything unusual in his history or his performance to suggest he is not neurotypical in every way. What do I say about how I am offering something different to him and that they are not wasting their time and money with my treatment program? Thank you for any suggestions because I expect those questions to come up the next time I see him to review my evaluation findings with them.
Chances are that the therapist they have been seeing for two years might have had no specific training course at all in orofacial myology. Unfortunately, there are many therapists who claim to do “tongue thrust” therapy and they are using simplistic programs that they heard about and purchased. Or it’s possible that they may have taken a course elsewhere and from what I have heard from our past graduates for many years, there are really no other treatment programs other than ours that are sensible, sequential and systematic.
You can feel very confident in telling the mother that your treatment program is THE premier standard worldwide. Tell her that steps are not skipped, barriers are addressed and then the tongue is maximized within the mouth before even thinking about the swallowing act. Speech, if needed, is introduced at the right place based on the skills that have been learned and based on the particular speech disorder.
Explain that after you completed your thorough oral exam, you spent time analyzing what specifically is needed and tailored your recommendations individually for him because you do not use a cookbook method.
Tell her that you are in a process to receive the QOM credential, which distinguishes you as a Qualified Orofacial Myologist (tongue thrust therapy) that is skilled in the most recognized and utilized program found on all 6 continents.
Don’t be shy about your credentials and capabilities as it is important for the patient/client and family to understand your program sequence and have confidence that you have the capability to treat them unless they require other professionals, in which case you will refer as needed.