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Keywords

orofacial myofunctional therapy, speech intelligibility, cerebral palsy

Abstract

Though some anecdotal evidence supports the efficacy of orofacial myofunctional therapy in cerebral palsy and other disorders, controlled studies are very scant. This study was undertaken to examine the efficacy of orofacial myofunctional therapy in sixteen children diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy. Following baseline measures, all children participated in a four-month therapy program, consisting of training the tongue, lips, and jaw muscles for adequate posturing and functioning. Post-therapy measures indicated significant improvement in functioning of lips, tongue, and jaw. Speech intelligibility of words also improved significantly as measured by two judges using a five-point rating scale. A significant correlation was found between tongue functioning and improvement in speech intelligibility; however no significant correlation was obtained between functioning of lips/jaw and speech intelligibility. Clinical implications regarding use of orofacial myofunctional therapy with cerebral palsied children are discussed.

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