Beckman Oral-Motor Assessment And Intervention

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This approach was developed by Debra Beckman, MS, CCC-SLP as a way to evaluate and treat weakness (hypotonicity) throughout the oral-facial areas.  Her protocol specifically examines: lips, cheeks, jaw, tongue and soft palate and their response to pressure and movement, range, strength, variety and control of movement.  Once the evaluation is completed, it directly leads into ascertaining for each area which: are the most consistent (>80%), emerging/inconsistent patterns of movement (35%-80%), and, most unconstructive (<35%).

Ms. Beckman developed a series of exercises which increase the functioning of the lips, cheeks, jaw, tongue and soft palate for functional  feeding and speech skills.  These exercises accomplish this through:

  • Muscle compression before elongation;
  • Muscle elongation and active contraction;
  • Movement against resistance to build strength;
  • Movement towards midline;
  • Slow Movement;
  • Deep Pressure.

Diane Lewis, MA, CCC-SLP feels that this protocol provides a very important component for the feeding and speech programs for those children who present with muscle weakness in the lips, cheek jaw, tongue and soft palate.  Diane Lewis, MA, CCC-SLP will not only incorporate these techniques in your child’s Oral-Motor Program, but will, also, train you to do the exercises at home.