At Thrive SPOT Lauren's philosophy Is holistic: determine the root cause of the problem. The first step involves gathering and discussing a detailed case history. Parent involvement is an integral piece to making progress. Lauren believes in working within the zone of proximal development: what a child can achieve with a little bit of support. Her approach to feeding and orofacial myofunctional therapy uses a combination of oral motor exercises, sensory play and parenting techniques. Lauren's approach to speech & language therapy is a collaborative process where she works closely with families to understand each child’s communication needs, strengths, and preferences.
A personalized treatment plan is developed with goals that align with family preferences and the child's needs.
Infant - Child Feeding
When oral motor issues in babies remain untreated, they may cause feeding difficulties throughout childhood. Let’s ensure your baby can feed properly early on so they’ll be able to: transition to solid foods as they mature, manage foods of different textures and develop a liking for a variety of foods. Assessment and Intervention can involve bottle feeding, transition to solids, straw and cup drinking as well as picky eating. Lauren has experience in working with babies and children with complex medical diagnoses, including modified diets requiring thickened liquids, tube dependency with supplemental feedings by mouth, presence of tracheostomy and supporting tube-feed weaning.
Speech Sound and Language Therapy
Treatment methods for speech sound disorders are based on principles of motor learning as speech is movement. Lauren looks at the form (structure and muscle) and function to improve articulator awareness, placement, stability, and muscle memory; all necessary for the development of clear speech.
Lauren uses “floortime” to facilitate language goals, joining in the child's play to increase opportunities for pleasurable interaction and engagement. The child’s actions are considered intentional, and Lauren follows their lead to validate their sense of self. Preferred objects and activities are used to motivate and facilitate goals. Higher level skills and concepts are taught through interactive play.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
OMDs often contribute to a variety of issues which can include:
Airway obstruction (e.g. enlarged adenoids)
Abnormal jaw growth and position
Malocclusion (improper teeth alignment)
Orthodontic relapse (need for braces again)
Obstructive Sleep Apnea /Sleep Disordered Breathing
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Distorted speech sounds
A collaborative approach to OMDs is prioritized at Thrive SPOT. In using a team approach your child is able to reach their maximal potential. Lauren's piece of the team, Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT), focuses on nasal breathing and facilitation of appropriate resting position of the tongue, lips and jaw to promote optimal facial and dental development. Children ages 4+ are candidates.
Parent and caregiver coaching is designed to empower parents with strategies to support feeding, habit reduction and communication within daily routines. When you are equipped with the right tools, the caregiver can help the child thrive. Therapy sessions always include parent education and training however it is also available as a stand-alone service via tele-visit or phone call.
Oral Habit Elimination
If your child has a sucking habit (finger, thumb, pacifier, other objects) this can contribute to dental and facial abnormalities, speech sound errors and an abnormal swallow pattern. It can also be indicative of an airway issue if persisting past age 2. The first step is to complete an orofacial myofunctional intake to determine if the child Is a good fit for the program. If yes, Lauren uses the Simon Says "Thumbs Up" program which Is a 30-day, 3 session program driven by positive reinforcement and increasing awareness. For children under 4, parent coaching sessions can help guide reducing the habit gradually.
Pre and Post Frenectomy Neuromuscular Re-education
Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) are tissues in the mouth that restrict movement and impact a multitude of whole body functions.
Pre (before) release care involves an assessment which includes a case history, structural and functional assessments. Pre frenectomy care is essential to help the client acclimate to hands in their mouth, maximize range of motion and release tension for a more successful outcome. It also facilitates caregiver training on aftercare protocols and is an opportunity to gather baseline information to formulate a plan of care.
Post (after) frenectomy therapy targets engaging previously unused tongue muscles in new movement patterns to retrain compensatory swallowing, chewing, breathing and speech patterns acquired as a result of the TOT.
Get in touch today!
All services are offered within a 35 minute drive of Manlius, NY or you can access tele services anywhere in the states of New York and New Jersey.