Thursday, December 31, 2009
has been in therapy with Dr. Ana Schmidt and the palatometer since September
2009. I have been so pleased with her progress and success with this
I would like to share some of my daughter's history with you so that you can
understand my gratitude and appreciation for the tools and strategies used
to bring success to her hard work.
Jamie is an 8 year old little girl who has had some "cute" habits with her
speech. Most of her articulation errors have always added to her
personality, but she never out grew them. Our family dentist informed us
several years ago that Jamie had a tongue thrust and an open and cross bite.
They referred us to an orthodontist and he recommended that we work with a
speech pathologist to strengthen her tongue position in rest and speech.
After working with her for several months, Jamie made little progress and it
was determined that she was tongue tied. We were then referred to an oral
surgeon. He performed a frenectomy and projected that Jamie's speech errors
would improve in just a few months. When we didn't see improvement, we
returned to the orthodontist, who then referred us to Dr. Schmidt.
At this point, I was anxious to try just about anything to bring success to
Jamie's hard work. Dr. Schmidt has given us so much hope and encouragement with the
use of the palatometer. Jamie's progress has been remarkable and she is
speaking beautifully. I know that it has all been with this innovative
I would love if more people could become aware of this technique and treatment. It makes so much sense.
I am forever grateful.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
A Tongue-Tracking Artificial Larynx
Patients could get their voice back using a device that analyzes contact between the tongue and palate.
By Rachel Kremen
Researchers in South Africa are working on a new kind of artificial larynx that won't have the raspy voice of existing devices. The system tracks contact between the tongue and...
Read the full article here: http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/24051/
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Some questions and answers between speech language pathologist about Palatometry.
RE: What is the age range of individuals with whom you have used EPG?
*Answer*: I have worked with kids age 4 to 17, and many adults, age 20 on
RE: I am interested to know how young a child can *tolerate* and *hold*
apalatometer, and for *how long*, and *understand* what the palatograph
is telling them to do (with your guidance, of course).
*Answer: * The youngest child I worked with was age 4, who had good
attention span during the assessment, but was still a very active typical
young boy with wiggle issues. His teeth were small and straight so we had to
use denture adhesive to keep his smartpalate in place. He learned to put
his own smartpalate into his mouth by himself and clean it with a
toothbrush. He will look at the computer display when I point out his
correct contact or contrast his incorrect with correct contacts. The best
part is that the child doesn't have to see every time, YOU can see exactly
what he is doing with his tongue to provide specific correct feedback.
Most clients make "gross" connection with their smartpalate and computer
display within minutes, but it's been shown by another study- by Anna
Schmidt from Kent State that it take 2-10 sessions before clients make the
"fine-tuned" connection with the SP and display. Once they make the
"connection" more progress is made. I found this to vary greatly from client
RE: I am also interested in the logistics of this for the client and family.
Who makes pseudo-palates or what you call "mouth pieces" for children.
*Answer:* The pseudopalate is first made by a dental technician by making a
dental impression. any dentist lab can make this. I refer people to our
local dental instructor who teaches others to make impressions and stone
models. CompleteSpeech company will give any dental lab the specific specs
to make a proper impressions and stone model. (contact
RE: if you don't mind my asking, how are the costs of this expensive
technology covered? Do clients' parents arrange to have the pseudo-palate
made at their expense and then come to you for intervention?
*Answer;* Parents pay for the customized smartpalates: ( US dollars 300.00
which covers both the dental impression, practice palate, and smartplate
made by CompleteSpeech company.
Therapy intervention is then paid directly to me. I use the going rate for
the area, however I do not provide insurance billing. They do pay for
articulation therapy and the SP as a dental removable treatment appliance.
If you want to purchase the "whole palatomater system" please check
CompleteSpeech website for details. They have several different package
RE: " Correct tongue placement using what the person does best with
vowels can really make the difference with developing correct consonants."
Have you made formal comparisons?
*Answer:* The only comparisons I've made is informal, with each individual
client and what they can do during the assessment. I will check to see
what vowels are clear then use them to shape consonants. No formal
comparisons done yet. Typically I found high vowels such as /i, u/ helps
develop palatal and back sounds. I also found that some consonants that
were thought to be easier to teach in initial or final positions ended up
being easier to teach in the middle of words. (e.g. velar stops sounds were
said to be easier to teach at the end of words however, for most kids I
found it was easier to teach in the middle of words using the palatometer.
RE: Are you able to list the "wide range of speech issues" referred
*Answer: *I have worked with severe tongue thrust where several clients had
braces on for three years with wide gaps on one side. The palatometer
helped to remediate their pronounced unilateral lisp; of /l,s,z/ (which has
been noted to be hardest to remediate. I used the palatometer technology to
correct their swallow patterns as well.
I have also worked with the deaf population, those with hearing aides, no
hearing aides and cochlear implants. This is where I found tons of success.
They could "see" the placement error and within matter of few sessions,
THEY fixed their own incorrect sounds (r, sh, ch, s, z, l,, j- in judge ) so
on. This was truly remarkable.
I've worked with kids with apraxia with attention problems, and learning
disabilities. They were and are the toughest cases. it takes patience, and
lots of drills. These kids take longer to acclimate to getting use to the
smartpalate. But as I mentioned I teach ALL kids to put on their own
smartpalate. This is another topic for another day to go into but let's say
you need good strong parents to work with you to implement a home practice
program to get the child to put on their own SP. Once they can do this, I
build their tolerance to talking with the SP from 20 words 10 minutes to 30
minutes. They also take longer to make progress primarily to their lack of
attention, self monitoring and behavior issues.
It's been interesting following the phonology group discussions with all the
hard working therapists input but I have found that so many of the
articulation issues and worries are not really issues with the EPG/
palatometer technology. When the client makes their own changes from
"seeing" incorrect to correct placement, their hard work is turned into
success way sooner than traditional therapy. It makes this new generation
therapy so much more gratifying for all parties concerned It actually
strengthens all the knowledge you obtained from speech anatomy, motor
speech, acoustics, clinical phonetics, articulation and phonological process
I really hope more therapist and clients get a chance to work with the
Best Wishes, Ann
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thank you to all who visited the CompleteSpeech booth at the recent ASHA convention in
We were happy to share the capabilities of Palatometry. It was truly fun to watch the reaction our booth guests had as they would stare in amazement, watching the computer monitor as the tongue was being tracked during live speech. One guest even put her hands to her face, with jaw gapping, saying that Palatometry would help so many people.
We spoke to students, private practice SLPs, University professors and department chairs even representatives interested in helping those who are either deaf or hard of hearing. Each saw applications in their respective disciplines. SLP’s saw the benefits for training and remediation for articulation. Audiologist went a step further seeing applications for speech training for those who cannot hear correctly spoken sounds. We even had a few who saw applications for speech modification for heavy accents.