#017: How to Tackle Oral-Facial Exams

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In this episode I got to sit down and talk to Amy Graham, an SLP who has been practicing for 20 years (!!) and owns Graham Speech Therapy, a private practice in Colorado Springs that specializes in speech sound disorders. She’s listed on the Apraxia Kids Directory of SLPs as having expertise in apraxia, and I can see why — with her years of experience, she has tons of practical strategies and tips related to speech sound disorders that she generously shared with us today.

If you’ve been following Amy, you know that she does an amazing job supporting and equipping SLPs with the tools we need to really have an impact with our work. She does these awesome video demonstrations that you will definitely want to check out. 🙌

Okay let’s be honest here for a minute. We often work on articulation, but don’t always do an oral-facial exam. Or if we do it, it’s not always done super effectively. The biggest culprit is usually confidence — if we don’t feel like we’ve had enough training on an assessment, we’re less likely to do it.

Amy came on the show to help us develop some practical knowledge and tips for assessment so that we can walk away feeling more confident administering oral-motor and oral-mech exams. 💪

So grab your beverage of choice (I’ll have a chai latte!), put your feet up, and listen in.

Key Takeaways

– How Amy landed in private practice and speech sound disorders
– Why it’s important to do oral-facial exams
– Examples of cases from Amy’s practice
– A general overview of what we’re looking for in the oral mech exam → The components + process of the assessment
– What to do with the information you get from the evaluation
– Tips + strategies for administering the assessment
– How to make it feel like a game when you’re treating younger kids
– What the research has to say about tongue ties + their impact on speech
– Factors that determine difficulty with “R”
– Distinguishing between a proprioceptive issue vs a motor planning issue
– The difference in how these issues present during an oral-facial exam
– If you have a child with proprioceptive issues, and really that can often come across in those oral-facial exams

Links Mentioned in the Podcast

The Goldman-Fristoe
Cari Ebert— an apraxia expert
Edythe Strand + Free CEUs!
The Apraxia Kids Conference
Jennie Bjorem’s assessment
The Dynamic Evaluation of Motor Speech Skill (DEMSS) by Dr. Strand and Dr. McCauley
Amy’s Instagram account: @GrahamSpeechTherapy
The Oral-Facial Exam — A checklist-style evaluation from GrahamSpeechTherapy.com

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Hi there! I'm Marisha. I am a school-based SLP who is all about working smarter, not harder. I created the SLP Now Membership and love sharing tips and tricks to help you save time so you can focus on what matters most--your students AND yourself.

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