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Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

Orofacial myofunctional interventions are conducted by appropriately trained speech-language pathologists (SLPs), as part of a collaborative team. SLPs provide these services as members of interprofessional teams that may include the individual, family/caregivers, and other relevant persons (e.g., medical, dental, orthodontic personnel).

As indicated in the  Code of Ethics (ASHA, 2016a), SLPs who serve this population should be specifically educated and appropriately trained to do so. Additionally, clinicians should adhere to the Scope of Practice (ASHA, 2016b), as well as local laws and regulations and employer standards to guide their practice. 

According to the Preferred Practice Patterns (ASHA, 2004), the SLP conducts an assessment to identify and describe:

  • Underlying strengths and deficits related to orofacial myofunctional factors that affect growth and development of the dentofacial structures, communication, and swallowing performance;
  • Effects of orofacial myofunctional impairments on the individual's activities (capacity and performance in everyday communication and eating contexts) and participation;
  • Contextual factors that serve as barriers to or facilitators of successful communication and participation for individuals with orofacial myofunctional impairments.

The SLP conducts intervention that is designed to (ASHA, 2004)

  • capitalize on strengths and address weaknesses related to underlying structures and functions affecting the individual's orofacial myofunctional and swallowing patterns, as well as related speech patterns;
  • facilitate the individual's activities and participation by assisting the person to acquire new orofacial myofunctional skills and strategies;
  • modify contextual factors to reduce barriers and enhance facilitators of successful communication and participation, and to provide appropriate accommodations and other supports, as well as training in how to use them.

Content Disclaimer: The Practice Portal, ASHA policy documents, and guidelines contain information for use in all settings; however, members must consider all applicable local, state and federal requirements when applying the information in their specific work setting.