What exactly is “muscle tone”?
Muscle tone is the amount of resistance to movement in a muscle. In speech and feeding, when the tone is too high or low it can impact the quality of the movement. This can make traditional feeding and speech strategies difficult to use
Why is it important?
Muscle tone allows us to keep our bodies upright when we are standing and sitting and impacts the control and speed and amount of movement when we are ambulatory. In the oral structure it allows us to use the muscles needed for speech and feeding appropriately. When a client has abnormal muscle tone, it requires to isolate movements more and provide various types of support and feedback to teach the motor system to move with improved disssocation and grading.
What is “low tone”?
Low tone, or hypotonia, can be seen with individuals whose muscles are floppy or limp. It is challenging for them to keep their bodies upright and have to exert themselves when doing activity. This also effects the movements in their mouth resulting in poor movements that can make it difficult to speak clearly or eat safely
What is “high tone”?
High tone, or “hypertonia,” presents itself as increased tension in the muscles, making it difficult to relax or strengthen the muscles, which can lead to contractures. This effect feeding and speech movement as well, inhibiting controlled movements needed for clear speech and safe feeding.
TalkTools Instructor, Renee Roy Hill, will be discussing the impact of these two neurological based conditions on both gross and fine motor activities, in particular speech and feeding. Renee will provide strategies to support and manage both low-tone and high-tone clients, as well as tips for collaborating with other professionals, including occupational and physical therapists.
- Participants will be able to define low tone and high tone.
- Participants will be able to identify features of both low tone and high tone in the body and mouth as it relates to oral rest posture, feeding and speech.
- Participants will be able to apply 4 techniques to address oral motor issues related to low tone and high tone.
- Participants will be able to integrate 3 tools to support working with clients who exhibit low tone and high tone.
- 15 minutes Muscle Tone
30 minutes Looking at hypotonia and hypertonia
30 minutes Activities and strategies to manage hypotonia and hypertonia
30 minutes Focus on speech and feeding
15 minutes Q&A