Live TalkTools Workshops Across the Country this 2018

Get your CEUs before the year ends! There are plenty of opportunities to earn ASHA and AOTA-approved CEUs before the end of the year – and what better way to earn CEUs than in an interactive, hands-on workshop?

Without further ado, here are all of our upcoming live workshops in the last stretch of 2018:

3-Part Treatment Plan for OPT (Foundation for all of TalkTools Training)


This introductory course to OPT (Oral Placement Therapy)​ is the foundation for TalkTools training and is integrated throughout all of our courses. OPT is a type of oral-motor therapy that targets specific movements needed for speech and feeding. The “3 parts” of OPT are: auditory and visual sensory systems COMBINED WITH tactile — and propioceptive — sensory systems. TalkTools training applies a unique, hierarchical approach to OPT, focused on a measurable, results-driven path for both therapists and clients across all ages and diagnoses with the goal of:

  • speech clarity
  • improved feeding
  • independence
  • improved quality of life

This interactive, hands-on course includes highly motivating activities targeting the abdomen, velum, jaw, lips and tongue. Techniques learned can be readily implemented across many therapy environments — private practices, hospitals, schools and home.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Appropriately assess oral placement/feeding/speech problems based on muscle systems.
  2. Integrate hierarchies for motor dissociation and grading (jaw-lips-tongue).
  3. Plan programs of therapeutic intervention to address physiological and motor-based speech disorders.
  4. Be able to apply at least 10 new therapy techniques.
  5. Properly use oral placement techniques to improve individual speech clarity and production.

Upcoming Workshops for “3-Part Treatment Plan for OPT”:

Integrating Sensory Techniques for Therapy Success


This course will allow attendees to evaluate their own sensory differences, which will give insight and perspective toward their clients. The instructor, Monica Purdy, MA, CCC-SLP will demonstrate the importance of modulation, under responsive or over responsive actions in order to guide and create successful therapy sessions.

Attendees will be taught to recognize how a client may be processing information, and to understand which strategies and Evidence Based Practices to use to help the individual both in therapy and other environments such as school, work, church, home and play groups. The importance of working with an Occupational Therapist in treatment or consultation will be addressed.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Gain a fundamental understanding of the sensory system.
  2. Able to differentiate sensory differences and atypical responses.
  3. Participants experience activities to evaluate their own sensory system.
  4. Be able to implement sensory strategies and Evidence Based Practices in order to increase arousal, production, and attention during a therapy session.

Upcoming Workshops for “Integrating Sensory Techniques for Therapy Success”:

Functional Assessment and Remediation of Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs)


Tethered Oral Tissue(s) or TOTs is a topic that has been more frequently discussed in the fields of lactation, speech pathology, oral surgery, orofacial myology and otolaryngology. Organizations such as the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) and the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (AOMT) have been highlighting this diagnosis and implications for therapy and surgery. There are three forms of TOTs: buccal, labial and lingual. Lingual TOTs is most commonly known as “tongue-tie” or “ankyloglossia”. The Mayo clinic in 2016 indicated that tongue-tie can affect the way a child eats, speaks and swallows, and can interfere with breast-feeding.

One of the driving factors in the increased interest in TOTs stems from current research linking sleep apnea to a short lingual frenulum, in addition to the increase awareness of the importance of breast feeding. With this topic comes some controversy, and speech pathologists are often left confused in their own role of diagnosing and treating TOTs.

This course explores the functional assessment of TOTs and reviews current well-respected assessment tools which describe structure. With these tools, Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, CLC and Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP (presenting) have developed the Merkel-Walsh & Overland TOTs Protocol which looks at structure, oral motor function, pre-feeding, feeding and speech. Participants will learn to use this tool to identify the possible need for a TOTs referral, and the functional impact this diagnosis may have on feeding and speech. Their unique style of “task analysis” is a practical strategy for assessment that is immediately carried over into developing a treatment program for neuro-muscular re-education.

Participants will learn through the concept of task analysis the specific ways in which TOTs impacts the oral motor and oral placement skills for breast, bottle, cup, straw and solid feedings in addition to speech sound production. Videos and live practicums with attendee participation will provide therapeutic intervention tasks that participants can implement with their clients immediately. The importance of pre and post-surgical therapy will be discussed, and surgical techniques will be explored so that therapists may be have a better understanding of the current research across disciplines on an international level.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify three forms of TOTs.
  2. Identify at least 3-5 functional impacts of TOTs on feeding skills.
  3. List at least 3 speech sounds that may be affected by TOTS.
  4. List at least 2 professionals that should be consulted if TOTs is suspected after a functional assessment.

Upcoming Workshops for “Functional Assessment and Remediation of Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs)”

Sensory Motor Approach to Apraxia of Speech

0.6-1.2 ASHA/AOTA CEUs

In this workshop, instructor Renee Roy Hill, MS, CCC-SLP will discuss treatment of clients diagnosed with apraxia of speech and related motor speech disorders.

Many of these clients do not respond to the traditional auditory and visually-based motor speech techniques often because other co-existing issues, including oral sensory deficits, feeding deficits, and oral placement deficits, are not addressed making differential diagnosis an important assessment component.

Renee demonstrates how OPT activities, which utilize a tactile approach, in conjunction with auditory and visually-based apraxia therapy techniques will improve speech clarity for clients with the diagnosis of apraxia.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Discuss goals related to treatment of apraxia of speech.
  2. Define childhood apraxia of speech along with subsequent motor speech impairments that may also be present.
  3. Participants will gain an understanding of when a muscle-based approach is appropriate in a treatment plan.
  4. Study sensory, feeding and motor issues as related to children with a diagnosis of apraxia of speech and other motor speech disorders.
  5. Teach how oral placement activities through structured repetition improve muscle skill and teach muscle memory.
  6. Understand how using a multi-sensory tactile approach is used with clients to transition from OPT to facilitate speech production.
  7. Provide strategies for planning and implementing a multi-modality motor speech program.

Upcoming Workshops for “Sensory Motor Approach to Apraxia of Speech”:

Pediatric and Adult Dysphagia: Do You Know Your “Swallowology”?


TalkTools dysphagia expert, Colette Ellis, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, will be delving into one of the most basic, but also one of most complex, human reflexes: swallowing — and how atypical or dysfunctional swallowing can significantly impact other basic human activities such as drinking, eating and speaking — and overall quality of life.

Day 1 will focus on understanding the 4 stages of typical swallowing and what happens when one or more of these stages fails to take place properly — which many times can be considered dysphagia. Instruction will include key terms, definitions and the latest research to ensure speech and feeding professionals are equipped with the necessary information on this topic. Identifying the differences in pediatric and adult dysphagia through case studies will be outlined.

Day 2 will look at how to recognize, plan for and treat swallowing disorders in pediatric clients. Assessment and treatment tools and strategies will be provided, so participants are prepared to integrate the knowledge and techniques learned to properly identify, recommend and implement appropriate treatment for their pediatric dysphagia clients.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. understand what is considered typical and atypical swallowing function
  2. recognize 4 causes of pediatric dysphagia
  3. identify the speech and feeding therapist role as part of the pediatric swallowing and feeding team
  4. conduct and present a basic swallowing and feeding assessment
  5. apply 3 therapeutic techniques to facilitate improved feeding and swallowing function and safety

Upcoming Workshops for “Pediatric and Adult Dysphagia: Do You Know Your ‘Swallowology’?”

 OPT: Assessment and Program Plan Development

Learn how to perform a comprehensive evaluation for clients with sensory, feeding and/or speech disorders following the principles of Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson’s hierarchical approach to oral-motor assessment and treatment using the techniques learned in “A Three Part Treatment Plan to Oral Placement Therapy.”

This class will lead you, step-by-step, through the assessment process used with clients of varying ages and skill levels who evidence oral placement deficits. Participants will observe via videos, two complete assessment sessions and follow up treatment with clients from infancy to adult, and will learn how to identify oral-motor deficits that effect speech production.

Development of therapeutic program plans designed specifically to meet each client’s oral placement needs will be addressed. A live evaluation will be performed on the second day allowing participants to observe client skills, record observations on an assessment form and develop a therapeutic plan from these results. We are sure you will leave this session with advanced skills in assessment and program plan development for each client with oral placement needs.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify oral placement, sensory, feeding and/or speech deficits in a variety of clients and diagnoses.
  2. Assess oral placement functioning of the jaw, lips, and tongue.
  3. Design a step-by-step program plan based on the client’s oral-motor feeding and speech evaluation results.
  4. Apply oral placement strategies, when appropriate, with infant, preschool, and school-aged children as a part of comprehensive speech and language therapy intervention.

Upcoming Workshops for “OPT: Assessment and Program Plan Development”

Feeding Therapy: A Sensory Motor Approach


In instructor Lori Overland’s updated Sensory/Motor Approach to Feeding class, the complex issues surrounding feeding disorders are discussed. The class reflects new research and understanding of sensory processing and the impact on feeding.

Pre-feeding exercises designed to develop the motor skills for safe, effective, nutritive feeding and therapeutic feeding techniques are targeted.

The class includes two live evaluations and program plans, as well as interactive sensory and feeding practicums.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify and define the developmental acquisition of feeding skills.
  2. Recognize individual oral-phase feeding deficiencies.
  3. List at least four goals of an SLP-administered oral-motor feeding program.
  4. Explain the benefits of improved oral movement in cases of oral-phase feeding deficiencies.

Upcoming Workshops for “Feeding Therapy: A Sensory-Motor Approach”:

Registration fees increase as the workshop date approaches, so be sure to sign up as soon as you can!

We can’t wait to come to your city and see you at a TalkTools workshop. See the full calendar of upcoming workshops here.

Talktool admin 06 Sep 18

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