Thursday, June 25, 2009

Accepted to speak at the 2009 ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) Convention in New Orleans

Great news! I see a change in the acceptance of my work and I know this is going to be very good news for a lot of therapists and parents out there. Many of you have seen the benefit of using my “Oral Placement Therapy” (OPT) to improve feeding skills and speech clarity but have been faced with professionals who are told not to work on muscle movements for speech. I think the problem here is that my work has been lumped with others who are working on movements not related to speech. I only work on movements that are related to speech. Well this year at ASHA I am going to be able to present my work to my peers at our national convention. This is a big deal as for the first time I will be in a position to explain what we do at TalkTools Therapy not what they think we do. My presentation is called, “Early Intervention: Oral Placement Therapy for Children with Down Syndrome.” I would love to hear your success stories using my techniques so I can share them at this conference.


  1. Sara,
    Good news, indeed. Will the talk be video recorded? If there is anyway to record it to post online, that would be GREAT!


  2. That is great news, Sara!!

    I wish I could share a success story with you, but we are still working through it :).


  3. Congratulations! I will talk with my daughters ST - she uses your techniques and finds them highly effective. I'm sure she'd love to help you out with sonme success stories.

  4. Hi Sara,

    I'm not sure if you remember me but we communicated back & forth a few years ago. I am a SLP working in Northern Ontario, Canada. I use your techniques with many children I see. One success story involves an eleven year old boy with a developmental delay. He's had SLPs work with him from different agencies for many years (his Mom said approximately 6 years!). Always fronted velars. The closest I got to a /k/ was him laying on the floor, with the use of a tongue depressor (didn't work well anyhow with him). Finally after working through the oral motor muscle based therapy, he has, for the first time ever, accurately produced /k/ & /g/. We are now working on those sounds at the sentence & word level respectively. We (the mom, child & myself) are excited about this! Thanks for all of your work & I'm so glad to see you'll be presenting at ASHA. Congratulations. Sincerely, Lorna Hrbolich, SLP

  5. Congratulations Sara! I'm a long-time follower of you and Lori and promote you and your website whenever possible! I also have you already linked to my blog as well because I feel your techniques are so powerful! Thanks for all your great work for us!

  6. Hi Sara! I live in the UK and have a 13month old little girl with DS. We started using TalkTools when she was just 5mths old. She was exclusively breastfed and we started weaning at 4 and 1/2 mths. I came across you whilst watching a video borrowed from Down Syndrome Education International and after hearing your views on speech development and early feeding immediately felt this made sense and contected my SALT who, by cooincidence was TalkTools trained. I have to say that my daughters tongue protrusion has hugely improved, her jawline is much more defined and her babble is fantastic in its array of sounds. I am absolutely convinced that your techniques are helping. Cecilia is now off the breast and only uses straws or open cup for drinking. I do have a question though. She does seem to be using her tongue when sucking, rather than just her lips - more often when she's tired - i guess it's the easy option. Apart from reducing the straw length in her mouth to almost nothing, how else can I prevent her using her tongue underneath to help her suck? Many thanks, Marie-Claire Lakin

  7. I work with a 9 year old (significant delays) who was a 28-weeker and had significant oro-facial issues. However the OCD part of his personality prevented direct work on any articulation errors. With use of bite blocks, straws and horns, the lateralization of the /s/ resolved without drill therapy!!!

    I am so thrilled that your message is finally getting out. I find I am kind of re-training therapists all the time with your way of thinking. They buy in because it WORKS.

  8. Hi Sara,
    Colette from Oklahoma here...I stumbled upon your blog site while cleaning out my emails! I am so thrilled that you will be speaking at ASHA, that is a landmark indeed! It's about time. I began to suspect your brilliance was catching on when I saw you linked with Nancy Kaufman, Martha Burns and Tamara Kasper. In fact I hope to be in Baltimore in December for your conference with a collegue of mine. I continue to promote you and your techniques at every opportunity and indeed have had many success stories. Did you notice ASHA's Leader linking infant/child dysphagia and the benefits of oral motor/placement therapy. I'm anxious to see the position papers due out in December. I'm babbling on but again am thrilled for you! Congratulations and carry on, hope to see you in December! I don't have a blog, but hopefully you still have my email!
    Colette Ellis