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Neurological Conditions.

Monkey Mouths Neurological Conditions

NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

The brain and nervous system are some of the most complex parts of the human body. Conditions of the brain, spinal column or nerves are referred to as Neurological Conditions and can occur during fetal development, during birth or because of an injury or disease process. Some examples of neurological conditions treated at Monkey Mouths include Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Anoxic Brain Injury and Spina Bifida, among others. When the nervous system is not working properly a child can have difficulty with speech, language development, feeding skills, fine motor control, and planning and initiating gross motor movements required for daily tasks (dressing, bathing, toileting, writing, etc.). The Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Audiologists at Monkey Mouths have extensive training in treating neurological conditions that allow children to maximize functioning and live to their full potential.

Monkey Mouths Neurological Conditions

SPEECH THERAPY

Speech Language Pathologists at Monkey Mouths have experience and advanced training to support communication and feeding development in children with neurological conditions. Our therapists strive to maximize each child’s potential while making therapy fun!

Speech Development

Some children with neurological conditions have difficulty producing speech.

The muscles in the tongue, lips, cheeks, and jaw may be weak, uncoordinated or exhibit high or low tone that interferes with accurate movements for speech production. In addition, the neck, chest, and trunk muscles may affect breath support, which can interfere with the voice’s strength. Our speech Language Pathologists work with children to improve strength and coordination of the muscles of speech to allow children to communicate more effectively.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

When a child does not have the motor skills to support functional speech production, an AAC device can be an effective tool to allow the child to communicate with others. Because children with Neurological conditions often have unique motor patterns, Speech Language Pathologists at Monkey Mouths work with patients and families to determine the most effective method of access when an AAC device is recommended.

While some children may have the motor skills to use their hands and fingers to access an AAC device, other children will benefit from other access methods such as eye gaze, switch access, or head tracking. Speech Language Pathologists at Monkey Mouths have relationships with multiple AAC vendors to help match children with the most effective AAC system to maximize their communication.

Monkey Mouths Neurological Conditions

Language Development

Neurological conditions can also affect receptive, expressive, or pragmatic language skills in some children. The ability to understand and communicate language is important in developing and maintaining relationships, following directions in daily activities, and increasing safety in a child’s environment. Monkey Mouth’s speech pathologists evaluate a child’s communication strengths and needs and carry out a therapy program that maximizes communication function across settings while making therapy fun!

Monkey Mouths Neurological Conditions
Monkey Mouths, Neurological Conditions Feeding Therapy

Feeding

The ability to safely and effectively chew and swallow foods and liquids can be difficult for some children with neurological conditions. Speech pathologists at Monkey Mouths have advanced training in feeding techniques to improve the coordination of muscle movements to support safe feeding function. For those children who receive some or all nutrition via feeding tubes, our speech pathologists can work to wean children from tube feedings where it is medically appropriate. Our speech pathologists work closely with a child’s medical team, particularly when a child has complex feeding needs.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

Neurological conditions cause a disruption in the connection between an individual’s brain and nerve pathways, impacting a child’s ability to execute purposeful motor outputs. Children with neurological conditions may present with deficits in motor coordination, strength, sensory processing, cognition, dexterity, visual – perceptual skills, and self – care skills. Motor impairments can include poor coordination, low muscle tone, involuntary movements, and poor postural control. Cognitive impairments include executive functioning, sequencing, memory, comprehension, and orientation to one’s environment. These deficits impact a child’s ability to engage in daily activities within the home, school, and community.

Our occupational therapists at Monkey Mouths help a child re-learn effective motor patterns to complete daily tasks like bathing, dressing, feeding and play. OT also provides effective sensory integration techniques to increase a child’s ability to adapt and engage in their environment despite extraneous sensory input.

Typical therapy techniques used at Monkey Mouths during an occupational therapy session might include:

Monkey Mouths, Neurological Conditions

Therasuit

The TheraSuit is a soft dynamic support system with hooks and bands that align the child’s body as close to normal as possible. This supports weak muscles and normalizes high tone. It is used in conjunction with exercise and therapeutic activities. The suit can also be used as an extra set of hands to provide the support needed to do tasks that may not be an option without it. It can also be used in speech therapy sessions to provide trunk support needed to develop sound and for eating. At Monkey Mouths, Jenna Zansler, OTR, has advanced training in evaluation and treatment utilizing the TheraSuit Method. Jenna currently practices out of Coppell. 

Goals of TheraSuit Include:

AUDIOLOGY

At Monkey Mouths, audiology services for individuals with neurological conditions focus on assessing and managing auditory function impacted by disorders of the nervous system. Key aspects of audiological support for both children and adults include a comprehensive diagnostic assessment to assess the extent of the auditory deficits. Customized treatment plans tailored to the specific needs of the individual may involve hearing aids, assistive listening devices, auditory training or auditory rehabilitation programs.

Monkey Mouths, Audiology

Regular monitoring of auditory function is also important to track changes over time and adjust intervention strategies as needed. Audiologists at Monkey Mouths provide counseling and education to individuals and their families about the impact of the neurological condition on auditory function, as well as strategies for coping with communication challenges. Our audiologists collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as neurologists and speech pathologists to provide family centered care.