The prevalence of feeding problems is over 20% in typically developing children and over 70% in children with developmental disabilities. Oral motor therapy targeting feeding disorders may have secondary/indirect positive effects on co-morbid articulation disorders in young children. The purpose of this study was to examine such indirect effects. Seven young children with feeding problems were assessed via a known standardized articulation test upon admission for feeding therapy. They received a 4-week oral motor treatment protocol toward the development of age-appropriate feeding and swallowing, consisting of the application of tongue pressure and therapeutic spoon placement. At the conclusion of the oral motor feeding therapy, the participants' articulatory skills were tested again. Results indicated a significant difference in the pre- and post-treatment scores on the articulation test as well as on parents' reports on their child's speech intelligibility.
Keywords: Oral motor therapy; articulation disorders; feeding disorders; feeding therapy.