STTP-EIP Encore Presentation April 23

An Encore Presentation of Last Month’s Webinar

Why Is Tongue Thrust On The Rise? How It Can Be Reversed At ANY Age!

It was an introductory launch of a brand new revolutionary program so we started small, but the feedback has been tremendous! For those of you who missed it, we will be doing it again on April 23rd! The LIVE webinar will be presented at various times so that you can adjust to fit your time zone and the schedule that works best for you.

This is not a replay recording. No! Each webinar will be LIVE so that you can participate and get your questions answered during the webinar. Affordable, quality and convenience are hallmarks of the STTP Training Center and we are continuing that commitment outside of the Training Center as well.

Each participant will not only learn about the revolutionary STTP – Early Intervention Program but you will also get a complimentary copy of the STTP-EIP to use in your practice as a thank you for participating in the webinar!  Additionally, those who are interested in becoming an STTP-2 Certified Practitioner will receive a discount code to apply to the purchase of the STTP Advanced Certification Package.

After this Encore Webinar, this presentation will likely become a course in the STTP Training Center and the price will have to go up to cover the costs. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime chance to be at the front end of this revolutionary idea and participate in changing the face of tongue thrust at a ridiculously low price!  Register for your seat now as space is limited and they are expected to go fast.

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Changing The Face of Tongue Thrust (6)

You don’t work with littles? You’ve never heard of the Stone Tongue Thrust Protocol and you are not sure if it’s a tool worth investing in. Check out the STTP Training Center with the Introduction course Changing The Face of Tongue Thrust designed for professionals who are exploring tongue thrust and want to know more about the Stone Tongue Thrust Protocol as the most effective tool for the elimination of tongue thrust.

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We know that early intervention may mitigate the sticking power of the tongue thrust but there will still be those for whom it is too late and the Stone Tongue Thrust Protocol is required to eliminate the tongue thrust permanently and efficiently. To protect the integrity and outcomes of the STTP, specialized training and competency must be demonstrated to become a certified practitioner. Become an elite practitioner and grow your niche service line!

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Is Your Child At Risk For Developing Tongue Thrust?

I’ve been approached by clinicians around the globe asking if I’ve noticed an increase in the incidence of tongue thrust and my take on it. Although, I can’t say that I’ve noticed an increase in the percentage of tongue thrust rising in a classroom, because I am only treating tongue thrust and I’m not in a classroom. What I can tell you is that the tongue thrust characteristics are changing and some of those changes are what led to the additional considerations and exercises added last year to the Stone Tongue Thrust Protocol-2.

Additionally, as I have worked with tongue thrust elimination over the past 20 years some trends have been noted and generally accepted in this population.

#1- Early intervention is best, usually

Because elimination of tongue thrust involves retraining automatic swallow and resting muscles the recommendation for intensive intervention is held until the child is old enough to actively pay attention and the muscle awareness and control can be taught, generally age 8. Individuals over age 8 can efficiently learn a posterior swallow and elevated resting posture to eliminate tongue thrust with skilled training.

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Does this create a conundrum for the clinician and/or parent who sees a tongue thrust at age 5 but is recommended to wait til 8? Is it easier to reverse habits younger? Will earlier intervention potentially reshape the development of the oral cavity and impede further progression of the reverse swallow and tongue thrust posture?

#2- Chewing is changing, generally

Because our diets have changed over the past 50 years, it does make sense that the development of our mouths has changed as well. Because I have only been a practicing clinician for the past 25 years, I will speak to the changes that I have witnessed both personally and professionally and how they overlap.

With the increased marketing of processed and convenience foods there has been a shift away from a cup, plate, and spoon to transition a baby from the breast to the table. Now the transition looks like any variety of spill proof sippy tippy cups and pouches or bags that the baby can self feed as soon as they can hold the cup or bag.

 

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Babies are completely skipping the developmental stage of biting with those adorable first 4 teeth and learn that they chew using their tongue sucking and mashing more than a rotational chew using their teeth and tongue in tandem.  This lack of chewing has altered the developmental swallow reflexes and muscle development of the jaw, lips and tongue.

#3- Breathing is changing, increasingly

Additionally, food and environmental allergies which used to be rare in children, especially under the age of 8, are now the norm. Allergies often result in stuffiness and congestion which results in breathing through the mouth rather than the nose because it is a more open and unrestricted airway.

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Similar to the above example with biting and chewing, altering the way a child holds their mouth in resting posture for breathing has huge implications for the oral cavity development. If the mouth is open to breathe, the tongue naturally rests on the floor of the mouth to create an open airway. If the mouth is always open with the tongue down, the tongue muscles do not develop properly and the palate does not spread naturally because there is no mechanism to hold and expand the face properly.

Hence, small upper dental arches with crowded teeth requiring palate spreaders and orthodontia. Decreased chewing and development of the jaw, tongue, and lip muscles resulting in weak and malformed jaws as the child ages.

So what if we could go back and potentially undo some of these contributing factors at the earliest of ages rather than waiting until they are 8 and already entrenched in the reverse swallow tongue thrust patterns? This idea is so radical and revolutionary it just might change the face of tongue thrust!

Introducing the Stone Tongue Thrust Protocol-Early Intervention Program (STTP-EIP)

As with any early intervention program, earlier is better! The mission here is to eliminate tongue thrust using the natural developmental structure and function of childhood development.

This program is implemented in tandem with parents and early childhood teachers such as day care and preschool programs.  Education is provided for stepping through the developmental eating phases similar to how we step through language development with a communication rich environment.

Children who are identified at risk can be started on the STTP-EIP as soon as they begin to transition from breast or bottle and at any point along the developmental continuum when risk factors are identified.

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The STTP-EIP is not expected to prevent all tongue thrust nor is it a replacement for the skilled intervention of the STTP-2. What it is designed to do is increase awareness and promote eating, swallowing and resting posture that facilitates effective development of facial and oral muscles that encourage jaw growth, tongue strength and facial posture of normal development.

If you would like to join the conversation about the STTP-EIP and find out how you can use it as a parent, an early intervention provider, or an SLP stay tuned to the https://stonetonguethrustprotocol.com/ as the webinar and training courses are announced.

Do You Love Eliminating Tongue Thrust?

Are you the best clinician you can be? Do you avoid treating tongue thrust because you haven’t had good results? Do you want to have confidence in treating tongue thrust? Whether you are a dental professional or a speech language pathologist you have probably realized frustration with tongue thrust because it is different than the typical populations you receive training on.IMG_1043 For SLPs we get a great deal of education on delays and disorders, articulation and language, but not typically developing kids or adults without articulation differences. For dental professionals they get a great deal of education on the structures of the jaw and teeth, but not the tongue.  Tongue thrust is just enough different from our typical caseloads that many clinicians minimize it or ignore it not understanding the potential impact. Others may attempt to treat it but quickly feel frustrated because of poor progress and motivation which ultimately results in poor outcomes (or inconsistent outcomes at best). Some just don’t recognize tongue thrust or understand how it contributes to the other areas they may be treating (articulation or orthodontics).

How would you feel if you were able to offer tongue thrust services that really make a difference? Do you ever wonder if you’re making a difference for your client that has been on caseload for months with minimal progress that really isn’t making a lot of impact on their function? What if you could SEE the progress? What if your client could SEE the progress?solution Would that be motivating? Tongue thrust is not subjective, qualitative, conceptual areas that we are so used to addressing in speech therapy, nor is it the static structure fill it or pull it we are so used to addressing as dental professionals. When they don’t fit the mold, frustration for both the clinician and client can set in.

How would you feel if you were able to not just treat a problem but completely eliminate it? Much of what we do professionally is treating the symptom rather than the cause. We teach new placement and practice for articulation disorders, we provide opportunities and environments to facilitate language development to catch up delays, we teach compensatory strategies to improve independence and communication but how often do we eliminate the cause? IMG_1052Very rarely! Tongue Thrust is a disorder that can be completely eliminated if treated properly. If you eliminate the tongue thrust you eliminate the other symptoms that it may produce such as dental malocclusions, dysphagia, TMJ, and misarticulations that are resistant to traditional therapy.

How long does it take to eliminate tongue thrust? We measure our tongue thrust program in numbers of sessions rather than months or years because clinical data showed a trend. In an average of 10 sessions over an average period of 3 months the tongue thrust is permanently eliminated. These results have been replicated repeatedly over more than 10 years.  This is one of the hardest adjustments for clinicians to make if they are used to working with articulation or braces which are usually programs of 2-3 years.

Why not eliminate your frustration and increase your clinical skill set with tongue thrust? Why not grow your clinical expertise with an under-served niche population? Why not have raving clients who are thrilled to SEE the results and eliminate future complicating factors? You may just find out how rewarding it is to see real results in a very short time that takes your clinical expertise and practice to the next level of specialty!

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If you are a clinician who is frustrated with tongue thrust or maybe just curious, you can find out more about our protocol and online training program at StoneTongueThrustProtocol.com. We are on a mission to change the face of tongue thrust and we’d love to have you join our mission and eliminate your frustration!

 

What You Don’t Know About Tongue Thrust: The Hidden Danger

Most tongue thrust referrals come from orthodontists because the tongue is interfering with the growth pattern of the teeth. Some view this as a cosmetic problem and will use appliances such as baskets, spikes or even braces and retainers to discourage the tongue thrust. However, what often happens is that as soon as the appliances come off the teeth begin to move back to the starting point because the underlying cause of the movement was not addressed.

The lesser known danger of tongue thrust isn’t discovered until much later in life. Why not? Well, in my personal professional opinion it is because we have few tongue thrust providers who work with all ages as I do. Orthodontists don’t usually see geriatric patients. Speech therapists who treat geriatric disease and disorders don’t usually have a specialization in tongue thrust.

In fact, for me, it was quite by accident that I ended up having this unique birth to death perspective of tongue thrust. As a new graduate clinician I had exposure to tongue thrust complicating the oral and pharyngeal phase of the swallow as I viewed videofluoroscopy swallow studies of patients who were aspirating on all textures. I remember one that was so severe it sticks in my memory even today. Her thrust was very evident as her tongue would come out to meet the food or drink. Her tongue would work excessively as she tried to move the food to the back of her throat to swallow. Her tongue would pump trying to initiate a swallow trigger that was weak and dis-coordinated. She was an aspiration risk on all foods and liquids according to the swallow study. The recommendation was a feeding tube because of her aspiration risk and failure to thrive. There were no therapy interventions that could help her at that time due to the severity of her reverse swallow and her advanced age.

Fast forward about 5 years when I was no longer working with this geriatric population but rather in an outpatient setting with a varied caseload of all ages. This was when I began treating tongue thrust for the typical orthodontic referrals I spoke of earlier. My treatment focused on the placement of the tongue during the resting posture and during the swallow. I honed in on specific muscles of isolation and retraining to balance the tongue into proper placement and movement. You can not expect the complex tongue (which is actually 8 muscles working in synchrony) to just change because you show it a new place to rest. It just doesn’t happen.

After refining my approach and developing the Stone Tongue Thrust Protocol: A Protocol for the Assessment & Treatment of Tongue Thrust the connection happened. I realized the connection of an untreated tongue thrust throughout the lifespan. It was more than teenagers and parents who were frustrated because their teeth were moving back to pre-orthodontia status, despite investment in massive amounts of time and money.  I saw adults who were suffering from severe TMJ pain who thought they were sentenced to wear a mouth guard for the rest of their lives. I saw geriatric patients who were experiencing severe swallowing disorders because the body slows and weakens as it ages and they were no longer able to compensate for the reverse swallow inefficiencies.

At Idaho State University, Tony Seikel, PhD et al. researched whether there is in fact a causal relationship between OMD (oromyofunctional disorders/tongue thrust) and OPD (oropharyngeal dysphagia) and his findings support what I have witnessed clinically over the past 20 years. The reverse swallow of tongue thrust (an oral phase dysphagia) can advance into a much more insidious oropharyneal dysphagia resulting in choking and/or aspiration pneumonia.

As with anything, early intervention and prevention is far more effective and preferred. Spending a fraction of time and money on eliminating the tongue thrust now may in fact save you more than additional orthodontia but in fact it may save your life.

For more information on tongue thrust or how to identify a qualified tongue thrust provider visit StoneTongueThrustProtocol.com for information and resources.

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Tongue Thrust Provider

Tongue thrust treatment is a specialized skill set that is most often offered by Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) but also can be provided by dental professionals. As with any service you receive, it pays to do a little research to ensure you have the best provider to meet your needs.

One thing to know is that you may not have a choice between providers depending on your area of service because tongue thrust treatment does require specialized training. Regardless of whether you have 1 or 10 providers to choose from, here are the top 5 questions you always want to ask to ensure you have the best experience possible.

1- Is the provider specialized in Tongue Thrust (TT) in addition to being certified or licensed in their field of practice?

Both  SLPs and dental professionals are required to be certified or licensed (depending on the laws where they practice). It is important that you not assume that they are but ask. Foundational training and the code of ethics ensure a baseline competence and compliance but does not ensure competence with tongue thrust.

Both SLP and dental are vast fields with many areas of specialty as well as general practice. As a patient with tongue thrust you are looking for a specialist.

This may be similar to taking your parakeet to a large animal veterinarian. Yes, the veterinarian probably could treat your parakeet because she probably did have some foundational training in medical school about birds. Most likely anatomy and physiology, common diseases, common medications, etc. However, the knowledge and experience would not be the same as choosing a veterinarian that specializes in domestic birds.

The answer you receive from question 1 will lead you naturally into question 2.

2- How long have you been treating tongue thrust?

The answer to this question may take a little more digging and understanding on your part. With most things in life the longer you do something the better you are at it. However, you need to know that tongue thrust has received a lot of controversy and stagnation due to poor outcomes and relapses.

A provider who is still using placement cues, behavior modification or appliances as the foundation of their program is likely taking much longer to remediate the tongue thrust and is less likely to eliminate it completely.

The Stone Tongue Thrust Protocol (STTP) is a revolutionary treatment protocol that when used correctly by a Certified STTP provider eliminates the tongue thrust efficiently.  A provider who has taken the time to specialize and certify with the STTP will have a different perspective of tongue thrust and expectation for timeline of elimination.

Ask about that expectation and timeline!

3- What will my treatment program look like and how long can I expect to be in treatment?

An ethical and responsible clinician will not give you an individual specific answer to this question without a complete diagnostic evaluation because many factors play into your program and timeline. However, there are generalities across any program that you could expect to receive as an answer.

A treatment program using the STTP is an average of 7-10 treatment sessions over a 2-3 month time frame. Treatment can be done in combination with or during orthodontic care, articulation therapy or other co-existing factors and those factors may increase length of remediation. You can expect complete elimination of the tongue thrust with no need for “tune ups” or regression.

Once you have completed an evaluation to diagnose your tongue thrust, your provider should be able to give you a detailed plan of treatment specific to your severity and circumstances.

4- What are the core principles in your plan of treatment?

Again, as alluded to in question #2, be wary of providers who are still taking a placement, behavioral or appliance approach to treating tongue thrust. These approaches definitely do “treat” tongue thrust but often they do not eliminate tongue thrust.

One common example of this is the articulation/placement approach where the provider trains the patient where to put the tongue for proper resting or articulation targets and trains it through practice. Many times this will eliminate the tongue thrust for the error sounds resulting in accurate articulation and rapid identification of where the tongue “should be” but rarely is it found there during resting posture and never is the reverse swallow addressed.

Another example is the orthodontic patient who wears an appliance to treat the tongue thrust. Whether a basket to properly place the tongue or spikes to discourage thrusting, both are not effective often resulting in complicating the dysfunctional compensatory behaviors of the tongue. Again, this approach does not address muscle training or the reverse swallow at all.

Neither of these approaches consistently achieve the desired and anatomically correct placement and physiologically correct functions of the tongue. Because it doesn’t address the underlying cause of the tongue thrust which is a weak base of tongue and reverse swallow.

The Stone Tongue Thrust Protocol focuses on education and awareness, paired with oral muscle isolation and training to eliminate the tongue thrust resting posture and train the posterior swallow. Each aspect is critical to the rapid complete elimination of the tongue thrust and is the reason the outcomes are changing the face of tongue thrust.

5- How much time will I be expected to commit to my tongue thrust treatment?

Because the STTP does eliminate tongue thrust through education and awareness, oral muscle exercises and swallow retraining, you can expect an intensive program especially for the first 4-6 weeks.

You will be required to practice 3 times every day although the practice is usually less than 10 minutes. You will be accountable to your provider at each session with rapid progress and advancement. Most sessions are an average of 45 minutes but this may depend upon your particular treatment plan and provider.

As a consumer with tongue thrust who is unknowingly caught in the middle of divided approaches and differing levels of expertise and training, you need to come to this treatment table having done your due diligence to find the best provider to meet your needs.

If you are looking for a qualified provider, you can start here at stonetonguethrustprotocol.com where you can find the registry of certified providers. Clinicians who have completed the specialized training and demonstrated clinical competence to be Certified STTP providers are listed here. We are confident in referring these clinicians to you and committed to being a resource for you as you find a provider to eliminate your tongue thrust.

Changing the Face of Tongue Thrust

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If you are training for a marathon do you go to a dance studio to find a trainer? Well that seems ridiculous…of course you wouldn’t!  You would find a coach or training partner that has experience with running and not just any running but marathon, endurance running.  You would probably find someone who has expertise with the kind of equipment, nutrition, mindset and training schedule that you will need to commit to if you are going to complete a full marathon. Bottom line, you would find an expert.

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If you are training to eliminate tongue thrust do you go to articulation therapy? Well that seems ridiculous…of course you wouldn’t! You would find a therapist that has experience with tongue thrust and not just any tongue thrust but eliminating tongue thrust permanently.  You would want to train with someone who has expertise with the kind of program that has been clinically proven and replicated across clinicians to be both effective & efficient, not frustrating and incomplete. Bottom line, you would find an expert.

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The Stone Tongue Thrust Protocol is that proven system and the STTP Training Center is the opportunity for you to gain your own expertise from the tongue thrust specialist that created the Protocol. You don’t like to work with tongue thrust? That’s fine. We all have different niches. Have you considered WHY you don’t like tongue thrust? Maybe it’s because you don’t have effective tools to treat it and you’ve been using a smattering of articulation, oral motor and/or behavior techniques and the tongue just won’t behave. Frustrating!

No wonder tongue thrust has a bad rep with so many misunderstandings and poorly trained clinicians. Now don’t get all bent out of shape…I’m not saying you were poorly trained, I’m saying you went to a dance studio to find your marathon trainer! Tongue Thrust is a specific condition that, more often than not, does not respond easily to traditional articulation approaches. Maybe you did find a running coach, someone who has knowledge about tongue thrust, but they didn’t teach you the actual training and techniques you need to run the marathon (eliminate the tongue thrust).  They gave you an exposure or foundation but the rest is up to you to figure out. Frustrating!

If you have any clients with tongue thrust (or have a tongue thrust yourself) you need to go to the expert! The STTP Training Center is an online learning center that specializes in all things tongue thrust. Whether you are an individual who has a tongue thrust and you’re looking for a competent expert and need information about what to look for. Whether you are a professional who sees patients with tongue thrust (dentist, orthodontist, oral myologist, speech therapist) but you want to know how to collaborate and refer to a competent expert. Whether you are a professional who sees patients with tongue thrust and you want to BE the COMPETENT EXPERT. The STTP Training Center has courses for each of you.

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We are changing the face of tongue thrust! We are training competent experts with a comprehensive series of courses from introductory to advanced. No longer do clinicians have to piece together a program to treat tongue thrust. No longer does tongue thrust therapy take a year. No longer do clinicians have to wonder how and when is the right time to start tongue thrust therapy. No longer do clients have to return for “tune ups”. No longer do dental professionals have to battle the tongue with appliances and orthotics.

We are changing the face of tongue thrust! We are competent experts who specialize in tongue thrust that collaborate with dentists, orthodontists, speech therapists, ENTs and most of all the clients and their families. We eliminate tongue thrust permanently in a very short period of time. We understand the anatomy and physiology of the tongue and phases of the swallow. We understand how the tongue function and resting posture impacts the muscles of the jaw, neck and throat. We understand the long-term implications of a reverse swallow. We understand that it is more than just cosmetic. We understand how and when to intervene to maximize outcomes.

You’ll find the link and information about any of our classes and the next open course at the stonetonguethrustprotocol.com main website. If you want to run the marathon, don’t go to the dance instructor. If you want to treat tongue thrust, get the specialized training. I know you won’t regret it!

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Here are just a few comments from recent students:

“I really enjoyed learning all of the characteristics of the swallow and have been able to observe them in some patients (i.e. meet/greet the spoon). I also found the correlating factors to be super helpful to give a full picture. I can see this directly in my case load with lots of overlap for oral habits, airway issues/allergies and the avoidance of some complex foods.”

“I can really see the “bullfrog” effect in the reverse swallow after reviewing some of the assessment videos!

“The series of videos following the same client from assessment to final session was extremely beneficial. It was evident when the client did not practice her homework/journal as it was evident when she did practice her exercises consistently. I loved seeing the improvement as she gained strength, ROM, and endurance for the lingual exercises. This video series reinforced how patient compliance is crucial to the success of the protocol.  It was also beneficial to see how each session started with practicing the assigned exercises and then adaptations were made. These videos are very informative and really reinforce the material presented in the lectures.”

Without exception, our STTP Certified Clinicians are expert! They have gone through at least 40 hours of intensive specialized training with hands on clinical demonstration to ensure that they have exactly the right tools and program to effectively eliminate tongue thrust. They are changing the face of tongue thrust and we hope you will join us in our efforts too!

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