Is gravity getting you down? (Or perhaps, the weight of all that paperwork hanging over your head....) Cheesy lines aside, I am amazed at how little I have given thought to gravity's affect on the human body. I guess it's partly from my mind being on other things and partly because I take gravity for granted. It's just there. We know it's there so why talk about it?
At the Beckman Oral Motor training, I feel like a veil was lifted from my eyes and I know that I cannot begin to describe this program in a way that will give it justice. The down and dirty version is that it is something that I would definitely recommend taking if you are interested in oral motor therapy (even OTs & PTs attended). We talked about anatomy in a common sense way and quite a bit about gravity's affect on the tiny little muscles of your face. Then, we learned about a way to assess how those tiny muscles are functioning and provide interventions to aid the ones that are a little weak. I know that the field has quite a bit of disagreement over oral motor interventions. My understanding of the debate is fairly weak, but I believe it all boils down to the fact that we always need to be able to show data that both proves a need and an outcome. The Beckman program does provide that evidence in a quantifiable way. You have specific measures that are just for assessment, just for intervention, and some that perform double-duty so to speak. In most cases, all it takes to do the techniques is your fingers and some gloves. (Although, in some cases a nuk brush is nice to have too.) Isn't it nice to know that there are some programs that don't require spending a ton of money on fancy tools? The intervention is also great because you only spend 2-3 minutes per exercise with breaks in between so the muscles can rest. This means that it can be easily incorporated into therapy without making students feel terribly uncomfortable.
I haven't used the Beckman protocol at work yet. It's something that I want to practice a bit more on with the help of relatives and friends. It's easier to work the kinks out with them than with a 6 year old.