Beckman oral motor assessment & intervention
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Beckman Oral Motor Assessment & Intervention

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                                                             Debra BECKMAN, MS, CCC-SLP

Debra Beckman has worked in the field of communicative disorders since 1975, specializing in motor speech disorders. She has worked in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, universities, trauma centers, home-bound, foster homes, group homes, Intermediate Care Facilities for individuals with intellectual impairment (ICF-IID), nursing homes and large residential facilities. She has served as a court appointed witness and as a resource content expert for seven federal court cases, regarding services for the developmentally disabled.

Ms. Beckman has presented at numerous local, state, national and international conferences, and has published articles in professional books, journals, monographs; and in Exceptional Parent magazine. She has been awarded a United States patent for a therapeutic oral probe. Ms. Beckman has been recognized by her peers and her community for outstanding clinical achievement.


Beckman Oral Motor Assessment & Intervention

Oral motor impairment presents a variety of challenges for both the individual affected, and for the care team providing intervention. Often the individual experiencing oral motor difficulties is not able to follow commands. The person may not be eating or taking fluids orally, which reduces the opportunities for observation of oral movement patterns. The majority of baseline protocols currently available require at least minimal direction-following skills. The protocol developed by Beckman uses mechanical muscle responses, which are not mediated cognitively, to baseline the response to pressure and movement, range of movement, variety of movement, strength of movement and control of movement for the lips, cheeks, jaw, and tongue.

In this four day course (20 contact hours or 1.6 CEUs), participants will actively participate in hands-on practice for compensatory handling techniques for the following concerns: tonic bite, tonic bite on a utensil, slow oral transit, tongue thrust, cough, gag and vomit. The participants will complete an oral motor protocol with each other, analyze the results, and discuss data tracking. The participants will also complete hands-on practice for specific oral motor interventions to address the deficit areas discovered during baseline assessment.

Additional topics of discussion may include: goal writing, diet texture progression, tube to oral issues, adaptive mealtime utensils, oral hygiene issues, medication administration issues, oral function for individuals with trachs, facilitating improved articulation through oral motor techniques, research issues, videofluroscopy issues for motorically involved individuals, and additional topics of importance as determined by the participants. The information and techniques presented are inclusive, and should augment the skills and knowledge base of each participant.

Participants: Licensed speech pathologists and occupational therapists

Instructional Level: Intermediate - This program is offered for 1.6 CEUs (Intermediate level; Professional area, knowledge of oral structures, muscles, and innervations).

Course Objectives: Participants will:

  • Demonstrate assessment battery for determining oro-facial movement patterns using the Beckman protocol.
  • Demonstrate compensatory handling techniques.
  • Demonstrate oral motor interventions and treatment techniques.

Pre-Post Test Questions:

  • How does sensory input affect oral motor patterns?
  • How does gravity affect oral motor patterns?
  • What components must be assessed to determine oral motor function?
  • What interventions would increase secretion control and decrease drooling?
  • What interventions would decrease tongue thrust?



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