The Magpie toolbox just got a shot in its arm last week with the addition of the Level 1, 2 of a wonderful tool called TalkTools (www.talktools.com) !! All our therapists attended this four-day training program that focused on oral placement therapy (OPT) and we are proud to say we are 100% TalkTools certified. OPT is used to improve articulator awareness, placement (dissociation, grading, and direction of movement), stability, and muscle memory; In layman terms, all of these are necessary for the development of speech clarity. The workshop was hosted by HelpThemShine (www.helpthemshine.com). Magpie was proud to have an amazing child from its center for the live demo of the TalkTools program so that all the participants could observe the application of their newly learnt skills! This child has already been on the Talktools program at Magpie since 6 months and has shown amazing progress, in the number of sounds used by her and clarity of the same.
Getting down to the "What" is TalkTools? Just as the name suggests TalkTools are a set of tools like horns/ whistles, straws, bite blocks etc. that are scientifically researched and designed to provide oral placement therapy for speech and feeding skills across ages and disorders/diagnoses.
We at Magpie have been using OPT since 2014 for children with Apraxia of Speech, Down’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders etc. (One of our therapists - Namrata Pai got trained in the first OPT workshop in India at New Delhi)
TalkTools helps children, not only in improving their speech skills but also improves their Feeding skills. Acceptance of various textures and consistencies of food improves since the child’s tolerance/feel of the food in their mouth is worked on by using sensory awareness exercises. OPT also helps a child in chewing food better by improving the jaw, tongue and lip strength. The tools are colorful and exciting for the child and if used by the therapist in a motivating and fun way they can really be the magic tools (words of an SLP in the program) that can make learning for the child effort fully effortless!!!
It is also very important that the TalkTools program is used in conjunction to a comprehensive Speech-Language Program for the child’s eclectic communication development. So while I sign off for now, Team Magpie is all excited and can’t wait to implement the next level of TalkTools as part of its Evidence Based Practice.
Another feather in our cap and a challenge to excel…together we will :-)
“Never stop Learning, Because Life never stops Teaching”