Visual biofeedback technology provides visual information about the position of the tongue in real time - information that would otherwise be unavailable to the client or the speech-language pathologist. The visual information is displayed on a computer screen, and can include features such as a three-dimensional view of the tongue, or visual indications of the tongue's contact with the roof of the mouth.
In traditional speech therapy, clients have only two forms of feedback available to them - auditory feedback (how the sound sounds when they say it, and how it sounds when their speech-language pathologist says it) and somatosensory feedback (how the tongue feels when they are making the sound).
For children and adults who have not made progress or have stopped making progress in speech therapy, adding an additional form of sensory input through the use of visual biofeedback can be helpful. The clear visual indicating the tongue's position can help the client finally make changes to their tongue shape for the sounds they struggle to produce correctly.
CHSC currently offers two forms of visual biofeedback, Opti-Speech and SmartPalate.
Opti-Speech is a compliment to traditional speech therapy. State-of-the-art technology is used to visualize the tongue based on the position of tiny sensors. Seeing the tongue and how it should move can enhance and accelerate results from traditional speech treatment.
Children (8 years of age and older) and adults who have found limited success in traditional speech therapy, or whose progress has stalled. Especially helpful for individuals working on the “r” and “s” sounds.
You will be asked to say the sound(s) you have trouble with many times, and asked to move your tongue, lips, and jaw in different ways. You will have sensors glued to your tongue so you can see how they feel. You will be audio recorded while you read a personalized list of words.
The SmartPalate is a biofeedback device that lets kids (over eight years of age) and adults see their tongue movements during speech. Speech therapists use the SmartPalate to treat clients with pervasive speech sound production disorders, such as continued difficulty producing the /r/ sound after receiving traditional therapy.
The device itself is a thin sheet of molded plastic that conforms to the client’s upper palate and detects tongue movements using electronic sensors. It resembles a very thin, clear retainer. The client only wears the device during therapy. The therapist coaches the child on improving production of target sounds moving toward independent production of the sounds in conversation and outside of therapy.
What sounds may be treated using the SmartPalate?
According the device manufacturer, the following sounds have been successfully treated using the SmartPalate: r l ch j t d s z k g sh
Each SmartPalate device comes with a practice palate, which the client may wear to acclimate to the device before therapy begins.