Semin Speech Lang 2002; 23(1): 015-026
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-23508
Copyright © 2002 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662

Are Oral-Motor Exercises Useful in the Treatment of Phonological/Articulatory Disorders?

Karen Forrest
  • Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
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Publication History

Publication Date:
02 April 2002 (online)


The utility of oral-motor exercises in the remediation of children's speech acquisition delays continues to be a controversial issue. There are few empirical evaluations of the efficacy of these nonspeech activities in effecting speech changes, although much can be learned from investigations in related fields. The purpose of this article is to review the extant studies of the relation between oral-motor exercises and speech production in children as well as to examine the motor learning literature to gain a broader perspective on the issue. Results of this examination lead to questions about the procedures that are currently applied as well as to suggestions for future development of nonspeech activities in the treatment of children's phonological/articulatory disorders.


1 *This term will be used to refer to children with multiple articulatory errors that are not secondary to neurological or organic impairments. Because the source of the problem remains unclear, neither a cognitive (i.e., phonological) nor motoric (i.e., articulatory) basis is being assumed