PEDIATRIC & ADULT SPEECH THERAPY IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
speech sound disorders + motor speech disorders + orofacial myofunctional disorders
speech sound disorders
motor speech disorders
orofacial myofunctional disorders
PEDIATRIC & ADULT SPEECH THERAPY IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
Menlo Speech is a boutique therapy practice in Menlo Park, CA. Our specialty practice provides highly personalized diagnostic and therapy services to children, teens, and adults. In our commitment to providing efficient and effective therapy, we develop individualized treatment plans backed by evidence-based practices and research. We value collaboration with parents, caregivers, and other professionals on your team. At the end of each session, time is dedicated to reviewing what was taught and going over homework for the week. For our pediatric clients, we invite parents, nannies, and other caregivers to join us in our sessions. When parents are not able to be present at our sessions, we are available to connect via phone after the session or will provide videos with tips and strategies. With over two decades of experience and advanced training and certifications, we ensure every client receives the personal and expert care they deserve.
DIAGNOSTIC & EVALUATION SERVICES
SPEECH SOUND DISORDERS
Children with speech sound disorders (articulation difficulties) may have difficulty producing speech with clarity due to a structural issue(s) or underlying muscular component. All too often, a traditional speech therapy approach (look and listen approach) does not effectively or efficiently target the root cause (and children may have spent longer than necessary in therapy). At Menlo Speech, we take a myofunctional approach to treating speech sound disorders, addressing the structure and muscles of the mouth to achieve clear speech production. We look at the form (structure and muscle) and function to improve articulatory awareness, placement, stability, and muscle memory; all necessary for the development of clear speech. This evidence-based approach leads to speech clarity and lasting results.
MOTOR SPEECH DISORDERS
Children with motor speech disorders (Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) or other motor speech difficulties) have difficulty learning or carrying out the complex sequenced movements that are necessary for intelligible speech. They need help to shape the motor movement for speech and develop more automaticity in movement patterns for speech. Treatment methods are based on principles of motor learning as speech is movement. Treatment often applies tactile proprioceptive technique (touch and feel approach) to accompany traditional methods (look and listen approach). Children with motor and/or sensory impairments benefit from tactile and proprioceptive components because speech is a tactile-proprioceptive act. It’s important to develop motor control and proper oral muscular movements, while eliminating unnecessary muscle movements, such as jaw sliding and inadequate lip rounding.
Methods used: PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets), OPT (Oral Placement Therapy), and The Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol (K-SLP).
OROFACIAL MYOFUNCTIONAL DISORDERS (OMDs)
At Menlo Speech we take a collaborative approach to treating orofacial myofunctional disorders by working in conjunction with medical professionals such as ENTs, allergists, dentists & orthodontists, physical therapists, and other bodyworkers such as cranial-sacral therapists or chiropractors. Through collaboration with a network of highly skilled providers, we are able to provide you and your family with the highest level of care.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy focuses on nasal breathing and appropriate resting postures of the tongue, lips, and jaw. Airway problems, sucking habits, tongue/lip ties, and tongue thrust all contribute to abnormal resting postures. These abnormal postures can be detrimental to facial and dental development which may cause problems with the development of speech sounds.
SIGNS OF AN OROFACIAL MYOFUNCTIONAL DISORDER
Open bite or front teeth that stick out
Stubborn speech issues, especially lisps and /r/
Atypical tongue placement/tongue protrusion
Chewing with the lips open
Oral habits (thumb sucking, prolonged pacifier use, nail-biting)
Jaw pain and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
Neck/Shoulder tension and pain
THERAPY CAN HELP
Remediate articulation disorders
Improve breathing habits
Treat the symptoms contributing to TMD when it is a muscular or habit related issue
Improve digestive disorders resulting from not chewing properly or swallowing air
Reduce the risk of re-attachment of the tongue or lip after a frenectomy
Improve forward head postural problems relating to atypical tongue and mouth postures
Reduce jaw and face tension, headaches, and teeth grinding
Help with long term stability of orthodontic work
Assist with faster normalization of the facial muscles and neuromuscular facilitation post orthognathic surgery
MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY ASSESSMENT
In order to determine the underlying causes of a client's issues, we will begin with an orofacial myofunctional evaluation. During the evaluation, we will assess the form and function of the oral and facial muscles to identify dysfunctional and abnormal movement patterns. We will also observe a client's breathing, chewing, swallowing, and speech to develop a comprehensive understanding of the presenting problems. The evaluation will guide treatment planning, goals, and any necessary referrals or consultations with other professionals.
OMDs often contribute to a variety of medical, speech, and dental disorders. These can include but not limited to:
Airway obstruction (e.g., enlarged adenoids or deviated septum)
Changes leading to abnormal jaw growth and position
Malocclusion (improper alignment of the teeth)
Orthodontic relapse due to tongue thrust
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)/Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB)
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
Distorted speech sounds
OMDs often occur in individuals with a variety of disorders, diagnoses, or a history of improper oral habits. These include but are not limited to:
Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTS) (buccal, lip, or tongue-tie)
Dysphagia (swallowing disorders)
Neurological deficits and developmental delays
Extended use of pacifiers or sippy cups
Thumb or finger sucking, nail-biting, teeth clenching
AT WHAT AGE CAN WE BEGIN OROFACIAL MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY?
Children as young as 4 years-old will benefit from orofacial myofunctional therapy. Starting young allows us to retrain the muscles and movement patterns to prevent ongoing and future problems related to eating, swallowing, breathing, jaw development, and patterns of dental eruption and alignment. At Menlo Speech we work with individuals of all ages. Our evidence-based therapy approaches are individualized to each client's needs and goals to ensure we are targeting the underlying issues to deliver lasting results.
LOCATION OF SERVICES
In order to provide the highest quality services while increasing access to expert care for children, teens, and adults, we offer services in both our Menlo Park, CA, office or via telepractice. Whether in-person or online, every therapy session is carefully planned to meet each client's needs and ensure they are making progress on their goals.
Teletherapy offers the same high-quality care from the convenience of your home or office. Whether your schedule requires the flexibility of online therapy or your family lives outside of San Mateo County, online therapy is an evidence-based and effective solution. Online therapy is available to clients located anywhere in the state of California.
IN OUR CLINIC
Our downtown Menlo Park clinic is a welcoming, family-friendly environment. We invite parents to join us in our therapy sessions or wait in the clinic waiting room.
During COVID, we shall follow county guidelines and place the highest priority on the health & safety of our clients and staff.
MIMI PARK, M.S., CCC-SLP
B.A. in Linguistics from University of Michigan
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Columbia University
Mimi has 20+ years of experience treating clients from infancy through adulthood with a variety of speech, language, feeding, and swallowing-related diagnoses. Mimi has worked in hospitals, outpatient centers, and private practice in New York City, Metro DC, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her practice specializes in speech sound disorders, motor speech disorders, and orofacial myofunctional therapy.
Mimi’s interest in muscle-based therapy started over 2 decades ago during her graduate studies at Columbia University where she earned a Master's in Speech and Language Pathology. During her studies, she was introduced to Sara Rosenfeld Johnson’s Oral Motor Therapy (aka Oral Placement Therapy – OPT). Mimi sees the importance of studying the whole body and interconnected parts in relation to the muscles of the orofacial complex.
She has honed her clinical skills over the last two decades with additional training, including PROMPT and Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy.
Mimi’s medical speech pathology career started at a Brooklyn Level 1 Trauma Center (Brookdale University Medical Center) and the renowned NYU Medical Center. She has an extensive background in acute care dysphagia, MBS (Modified Barium Swallow Studies), training in FEES with Susan Langmore, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, as well as training and experience in pediatric feeding and swallowing. Her clinical experience in swallowing disorders enhanced her practice and knowledge in working with patients with OMD (Oral Myofunctional Disorder) related swallowing challenges.
Mimi is a dedicated lifelong learner. She strives to offer the best evidence-based practice methods and individualized treatment plans tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual.
Away from her private practice, Mimi enjoys yoga (emphasizing the importance of mental and physical health and well-being), cooking (and the pursuit of healthy nutrition), and spending time with her family. Her favorite place in California is Napa Valley.
PROMPT Level II • Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) • The Kauffman Speech to Language Protocol (K-SLP)
TOTS (Tethered Oral Tissues Specialty) by Chrysalis Orofacial • Surgical Laser Course (The Breathe Institute)
Active member of IAOM
Ongoing participation in advanced training programs through various organizations that promote airway health and myofunctional therapy (e.g., AAMS, AAPMD, AHS).
PROMPT Level II
Oral Placement Therapy (OPT)
The Kauffman Speech to Language Protocol (K-SLP)
TOTS (Tethered Oral Tissues Specialty) by Chrysalis Orofacial
An active member of IAOM
Ongoing participation in advanced trainings programs through various organizations that promote airway health and myofunctional therapy (e.g., AAMS, AAPMD, AHS).
Contact Mimi to discuss your concerns, have your questions answered, and receive guidance on the intake process. If we recommend an evaluation or therapy, we will also schedule your initial session.
Attend your initial assessment or screening session. After the assessment, we will review the results, recommended treatment plan, and goals. We will also make any necessary referrals to other professionals.
Attend therapy in our clinic or online where we will take regular data to monitor progress. Together we will develop lifelong skills to Breathe, Speak, Swallow, and Sleep better!