Should I Be Using Non-Speech Oral Motor Exercises? (NSOMEs)

Categories: / /
Age Group: /
Resouce Types:

What Are NSOMEs?

  • Sensory stimulations to or actions of lips, jaw, tongue, soft palate, larynx and respiratory muscles
  • Stretching, active muscle exercise, sensory stimulation, or blowing
  • No speech sound is produced during exercise

Evidence To Support Them?

  • NONE!
  • Systematic review or research indicated not enough evidence to support or refute
  • ASHA tells us to only engage in practices that are research-based

Look At Them Theoretically:

  • Strength: Does not take significant amounts of strength to speak and these exercises do not provide enough repetitions or resistance to help even if we did need more strength.
  • Transfer: Non-speech movements have not been shown to transfer to speech sounds, like blowing horns to work on lip rounding. These are controlled by different parts of the brain.
  • Warm-Up: Speech muscles do not need warming up and if they did, it would be better to warm up with speech sounds.

What To Do Instead?

  • Use real speech sounds for practice!  Click Here to Download the Speech Sound Warm Up
  • If articulators are uncoordinated, practice going between two sounds like tuh, kuh, tuh, kuh.
  • If you need a “get ready for speech” activity, do a stimulability warm up. Evidence supports speech outcomes for stimulability.
  • If you are working on lip rounding, make sure they say a sound while you do it.