speech & orofacial myofunctional therapy
I've never met a more dedicated clinician in our field of work. Donna's knowledge base puts you at ease, and you can confidently trust her advice.
Donna has played a huge role in helping my little girl catapult forward in her oral motor & speech development. I could literally write a book on how she has helped to shape my daughter’s future. We are forever grateful.
I can’t express how much I’ve learned from Donna and how valuable her services have been for the children and families we serve.
My daughter had just turned two and didn't speak at all. Donna worked with her once a week for about a year and went above and beyond to customize different activities for my child and her specific needs. My daughter progressed far more than expected and is now doing great. I can not give enough praise to this woman.
I had no idea that a tongue tie was causing my son's teeth to shift after he got his braces off. We bought three new retainers before a friend told us about Donna. She referred us to a doctor to fix the tongue tie and taught my son simple exercises that he practiced every day to change the muscles of his face and tongue so that his teeth no longer shift. So grateful we found Donna! We highly recommend her!
Meet Donna Maxwell
Donna Maxwell, MA CCC-SLP, owner of Oral Dynamics, LLC, is a nationally certified speech and language pathologist licensed in the state of Kansas. Donna earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Audiology Sciences and Master of Arts degree in Communication Disorders from Western Illinois University. In addition, she earned a Supervisory Endorsement from Governors State University and pursued coursework in Entrepreneurial Studies at Johnson County Community College. Donna has received specialized training in orofacial myology and has earned the ACE Award from the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association in recognition of exceptional commitment to continuing professional education.
Donna has extensive experience working with clients of all ages from birth on up. She specializes in evaluating, diagnosing
and treating oral motor and orofacial myofunctional disorders associated with complex speech difficulties, tongue and lip
ties, tongue thrust, oral habits, and oral dysphagia/feeding complexities. Donna values an inter-disciplinary approach to treatment for orofacial myofunctional disorders and welcomes the opportunity to team with local health professionals, such as orthodontists, dentists, oral surgeons, ENTs, chiropractors, pediatricians, lactation consultants and school-based speech pathologists to best meet the needs of her clients. She is also available to speak with area organizations to promote and encourage healthy oral development in infants and toddlers for improved facial and speech development.
This therapy is designed to correct oral muscle function as it relates to dental problems and speech disorders, using exercises for the tongue, lips, and facial muscles. It is most often used to alter a tongue thrust swallowing pattern, assists with improved outcomes in orthodontia, and can help open-mouth breathers to become nasal breathers. Using the Simon Says Tongue Tips therapy protocol, and a detailed home practice program, correction of tongue thrust can be completed in approximately 12 sessions (more, if substantial speech sound errors co-exist.)
Tongue and Lip Ties
The tongue is an important organ which is largely responsible for orofacial development and growth. Ankyloglossia (tongue tie) has been linked to abnormal suction and swallow pattern in newborns and chewing in infants. Tongue-ties can also be the culprit for OMDs in older children and adults and can have a major impact on the health and function of the jaw joint, leading to chronic neck, back and shoulder pain. Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) before and after surgical release of a tongue tie (frenectomy) is necessary to re-establish the swallowing, chewing, speaking and breathing patterns acquired as a result of the tongue-tie. Donna evaluates and treats tethered oral tissues (tongue, lip, buccal ties) and assists in referrals to specialized surgeons and bodyworkers, as deemed appropriate.
For children above the age of five with persistent oral habits such as thumb, finger, tongue, or blanket sucking, Donna implements a 30 Day Oral Habit Elimination Program called Thumbs Up! This program relies on positive reinforcement and empowers the child to stop their habit in a fun, appliance free way. Through small rewards, stickers, and a little bit of hard work, children will walk away from this program feeling accomplished, healthier, and happier... and so will you!
Oral Dysphagia / Feeding
OMDs can cause issues with chewing and drinking. Donna works with early feeding skills in the younger population which includes teaching parents simple ways to enhance oral and facial development with drinking straws and strategic food selections. She especially enjoys working with the Down syndrome population to increase oral stability for tongue retraction and feeding skills.
Speech Sound Disorders
For children and adults diagnosed with speech sound production disorders, Donna uses a variety of assessment and treatment protocols to help each person to produce these sounds correctly. Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) can cause articulation disorders. Research has revealed that of those individuals who exhibit OMDs, 81% have speech problems. The /s/ sound is the most noticed speech error; others are /z/, /sh/, /ch/, /j/, /t/, /d/, /l/, /no/ and /r/. Where there is a combination of an OMD and related speech errors, it is often difficult to correct the speech problems through traditional speech therapy until the root cause is addressed.