speech, oral-motor feeding & 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.
Just wanted to reach out to update you that we are still breastfeeding (HUGE WIN) and baby girl has started baby led weaning and is doing amazing!! I can't thank you enough for all of the ways you helped grow and strengthen her oral development. You do great work!
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 oral-sensory motor feeding and orofacial myology and has earned multiple ACE Awards from the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association in recognition of exceptional commitment to continuing professional education.
Donna has extensive experience working with clients across the lifespan. She specializes in evaluating, diagnosing and treating infant & toddler oral-motor feeding dysfunction and orofacial myofunctional disorders associated with complex speech difficulties, tongue and lip ties, tongue thrust, oral dysphagia, oral habits (thumb/finger sucking, nail biting, tongue/cheek chewing, etc) and sleep disordered breathing. Donna values an inter-disciplinary approach to treatment and welcomes the opportunity to work with other local health professionals (ie orthodontists, dentists, ENTs, chiropractors, pediatricians, lactation consultants, OTs, PTs & school-based SLPs) to best meet the needs of her clients.
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 an individualized therapy protocol, and a detailed home practice program, correction of tongue thrust can be accomplished.
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 that 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!
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/, /n/ 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.
Tongue and Lip Ties
The tongue is an important organ which is largely responsible for orofacial development and growth. Ankyloglossia (tongue tie) can be the culprit for infant feeding issues and orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) in older children and adults. OMDs can have a major impact on the health and function of the jaw joint, leading to chronic neck, back and shoulder pain. Appropriate oral therapy before and after surgical release of a tongue tie is necessary for the conditioning & neuromuscular re-training of the orofacial musculature. Donna evaluates and treats tethered oral tissues (tongue, lip, buccal ties) and assists in referrals to specialized surgeons and bodyworkers, as deemed appropriate.
Oral restrictions have been linked to abnormal suction and swallow pattern in newborns and can interfere with the transition to eating solid foods. Donna provides a functional oral-motor feeding evaluation for children 0-3 years old, and creates a therapeutic plan of intervention for successful breastfeeding, bottle feeding and/or transition to solids that includes a hands-on coaching model of therapy to equip parents with strategies that will improve their child's oral feeding skills and enhance facial development .