The American Speech and Hearing Association reports that roughly 6-8 million Americans have a speech issues. Thanks to a technology now available in Wisconsin, that number may be shrinking. Key Therapy, has started using a new device called a SmartPalate with their clients. Dione Langley, M.S., CCC-SLP, is the 1st clinician in the state of Wisconsin to introduce this technology.
The SmartPalate is a custom mouthpiece and computer software that displays where a student’s tongue is touching the roof of their mouth during speech. Speech-Language Pathologists, including Dione Langley, then create custom “tongue targets” for the sound(s) the student is working to develop such as /r/, /l/ or /s/. The visual target allows the student to repeatedly practice the sound simply by matching their tongue with the respective target.
SmartPalate technology, known as electropalatography, was developed by Dr. Samuel Fletcher, an industry recognized audiologist and Speech-Language Pathologist in the mid 1950’s. For decades, the use of the technology was limited to research facilities, primarily with speech students who were deaf or hard of hearing. In 2010, a system was developed by CompleteSpeech for commercial use and Speech Language Pathologists have continually expanded the use of the technology to students with multiple speech disorders and backgrounds. In multiple cases, children, teens and adults who have struggled in speech therapy for years without significant progress have made sizable improvements in their speech and consequently their self-esteem and confidence