My son’s story
My youngest son Ari’s two front teeth were knocked out at two-and-a-half years of age, resulting in early speech problems. Following speech therapy, it was clear that his tongue placement was still incorrect when both swallowing and at rest. Housebound during my neck injury, I had the perfect opportunity to find a picture or video to show my son proper tongue placement. Through this process I discovered the field of Myofunctional Therapy, and, consequently, my own history of myofunctional disorders.
I could not breathe through my nose as a child, and a minor surgery did little to remedy the situation. The morning after every slumber party friends would go into great detail about my snoring, describing my apneic-like events. Because I couldn’t breathe through my nose, I was unable to keep my tongue up and developed a long, narrow face with a lower jaw pulled back (retrognathia). I had severe malocclusion, vaulted palate and could not keep my lips together. As was done in those days, extractions and orthodontics were the treatment. Addressing my airway seemed secondary. Only until later on in life, weary of disrupting others sleep, I decide to go ahead with surgery. Not ever thinking about my airway, but rather the embarrassment of snoring. After the removal of tonsils, adenoids and a turbinate reduction, I could really breathe through my nose for the first time. Now, looking back I realize what a detriment not being able to breathe through my nose was and the drastic effects it had on my craniofacial development and overall health.
Because of my airway issues I developed an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder, as a result of a low resting tongue rather than a tongue that is able to rest on the palate, or roof of the mouth. These disorders are typically related to a greater problem related to the airway and can have a trickle effect causing many other problems. Because of my son and my own issues a have a desire to help others prevent the many issues related to myofunctional disorders and airway. In January of 2018 I pursued therapy for my son as I started my own educational journey to become an orofacial myologist.
As a myofunctional therapist it is my passion and desire to help kids and adults like me. If these issues can be addressed early on, many problems associated with myofunctional disorders and airway can be prevented. If these problems do get missed my desire is to help facilitate new behaviors and modalities of treatment that can aid in better overall health for the remainder of life.