New Technology Revolutionizes Speech TherapyAugust 6, 2014
(KUTV) Willliam Brown, 10, has received a lot of speech therapy, but not a lot of success in certain areas.
"The older he was getting, the more concerned I was about him not picking up his R's and thinking how are we going to solve this problem" William's mother Lisa Brown told 2News.
When Lisa heard about a new technology called Smart Palate, she took William to meet Colleen Mitchell, a speech pathologist who uses the device in her therapy.
"I heard about it and I thought let's give this a try because traditional speech therapy isn't working for him," Lisa said.
The device is a small piece of plastic with 124 gold sensors. The device is made to be put in the mouth and it connects to a computer. Unlike traditional therapy, the device helps patients see, not just hear or feel where they need to move their tongue and mouth to make certain sounds.
"It completely takes out the guesswork of what they have to do and the consistency works with the brain so they're doing the same thing every single time," said Lisa.
The technology is new and in Mitchell's words is "amazing."
"What happens is as the tongue goes over the palate, it lights up little dots or sensors on the screen," said Mitchell.
David Larsen, CEO of Smart Palate, says the device is the beginning of the future of speech therapy. He worked with the original doctor before launching the mouthpiece worldwide. He realizes it is a big change and some therapists will be hesitant to try the new method.
"It's really the first computer for speech therapy," Larsen said. "It's the first tool they have had like this and so it's a hard change."
Mitchell says the technology is a change that cuts out months of therapy sessions and discouragement.
"My goal always when I get them in here is immediate success and this does it. It does it every single time," said Mitchell.
The Brown family has already discovered success with the new technology.
"Once he could see that R sound, it just clicked," said Lisa.
Mitchell says the Smart Palate does not cure speech problems. The patients still have to do the work to strengthen the right muscles. Her hope is that it can ultimately be used in school to help children get immediate results at a very young age.