By Amy Svensson MA, CCC-SLP and Kimberly J. Santiago, DDS PS
“An estimated nine out of ten children suffer from one or more symptoms related to breathing-disordered sleep.”
These children experience a wide range of debilitating sleep-related health disorders, such as:
ADD/ADHD • Lower IQ • Chronic Allergies • Aggressive Behavior • Mouth Breathing • Swollen Adenoids & Tonsils • Asthma • Daytime Drowsiness • Crooked Teeth • Restless Sleep • Bedwetting • Nightmares • Dark Circles Under the Eyes • Snoring • Fragmented Sleep • Sleep Apnea • Irritability • Frequent Headaches • Arrested Growth • Low Grades in Math, Science, & Spelling & much more ~ Dr. Kimberly J. Santiago, DDS
While in graduate school, my professors and mentors continuously told us students that the information we gather during the Case History portion of our diagnostic session is the most important part of the assessment process. After almost 19 years as a pediatric speech-language pathologist (SLP) seeing children across ages and stages, I couldn’t agree more. It is SO important for us SLPs to gather as much information as possible when we begin working with a child. As pediatric SLPs, our practice sees many children who present with a variety of communication delays and health needs such as the ones Dr. Santiago presented above. One may think that asking a parent of an eight, ten, or 16-year old to report milestones, sleep patterns, history of ear infections, etc. is useless or irrelevant information to provide regarding an older child; this is quite the contrary. We often have parents leave these sections of our Case History blank, but we always go back and ask to get further clarification.
We have started working with Dr. Kimberly Santiago, a local Issaquah dentist, who maintains a practice dedicated to airway-centric dental issues, dentofacial orthopedics, tethered oral tissues (tongue-ties), oral-myofunctional postural and breathing challenges, and disordered sleep challenges. Dr. Santiago found a passion in myofunctional diagnosis and treatment when one of her own children had difficulty with breast feeding, swallowing, dysfunctional sleep, mouth-breathing, and the list goes on (Dr. Santiago is a sleep apnea patient as well, diagnosed at 37 years of age). Myofunctional treatment is related to tethered oral tissues (tongue-tie or lip-tie), mouth-breathing, altered jaw development, thrusts, snoring, sleep dysfunction, history of tubes being place, recurrent ear infections, behavioral issues, ADHD diagnosis and more, all of which affect speech-language development. We see these issues amongst the clients in our practice every single day. We are dedicated to looking at all pieces of the communication puzzle and seek to make sure no piece to the puzzle goes missing. We seek to unravel the underlying root cause that could be significantly impacting your child’s health, development, and well-being.
Should you have concerns regarding your child’s speech-language development or your child is presenting with any of the concerns Dr. Santiago presented, we encourage you to seek the expertise of a licensed SLP who will further screen and assess your child’s oral motor skills and refer for myofunctional assessment and treatment to assist in putting the entire puzzle together so to make sure your child thrives.
Journal of the American Orthodontic
Society Winter 2016