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Oral Motor Exam

Oral Motor Control & Speech Characteristics

This assessment is used by Speech and Language Therapists to evaluate oral motor skills. Oral motor skills refer to the movement of muscles of the face (e.g. lips and jaw) and oral area (e.g. tongue and soft palate), especially the movements related to speech. This test can be used with any child to find out if the child’s speech is influenced by the presence of a disruption to the motor nerves used in speech.

The exam involves three main areas:

  • Observation of the oro-motor anatomy (e.g. tongue, lips, teeth, palate etc.) is conducted to identify any possible structural abnormality that may affect speech production.
  • Examination of speech characteristics (based on story telling excerpt), including pitch, resonance (nasality), voice quality, loudness and rate of speech.
  • Diadochokinetic (DDK) task, looking at the coordination and sequencing of muscle movements for speech by asking the child to repeat certain sounds.


HRB Prosody Project

Dept. of Speech & Hearing Sciences, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, College Road, Cork