Improve Feeding & Speech

Sara Rosenfeld Johnson was the first to identify the need to strengthen the jaw before attempting speech clarity exercises targeting only the lips or the tongue. Think of it as the Speech Clarity Pyramid. Pretend you are at the circus watching acrobats form a pyramid. Look at the ball representing the acrobat in the world. What would happen if the three acrobats on the bottom were weak or unstable? That’s right – the world’s best acrobat would come tumbling down!

Now, transition that idea to the muscles of articulation. The three acrobats on the bottom represent the jaw. The two in the middle represent the lips. The single acrobat on the top is the tongue. This picture describes the hierarchy of function known as dissociation.

Therefore, if you have identified weaknesses in the jaw, lips and tongue, you would begin with jaw exercises. If the jaw is stable but there are weaknesses in the lips and tongue, you would begin with lip exercises. If the jaw and the lips are stable and can move independently (dissociated), then you may begin the tongue exercises.

Sara has spent her professional life developing this revolutionary method of speech therapy. The tools she uses in her own practice are all available in our online store.