Assessment Oral motor Scale for Children

Oral motor scale for children under 39 months

Single Movements

Each item was scored on the following scale, and the scores were totalled:

  • 0 – No Attempt
  • 1 – Attempted
  • 2 – Completed Successfully
  1. Open the mouth wide (copy a puppet)
  2. Turn down the corners of the lips (frowning – copy the experimenter)
  3. Close the lips tightly together (copy puppet)
  4. Stretch the lips wide (smiling – copy experimenter)
  5. Blow the cheeks out (copy experimenter)
  6. Stick the tongue out (copy puppet)
  7. Bring the front teeth together (biting a plastic baby spoon)
  8. Make the lips round and blow, child is scored on ability to make the round shape and  control the blowing (blowing soap bubbles using commercial or home-made toy)
  9. Kissing (place flavoured lip salve and press lips together over a piece of flexible clear plastic – both lips should make a mark on the plastic)
  10. Place honey on lips and lick off (use other sticky food if necessary – copy experimenter  and lick sideways, not just moving tongue in and out)

Note:

  • Numbers 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 are classified as complex movements (requiring more than one set  of muscles).

Repeated Movements

For all tests: the experimenter starts slowly and then speeds up. The movements were timed using   the slow playback (frame by frame) function of a video editing machine but the maximum time  of 10 seconds for each set was also timed using a stop watch, during the testing session. If  the child stops or slows down before 10 seconds were over they were encouraged to continue but         the period of continuous repetition was counted even if this was less than 10 seconds.

Either a puppet or the experimenter’s demonstration was used for all of the repetition tasks,   which were as follows:

  1. Open and close the mouth repeatedly
  2. Stick the tongue out and in repeatedly
  3. Make an “ah” sound in the throat repeatedly
  4. Alternating Movements: open the mouth, then stick the tongue out, then close the mouth

Each item was scored:

  • 0 = No attempt
  • 1 = Any Attempt
  • 2 = Completes for 10sec

In addition the total number of correct movements in the total time used, or 10 seconds (whichever  is shorter), the total number of completed plus attempted movements in the same time (all movements), and the time used, were all noted. From these was calculated the rate of performing correct  movements, the rate of performing all movements, and the ratio of correct to all movements.

source:  Katie Alcock . The development of oral motor control and language. http://www.down-syndrome.org/reports/310/

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