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Anatomical and functional specifics of the orofacial area in children with mental disorders

Anja Bolarič (2013) Anatomical and functional specifics of the orofacial area in children with mental disorders. Diploma thesis.

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    After studying scholarly literature, we provide in this graduation thesis a detailed insight into the anatomy of the orofacial area and possible specifics among children with mental disorders, especially those with chromosomal malformations, such as Prader-Willi syndrome or Down syndrome. We also presented the role of a speech therapist in treatment of children with mental disorders who have a specific anatomy of the orofacial area, and describe a series of speech therapeutic exercises that can be carried out during the orofacial treatment and articulation therapy. Our research included a medium-sized sample of 54 children aged from 6 to 15 years. The children come from different educational institutions – Roje Primary School in Domžale, dr. Slavko Grum Primary School in Zagorje ob Savi, Special Education Centre Janez Levec (primary school unit located on Levstikov trg in Ljubljana). The children were categorised into groups of mild, moderate, severe and profound mental disorders. In addition, 10 children with Down syndrome were included. Data was collected through our own questionnaire containing questions about the child’s specifics which was handed to the parents along with a letter and an agreement. An orofacial examination was performed using methods specified in scholarly literature. After all the agreements were signed, orofacial area and articulation examinations were executed. The results based on our sample of children with mental disorders showed prevalence of at least one or more anatomical and functional specifics in the orofacial area in 36 cases. We established that the most common anatomical and functional specifics in the examined children were the following: limited soft palate mobility, mouth openness, limited nasal passage, velopharyngeal insufficiency, abnormally highly arched palate, incisal edge, and a too short sublingual bond. The observation of anatomical and functional specifics of the orofacial area did not indicate any correlations with the level of mental retardation. The empirical part of the thesis contains observations of anatomical and functional specifics of the orofacial area in children with mental disorders, observations of the occurrence of those specifics, and findings about the rate of mental development and its connection to orofacial specifics. The most frequent characteristic is limited soft palate mobility, which was present in 21 cases. Our study clearly shows that all children with Down syndrome have at least one of the anatomical or functional specifics of the orofacial area – these are not as common among children without Down syndrome. However, we did not confirm a statistically important difference in nasal resonance between the two groups. Moreover, we did not confirm the connection between mouth breathing and limited nasal passage, mouth openness and hyponasality. Articulation disorders were more frequent among children with Down syndrome. The research showed that 44 of the children involved attended speech therapies. As for speech therapies, there was no significant difference between children with or without Down syndrome, which indicates that speech therapy is equally available to all categories of mental disorders. We also found out that articulation difficulties occur more often to children with sucking, chewing and swallowing problems. Our research could not determine that the development of sucking, chewing and swallowing varies according to the level of mental retardation. The results showed that there are statistically important differences in motor skills of the articulation apparatus with regard to mental retardation; by means of these outcomes we assume that more severe the mental retardation, the weaker the skills of the articulation apparatus. The thesis includes a comparison of anamnestic data obtained through the questionnaire for parents, the attributes observed during orofacial examinations, and articulation disorders among different groups of mental disorders.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: anatomical specifics of the orofacial area, functional specifics of the orofacial area, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, mental disorders, mild mental disorder, moderate mental disorder, severe mental disorder, profound mental disorder, articulation, nasal resonance, motor skills of the articulation apparatus, speech therapy
    Number of Pages: 100
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Irena Hočevar BoltežarMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=9715017)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 1659
    Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2013 12:07
    Last Modified: 26 May 2014 16:22
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/1659

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