Yichien has devoted her clinical practice in helping every child and family she meets. After many years of professional training, Yichien comes to the understanding of neurological maturity that supports development and overall wellbeing. Within her pursue of the Masgutova Method®, Yichien has deepened her knowledge and is equiped specifically in providing the neuro-sensory-motor foundation for key areas of development, particularly in feeding, communication, and cognition
Yichien’s treatment style is known for having a firm base of neuroanatomy and a keen belief in achieving optimal functions. While Yichien is certified in many specialized modalities and has vast experience in using them, she does not believe in a cookie-cutter approach to therapy. Each child is unique and their responses to therapy may change from session to session as they develop neurosensory processing and neuromuscular pathways to interact with and response to their environment.
Yichien defines a successfully therapy process as:
- Trust centered – the basis of interaction between therapist and child, and therapist and parents
- Dynamic – The learning brain strives for novelty while motor pathways need repetitions. The therapist needs to balance the just right challenge to keep the child learning while providing ample practice to achieve functional competency.
- Responsive – the therapist constantly evaluates the child’s responses and selecting the most appropriate treatment modalities to facilitate therapeutic changes.
DYNAMIC BRAIN IN LEARNING PROGRAM
Dynamic Oral Motor Learning Program is developed by Yichien Su, after years of clinical experience. The main rationale is that learning of motor patterns, including those involved in feeding and speech, require intensive practice. The treating therapist also must respond dynamically to what the child is able to do at the moment of time, while having a clear understanding how to get the child to go a step further towards better functions. Clinical evidence shows that intensive therapy help children gain the most ground in a relatively short amount of time.
A Dynamic Oral Motor Learning “block” is consisted of a total of 12 sessions over 3-4 weeks. There will be an initial intake session, where baseline performance (current skills) will be collected. The child then will receive 10 intensive treatment sessions, usually 3 times a week for 3 weeks, 1 more for the subsequent visit. Finally, there will be a review session where measures of change will take place. The intake and review sessions may each be 60-90 minutes long. Intensive treatment therapy sessions (total of 10 per treatment block) are tailored to the individual child’s needs and can vary from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. A minimum of two-week break is recommended when a family wishes to have their child take multiple therapy blocks. This is to allow time for further consolidation of skills in daily activities and further planning time for therapy.
The Dynamic Oral Motor Learning Program aims to:
- Provide much needed neuro-sensory-motor reflex integration which support the desired developmental skills. For example, facilitate working together of visual and auditory, or auditory-oral-visual circuits involved in understanding and responding to verbal interaction.
- Advance oral motor skills for challenging foods or sound production. This could be for adding new foods, increasing oral intake, improving speech clarity, or producing longer utterances.
- Accelerate oral motor learning following significant events such as Stem cell transplant, Frenotomy (surgical release of tongue and lip ties), or capitalizing on summer break from school.
Individual therapy goals are achieved by:
- Pre-program testing for baseline, goals setting and determining the measures of success.
- Parents are required to attend at least 1 parent training session without their children to learn about home program.
- Technology assisted communication, including Alternative and Augmentative Communication Devices may also be used whenever appropriate.
Available treatment modalities:
All children will be treated largely with Masgutova Neuro-sensory-motor Reflex Integration techniques (MNRI). As per each child’s needs and developmental goals, the following treatment modalities may also be used: Beckman Oral Motor protocol, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, Neuromuscular Taping, Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES), Prompt for Restructuring Oral Motor Phonemic Target (PROMPT), and Sensory Oral Sequential Approach to feeding (SOS).
Parent(s) and caregivers are included in the treatment sessions either in person or via video camera. Parents and caregivers are required to sign consent and implement home exercises during or after the herapy block. Insufficient participation from parents or caregiver may result in discharge half way through scheduled therapy time.