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July 14, 2008

Tongue Tied?

080714 tongue tied a 
We've been watching Maddy's speech for several months and measuring her progress based on her same-age sister, Gwen.  But now we're starting to question whether Gwen's speech is really up to par. 

Gwen speaks much more clearly than Maddy (since she doesn't have a cleft palate) but she's far from perfect.  Most noticeably, she can't produce a "th" sound.  We weren't worried since young kids usually have some quirky speech issues that they always outgrow.  Now we're not so sure she'll outgrow it.

I never knew "tongue tied" was an actual condition.  I thought it was just a figure of speech.   But a blogger friend commented recently that her son was tongue tied so when I noticed the tether of skin under Gwen's tongue, a light bulb went off in my head and I started reading everything I could find on the subject (http://www.tonguetie.net). I wanted to rule it out but I can't.   I'm almost completely certain that she's tongue tied. 

Put your tongue against your bottom teeth and try to talk without moving it.  That's how Gwen sounds.  When she sticks her tongue out, the little flap of skin under it pulls the tip of her tongue back so it takes on the tale-tale heart shape.  Normal tongues are pointed. 

Fixing this is relatively easy.  She's already seeing a Pediatric ENT specialist because of her ear wax problems.  At our next appointment, we'll ask about her tongue. 

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