I.K. Churpiy, M.V. Fitsych

          Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University, Ivano-Frankivsk, ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1735-9418, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Abstract. Speech disorders or alalia in special needs children with logopathy are among the topical issues in general rehabilitation. Speech is one of the most important forms of communication.

Regardless of the child’s peculiarities, communication is the most effective way to promote home, psychological, pedagogical and medical correction. In addition, it is easier to teach the child the elements of self-care skills with the help of speech. This article covers the technique of manual logopedic massage in special needs children. Currently, there are many types of logopedic massage, but the practice shows that manual logopedic massage is the most effective for special needs children. This particular type of logopedic massage allows quick and prompt stimulation of certain vocal organs.

Certain problems, which occur in special needs children due to some pathology, lead to disorders with speech apparatus. These disorders result in sensory auto stimulation. For example, autistic child may lick some things, or his/her own hands, aggressively bite others, repeat certain stereotypical movements, and the like. And with infantile cerebral palsy, it is difficult for a child to keep saliva in the oral cavity because of weakened chewing muscles.

In these cases manual logopedic massage helps to stimulate speech, smooth muscle tone of both chewing and facial muscles, and relieve the child’s sensory tension. At the same time, stimulation of facial and oral muscles with the help of manual logopedic massage in children with special needs helps to improve sucking and chewing functions of the oral cavity. This will facilitate the child’s daily care and bring the teeth to work, which prevents a wide range of dental diseases. At the same time, it will improve the functioning of gastrointestinal tract on the mechanical and neuro-secretory levels.

Based on some inspection of children with neurological or psychiatric disorders, we have observed some dysfunctions of skeletal muscles that manifest themselves from muscular dystonia to paresis, involving also the tongue, as a muscular organ. Speaking about the internal organs of speech production they are all composed of smooth muscles, while the tongue is a skeletal muscle.

This speech dysfunction most commonly occurs in infantile cerebral palsy, hydrocephaly, after shunt surgery, muscular dystonia in autism and hyperactivity, past history of encephalitis and meningitis, Down’s syndrome, and post-stroke conditions in different age groups.

It is a well-known fact that the tongue acts as a membrane making our speech clear and understandable.

In this case logopedic massage should be used as a means of physical rehabilitation.

Logopedic massage is a combination of techniques of mechanical and reflex action on organs of speech in order to achieve therapeutic and corrective effects. Manual logopedic massage has the following effects: mechanical (due to mechanical displacement of tissues in massaged area that improves oxidative restorative processes and skin turgor in massaged area), neuro-reflectory (due to stimulation of the nerve endings in massaged area along the reflex arch) and humoral (which is carried out with the help of biologically active substances released into the blood during massage). Logopedic massage may be divided into external and internal. External logopedic massage is performed on the surface of the face, and internal one – in the oral cavity. Manual logopedic massage is performed on the basis of four main techniques of classical massage. They are: stroking, rubbing, kneading and vibration. This allows not only to stimulate the speech function, but also to improve blood and lymph flow in this area, to improve the state of subcutaneous fat and skin respiration, as well as to relieve psycho-emotional stress in children with special needs.

Conclusions. Contraindications for logopedic massage include stomatitis, recent surgical interventions in the oral cavity and on the face and mouth infections. Indications for manual logopedic massage are speech disorders or alalia of various etiology at any age. Massage correction of speech should be performed as soon as possible, as restoring of language skills at early stages will help to reduce primary and prevent secondary defects. For example, if the child begins to use sign language while communicating with family members and specialists, then in the subsequent correction stage, even if the language skills are present, the child will continue to use sign language at an association reflex level. Manual logopedic massage as a means of physical rehabilitation is aimed at stimulation of speech and helps to set the coordinated team-work of various specialists, namely speech therapists, psychiatrists, speech pathologists, rehabilitation therapists, psychologists and neurologists.


Keywords: children with special needs, speech therapist massage, organs of speech, tongue.


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