Grady Cooney Speech Partners - Therapist | Oak Lawn, IL Grady Cooney Speech Partners - Therapist | Oak Lawn, IL

Innovative. Unique. Customized.


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One of the few therapists certified in Myofunctional Therapy in the midwest



Common questions regarding Airway Disorders & Buteyko Breathing Therapy:

  • Frequent colds & ear infections

  • Open mouth posture

  • Mouth breathing therapy

  • Drooling

  • Poor speech articulation

  • Lisping

  • Distorted speech sounds

  • Feeding difficulties

  • Snoring

  • Breathing concerns during sleep

  • Behavioral issues

  • Learning issues

  • Attention issues

  • Teeth grinding or clenching

Symptoms related to Breathing Difficulties

Dental Health: Dental malocclusion, periodontal disorders, Orthodontic Relapse, open bites, midline diastema (referring to the space between the two front teeth), grinding, clenching, receding chin, retruded upper and lower jaws, gummy smile, lower teeth smile, tooth pain, jaw tightness, restricted opening of mouth, worn dentition, scalloped tongue, lingual restriction, pain on face upon touch, increased sensitivity, and jaw shifting during chewing and speaking.


Anatomical & Physiological Changes: Long, narrow face, weak lip seal, open mouth posture, high, narrow palate, ear infections, clogged ears, facial asymmetry, hypertension, distended stomach, deoxygenation, poor circulation, collapsed palate, higher eye, slanted jaw, chronic neck pain, head and neck posture changes, winged shoulder blades, venous pooling under eyes, shiners or eye shadows, enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids, acute upper respiratory infections, insufficient orofacial muscle tone, excessive length of soft palate, beaked nose, restriction of nasal air flow, asthma, allergies, systemic inflammation, chronic sickness, throat infections, winged shoulder blades, and weight gain.

Common Implications, Associations, & Consequences of Airway Disorders

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders: Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD), atypical postures of the mouth and tongue, atypical breathing, decreased stability and coordination of the muscles of the face, head and neck impacting speech, chewing, swallowing, and breathing.

Speech Disorders: Articulation Disorders, vocal quality, tongue thrusting, lisping, drooling, poor dissociation of the tongue, jaw and lips, and many other sound distortions and errors.

Feeding Disorders: Poor breath support, poor coordination of oral and/or pharyngeal stages of the swallow, Dysphagia, decreased chewing skills, hypersensitive gag, choking on foods, texture sensitivities, inability to transition to solids, tongue, lip and cheek biting due to decreased room in the mouth for tongue when chewing and swallowing, digestive disorders from unchewed foods and swallowing air, and reflux.

Sleep Disorders: Sleep Disorders include, Snoring, Upper Airway Obstructions, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea, and associated Silent Airway Disorders. Symptoms of OSA are bed wetting, night terrors, snoring, periodical limb movements, circadian rhythm abnormalities, restless leg syndrome, limb pain, frequent awakening, significant neuro-cognitive deficits, including ADD and ADHD. These symptoms are present in both adults and children. Apnea is just ONE symptom of Sleep Disordered Breathing. Silent airway disorders are just as critical and debilitating as sleep disorders that are seen or heard. Children need SOUND SLEEP through the night!

Cognition & Learning: ADD, ADHD, impulsivity, executive functioning disorders, neuro-cognitive disorders, reading disorders including difficulty with reading comprehension, math concepts, social studies, difficulty with memory and attention, decreased safety awareness and problem solving, behavioral disorders, and Alzheimer’s.

Nutritional Concerns: Craving sugar and carbohydrates and weight gain, and obesity

Characteristics of OSA in Children

A restricted airway is serious and can impact you or your child’s orofacial growth, development, breathing, attention, learning, sleep, and over-all health (diseases related to or caused by airway disorders). Each individual is different and the consequences of a restricted airway manifest in a variety of manners, but there will always be an impact when the airway is restricted.

Why is a speech therapist concerned with your or your child’s airway?

What size airway is ok with you?

  • A Narrowed Airway can be the size of a cocktail straw.

  • A Restriction Free Airway can be the size of a garden hose.


If there is an airway restriction, specifically with the nasal cavity or due to enlarged tonsil and adenoids, ask your treating professional what is the plan of care to improve the airway concerns? It is your job to be an advocate for yourself or your child. Review the associated risks associated with a restricted airway. Understand the consequences and risks of NOT taking out englarged tonsils or adenoids. Understand that 1mm of airway restriction increases the effort of breathing 16 times. How will a restricted airway affect your or your child’s growth, development, and functional skills of the oral cavity.


The right team can help you or your child breathe easy

The following specialists should be a part of your or your child's support team to support and enhance the airway in a natural manner:

What is Buteyko Therapy?

If you or your child are presented with the following symptoms or issues, please contact your primary care physician.

  • Dentists who use orthotropics to expand and advance both the upper and lower jaws forward to enlarge the airway and ensure there is enough room for not only the teeth, but also the tongue. Pediatric dentists can identify and treat children with airway and orofacial myofunctional disorders as early as 3 years of age.


  • Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctors (ENTs) promote the airway by treating airway restrictions - such as allergies and asthma, remove obstructions in the throat and back of the mouth - such as tonsils and adenoids when it makes breathing difficult, and releasing any tissue under the tongue when it restricts the tongue from moving freely during breathing, talking, eating or swallowing.


  • Orofacial Myofunctional Therapists are trained to work with the muscles of the head, neck, and mouth to improve tone, range of motion, and coordination of the orofacial muscles which assist in breathing, speaking, chewing, and swallowing. OM therapy also teaches typical resting postures of the tongue and lips to promote nasal breathing. When speech sound disorders are present, the focus is on treating the causes of the articulation disorders, not just the symptoms contrary to most traditional speech therapy programs or school-based speech therapy. Elimination of negative oral habits, such as leaning on hands and arms, biting of the nails and hair, and sucking of the thumb, fingers, clothing, or other objects is also an essential step in eliminating orofacial myofunctional disorders and promoting a healthy airway.


  • Cranial Osteopathic Specialists help promote healthy and clear breathing, posture, and spinal alignment in natural ways.


  • Registered Dieticians can teach parents how to feed their children using natural foods in fun ways - which promote good health for your whole family. Registered dieticians can also help educate how foods interact with the body and can cause healthy or unhealthy responses which can impact health, development, and airway concerns.