Functioning Vs. Functional
Updated: Sep 18, 2019
I'd like to share my thoughts on a common misconception out there. When is comes to orofacial myofunctional disorders, many think it not necessary to treat because the patient is "functional." That's all about how functional is defined. Most of these patients are functioning in a dysfunctional way. For example, a patient that isn't aspirating, choking, or losing weight is deemed as "functional", except that they only eat certain foods and have a tongue thrust swallow. Another example, is the patient that "sleeps a full night" is deemed as "functional" because, yes they are sleeping, but what about the quality? Are they needing caffeine to get through their day? Do they toss and turn? Etc. In the therapy world, we are often used to dealing with very severe issues, so these "less severe" things may not show up on our radar. I tend to try and think about overall health and optimal function. I consider cascade effects from abnormal function and impact on quality of life. So, while many patients with OMD are functioning, they may not be functional without impact on health and quality of life. Let's shoot for optimal functionality!