Tagged "baby food"


12 Months: She Loves Her Straws

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

We have come a long way in the past several months, particularly since we teamed up with TalkTools to help provide therapy for our daughter Annabelle, who has Down syndrome. We love the progress our daughter has made in the past 12 months. She is so happy and lively, and frankly, we are too. She continues to eat the pureed food with little chunks with no problems. The oral placement therapy exercises have really paid off with teaching her to chomp and chew her food. And she loves her straws. She drinks out of them at every meal. Belle is even getting much better at feeding herself her little snacks.

We plan to continue with all the therapy tips and tricks that we learned so far from TalkTools and our wonderful therapist, Whitney Pimentel. Annabelle seems to be growing and developing so quickly but will continue to need our help and guidance in her eating and drinking. As her parents, we have enjoyed all the extra time needed to help our daughter. Unconditional love from her Dad and I is a big part of her therapy too.  Just seeing her so happy and smiling and laughing truly shows that we are doing something right. We know we have a long way to go, but with everything we have learned over the past several months with Belle’s oral motor therapy, we know we have the means and tools to help her. Belle’s progress so far says it all.

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10 Months: Level 3 Baby Food, Puffs & Yogurt Melts

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Belle is continuing right along beautifully with her therapy. We have introduced Level 3 baby food to Belle, and she seems to be doing fine with the little chunks of food in it. She enjoys the comradery at our house at meal time with her big brother and sister. She also enjoys making a mess, but that’s a typical part of raising children. She appears to be chewing on the little chunks of food like she is supposed to, just like we taught her with the TalkTools Finger Cuff. And she really loves her Gerber Cheeto puffs. We ran out of the Gerber puffs so we videoed her eating the baby yogurt melts, which are a bit smaller. She is doing really well with chomping her snacks. I alternated placing the melts in the back right and left sides of her mouth on her molars, and she immediately would start eating away. It is such a joy watching her develop and grow.

We also introduced the TalkTools Straw #1 to Belle this month. The first day she tried it she did great and took several drinks. It is not always that easy, however. Sometimes she refuses to have anything to do with the straw whatsoever. It’s a day by day kind of thing. We try all different types of liquid in the straw including milk, juice, and water. I don’t let myself get too discouraged on days that we don’t make progress. She has done such an amazing job so far in her therapy. Even her mouth posture has good and bad days. I continually work to keep her nose suctioned out so she’ll avoid mouth breathing. And on her bad days, her mouth is open but her tongue typically stays in, which is great. We have a lot to work on, but I know that we have already come a long way!

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6 Months: Eating Pureed Foods

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

In continuation of her progress at 6 months, we introduced pureed foods to Belle. The trick was getting her used to a flattened spoon. We had her get the puree off the spoon and keep it in her mouth and then swallow. She did a good job. We are teaching Belle to chew and swallow and to not push her food back out of her mouth with her tongue. But she kept pushing her food out with her tongue. At this point, I took some of the puree in a little syringe and inserted the food into the back of her mouth on both sides of her jaw to teach her to chew and swallow. I think she really liked the carrots because this worked and she did a great job with this method.

As I mentioned earlier, children with Down syndrome have a tendency to carry their tongue in a forward position which presents as an enlarged tongue in the tonsil area. This is a common characteristic and causes problems with feeding and speech clarity. With the program plan we received from our TalkTools therapist, Whitney, we are learning to help Belle fight that instinct, so she can chew and swallow her food like normal. We are so proud of the progress she is making and enjoy seeing the continued progression. Unconditional love really has a whole new meaning when it comes to helping and learning with our daughter.

-Lanie Beetsma

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