Tagged "Feeding"


17 Months: Attending a Course and Improving Her Exercises

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

I recently attended the “Three-Part Treatment Plan for Oral Placement Therapy” and it was great. Monica was the presenter and I really learned a lot. It helped to show me what exercises and goals we will continue to progress towards. I know that Belle has a long way to go, but being in a routine of daily exercises for the past 13 months has been a great way to improve.

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Belle is doing well and loves to feed herself, as you will notice in the video. She eats all kinds of foods but still has open mouth posture most of the time. We have gotten better with our exercises and her tongue continues to stay in her mouth 99% of the time while feeding. I know I need to continue to work on strengthening her jaw which is what our oral placement exercises target each day.

-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

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16 Months: Self-Feeding and Getting Chatty

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

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Earlier this month Annabelle was spitting out almost all of her food. It was extremely frustrating, to say the least. We knew that she needed all the calories that she could get because she is still a pretty tiny little thing.  In addition, we knew that she had created a horrible eating pattern of pushing food out with her tongue. I tried to stay optimistic, but after about a week I called Whitney for some much needed help. Whitney got us all straightened out, and Annabelle has been eating great since then. She worked with us on better food placement for Annabelle and also encouraged us to let her self-feed at the end of the meal, instead of the beginning so we could start off meal time correctly.

I am so very thankful to have Whitney as a partner in this journey. My husband agrees and asked, "what do families do when problems like this arise and they don't have anyone to turn to?" Who knows how like Annabelle would have continued her pattern of spitting out every bite if we wouldn't have gotten some much needed assistance.

In other news, Annabelle is quite chatty and active. She says, "dada, momma, Lyla, hi, no no, and yay" quite regularly. She also has several signs including more, all done, eat, drink, baby, and book.  We are very proud of her progress!

-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

Read more →

15 Months: Annabelle's Christmas Update!

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

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Annabelle has seen incredible improvement over the past couple of months. Since her last update, Annabelle is continuing to eat table foods and drink from her Straw Cup using the Straw #2 in the Straw Hierarchy. As many of you know, her progress and work with the Straw Hierarchy is right on track. Using the hierarchy appropriately will teach her proper tongue retraction, controlled tongue movement, and grading. Watch the clip below to see her in action.

This next (adorable) clip shows Belle's impressive work with thicker, tougher foods. In the video, you can see that she is using proper bolus control to keep the food in between her teeth, while also keeping an upright posture and chewing with her mouth closed. Chewing solid table foods at this stage shows her therapy efforts with TalkTools have increased her muscle strength and control.

You might have to turn up your speakers to hear everything in the next clip, but it is an excellent example of Bell's drinking progress with the hierarchy discussed above.

With every new post we see amazing work from Annabelle and her Mother. We are nothing but proud of her accomplishments and  can't wait for her next update. 

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Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

Read more →

14 Months: Video Updates!

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Watch the following videos to see Annabelle's exceptional progress in her therapy!

Working on Straw #2:

Eating table food:

Working on oral motor exercises:

-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

Read more →

13 Months: First Try At The Horn Hierarchy

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

At 13 months Belle has grown into having quite the personality. She finds it funny that we keep videoing her. She laughs and tries to follow the camera. We really have to keep up with her while feeding her pureed foods and puffs because she thinks this “camera thing” is quite the novelty.  While she is looking for the camera that her Daddy is holding, I try to get her to stay still long enough to eat. We don’t have any problems with her eating the pureed foods or chomping on her puffs. Annabelle definitely has gotten the hang of it and loves to eat.

As Belle is getting older and progressing in her therapy, we have moved on to the TalkTools Horn Hierarchy. With the horns we are teaching her how to properly form her mouth around the horn and blow air through Horn #1 and make noise. You know how kids love to make noise. She does really well with getting the air to go through Horn #1, and every now and again a noise will come out. We are supposed to hold the Horns for her, but I do let her hold it herself from time to time and she thinks she has really gotten a hold of something great.. It’s a learning process for the both of us and the goal is for Belle to “exercise” the muscles required to produce sounds and to assist with lip closure and tongue retraction. Belle is getting used to it, and it is only a matter of time before she will start making a lot of noise with these horns.

-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

Read more →
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