Tagged "Oral Placement"


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.

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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 →

Annabelle's 1st Year Conclusion

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

The past 12 months have taken us on a new and unexpected journey. We are so blessed to have the support of many as we reflect on Belle’s 1st year. At the top of our support list would be our inspiring Therapist, Whitney, as well as the knowledgeable staff at TalkTools. They have enabled us to learn and grow along side of Belle. The techniques and therapy we have learned and followed has certainly paid off… Belle can feed herself, drink out of straws, and chomp her little snacks. The Oral Placement Therapy exercises (like tapping her jaws and stimulating her mouth) and tools (like the Finger Cuff and Yellow Chewy Tube) were easy to follow and use. Luckily, Belle also enjoyed them, which made her therapy that much more fun and easy for all of us. Belle’s therapy isn’t over yet. We will continue with her therapy as long as she needs us to.

As Belle has grown and developed these past 12 months, her Daddy and I have enjoyed getting to know her little personality. We love this little gal so much and would do anything to help her continue on her path of success. It has been such a joy to spend the little extra time needed with Annabelle. She has learned how to chomp and swallow her food without spitting it out, drink out of straws, feed herself, and keep her tongue in her mouth. All the while she is happy while learning it all. Her smiles and laughter are contagious, and she loves showing off for her brother and sister. I think she is happy and that is all that really matters. We are here for our daughter and will continue with the program developed by TalkTools and continue teaching Belle. It’s one of the best parts of being a parent… helping and watching your children grow.

-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 →

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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11 Months: Doing a wonderful job at drinking & eating

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

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We are so proud! Annabelle is 11 months old and is doing a wonderful job. We really have no cause for concerns because she has taken so well to her therapy. She is typically quite happy when we do the exercises with her. I am continuing to do her oral motor exercises 2-3 times a day. But Belle is still a little stubborn when it comes to the TalkTools Straw #1. When she cooperates, she does really well. I’ll start her on the TalkTools Straw #2 soon. Also, she loves her Infa Trainer Cup with yellow lid.

Belle is continuing to do an excellent job with chomping and eating. We really have no concerns with her eating either. She continues to love her Gerber Cheeto puffs. We cannot feed her fast enough with those things. Actually she loves to chew on whatever she can. Her eating is going great. She gets a little hyper while eating at times, especially when her brother and sister are around as her audience. We love her spirit and are excited that she doesn’t get annoyed with her modified eating tactics. It’s really all she knows so it makes it easier. Her mouth posture is typically still pretty good. Her mouth is still open a lot of time, but she is keeping her tongue inside about 99% of the time. We are so proud of our daughter and cannot believe how far we have come in the last 5 months. She is getting so big and growing into a happy little girl. Her smiles and laughter are contagious.

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