Tagged "swallowing"


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!

IMG_3080-10months

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9 Months: Learning To Chomp, Chew & Swallow

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

As Belle gets to be 9 months old, we are seeing progress in her therapy. She is getting more accustomed to her Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) and has even tried to help during the chomping exercises. She still fights me just a little, but we get right back on track and continue right along. She is growing up so fast and we can see the progress she is making. Plus she continues to smile and laugh, which tells me that she loves her therapy too.

The progress that Belle is showing during her feedings is very heartwarming. She loves the fruit we introduced this month and begs for more. I had to keep up with her eating. Feeding her a little quicker helps her learn to swallow her food faster instead of holding it in her mouth. This makes her Dad and I very happy to see how well she is eating and swallowing. She is enjoying eating and is getting better by the day.  And because she has been showing such great progress, we introduced puffs this month. We can tell she wasn’t exactly sure what to do with the puffs. I placed it to the back of her jaw on her molars to show her she is supposed to chomp them just like she does with the many tools, such as the Toothette, Finger Cuff and Yellow Chewy Tube, we use during her therapy. I think she was getting the hang of it. I was a little unsure if that was the right thing to do. But after some feedback from our TalkTools Therapist, Whitney, we learned that Belle is doing exactly with what we want her to do. The next step is to introduce veggie sticks or strips of waffles and pancakes for me to hold while she does her chomping, chewing and swallowing.

-Lanie Beetsma

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8 Months: Sensory Warm-Up And Feeding Therapy

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Belle has been progressing nicely in her therapy program developed by TalkTools. This month we continued working on her Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) by introducing pureed foods. We like to start her with OPT to remind her of the basic instincts for eating and swallowing plus it stimulates and wakes up her jaws and mouth. She loves the start of her therapy when I am massaging her cheeks and mouth with my hands. But as we move through the chomping exercises she is starting to get bored and doesn’t want to do it. I have to start motivating her, which really is fun for me because I get to kiss all over my baby girl. I love seeing her smiles and hearing her giggles as we play through her therapy. Making it fun for her, makes it easy and fun for me. Having this special time with her 2-3 times a day makes it all worthwhile.

After Belle’s OPT, we start on her feeding process. We will continue working with pureed foods this month. She has been doing a great job eating it and keeping it in her month. Her Dad and I, along with her TalkTools Therapist Whitney Pimentel, want Belle to swallow the food before she can push it back out with her tongue. She is getting the hang of the process and keeping more food in than she is pushing out. We are so proud of our daughter and how far she has come the last few months. We are hopeful for this progress to continue and are looking forward to learning and growing with Belle.

-Lanie Beetsma

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