Tagged "yellow chewy tube"


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.

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7 Months: Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) Starts

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

At 7 months, Belle continued to be doing well. She was eating from her flattened spoon really consistently. She’s done fine with the Honey Bear but hasn’t advanced much, which happens to be mostly my fault. I typically was only getting a chance to work with her 5 times a week or so. Her tongue retraction was really good, but she kept having an open mouth posture a lot of the time. This might sound a little discouraging, but we don’t see it that way. Her Dad and I are still so proud of her and her progress, and we will keep moving along.

Moving right along with Belle’s therapy, we started on her Oral Placement Therapy (OPT). Before every feeding and therapy session, I wake up and tone the muscles around her mouth with touch. I start with a soft blanket and massage her jaws and play with her to get her relaxed and interested. She loves when I start massaging her with my fingers. Her laugh and smile are amazing to watch when she gets going. I work through a list of tools to help stimulate her muscles. I start with a toothette to massage the inside of her mouth on both sides, then go to my pinkie finger and do the same thing. I’m not sure which of those she likes better, but her smile tells me she is enjoying it.  Next, I move onto the TalkTools’ Finger Cuff and the Yellow Chewy Tube to get Belle to chomp on my finger. She does a great job chomping down on the tools on both sides of her mouth. My finger can tell you that. I’m so happy to see her getting the hang of her therapy and progressing like she is. I know we are making progress and have a ways to go, but it makes my heart melt just seeing her smile and laugh while we are working with her.

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-Lanie Beetsma

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