Ask A Therapist: Jaw Grading Bite Blocks and Dissociation

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hello TalkTools,

 

I am Speech and Language Therapist working with an 11 year old with autism. He has a TalkTools® Program Plan, but I would value the opinion/support of one of your Instructors.

 

A significant priority at present is supporting him with dissociation of his jaw movements and then with grading. However, we have not been able to get a reliable bite on the Jaw Grading Bite Blocks. Interestingly, after about a month, he has achieved a bite/hold on the DnZ-vibe (not what I had initially planned that we would work on) with the vibration turned on. When the vibration is turned off, his bite is not so reliable. We are working at present on transferring the bite/hold to the #5 Jaw Grading Bite Block.

 

Do your instructors have any thoughts or experience with this? He does have complex sensory needs that are clearly factors in his eating, speech and other motor skills. I will certainly seek out advice from his Occupational Therapist once he has settled into a new school placement soon.

 

Many thanks,

 

Sally

 

Hi Sally,

I'm Robyn, a TalkTools® Instructor, and I've received your inquiry.

You are actually answering your own question, so great observation! This client needs more input to understand what's expected.

Hold the Bite Block in your right hand. With your left hand, hold a Jiggler in place on the top of the Bite Block and place at the correct spot as directed. I usually grab both tools with one hand and apply upward pressure on the mandible and say " bite and hold".

If this doesn't work, try reversing the hierarchy and working from 7 to 2 on the Bite Blocks, because the weakness may be in the high position. If there is a low jaw posture, sometimes reversing the order of the hierarchy is required.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP

Ask a Therapist Autism bite and hold Bite Blocks jaw dissociation jaw grading jaw grading bite blocks OPT oral motor skills Oral Placement Therapy Robyn Merkel-Walsh sensory issues sensory needs sensory processing z-vibe

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  • Try freezing the bite block for a different type of sensory input! I also keep zvibe probs in the freezer all the time!

    Susannah Silvia on

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