Tagged "bubble blowing"

Ask a Therapist: Question on Bubble Therapy

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

My nephew is 3 years old with Down syndrome. We have bought the Straw, Horn and Bubble kits. Following your instructions in DVD, he is doing great with straw and horn, but he does not accept bubble therapy at all, though he did well in the first exercise. We live in a country with limited qualified speech therapists, therefore we are seeking your advice. Is it possible to skip bubbles therapy?

Some children do not understand how to form their lips for bubble blowing and/or how to coordinate oral airflow with their lips rounded. Because your nephew accepts the horn it is evident he can create oral airflow, so the lip rounding without the "feel" of something in his mouth seems to be the problem. Here is how you can help him to learn to blow bubbles.

Cut a wide diameter straw to a 2 inch length. Have him blow one time on Horn #1 as you say "blow.” When he blows the Horn #1 remove the horn and put the straw between his lips and instruct him to "blow" through the straw. Continue to alternate between the horn and the straw until he automatically blows through the straw when you put it in his mouth 5 times in a row.

Next: Blow a bubble from the bubble tube and catch it on the wand (existing bubble). Place one end of the straw in your nephew's mouth and hold the existing bubble at the open end of the straw. Instruct him to blow through the straw. This should move the bubble on the wand, pop the bubble on the wand, or blow the bubble off the wand. In any case, it will teach him to associate the oral airflow used in blowing a horn with the oral airflow used in blowing a bubble. Gradually eliminate the use of the straw and you should be able to use the bubble hierarchy along with the horns and straws.

Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson

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Ask a Therapist: Help with Breathing Issue

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

I need your advice for a client with Treacher Collins Syndrome. The child has had his left lip and palate repaired, his face & skull are severely deformed. We have been doing OPT for 1 year: greatest improvement is in blowing (from not able to blow to Horn #4, Bubble Bear 1 feet; he can do depressor press with 14 coins and 6" button pull, /m/ sound ok but not /b/; many sounds backing as /g/, talking in simple sentences now).

His jaw is very problematic: he cannot open his jaw to more than 4-5mm, I let him bite on straws of different diameter, gum pressed flat and wrapped with gauze, Bite Block #2 held on first molar area. He's on oxygen mask at night, his doctor said he'll have us do OPT for half a year, and if he still can't open his jaw, he'll consider cutting his tongue out to prevent sleep apnea. Mommy is unwilling to let doctor cut his tongue nor open his trachea, and so she asked if I can train him to stick out his tongue so he has more space in his oral cavity to breathe? Can you give me some advice?

Thanks, Louisa

Hi Louisa. Have you tried using the Progressive Jaw Closure Tubes? Start with the smallest and have him bite and breathe through. When he can do this as you count slowly to 50 and without any compensatory posturing, go to the next larger tube. In this way you will see if the problem is muscular or structural. If it is muscular, then by going through the hierarchy to the largest one you should see some good results. If it is structural (boney, skeletal) then at one point he will not be able to progress.

To teach him to stick out his tongue, you can then go back to the smallest tube and ask him to push his tongue forward into the tube numerous repetitions. That will give him the jaw from tongue dissociation you are looking for.


Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson

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