Tagged "honey bear with flexible straw"

Ask A Therapist: Straw Drinking

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hello TalkTools,


I feel so defeated. My son is 2 years old and I can't get him to master straw drinking. He is an otherwise high-functioning, very successful child. He is starting to walk, can build with blocks ... What am I doing wrong?


David has Down Syndrome. (He has repaired cardiac defect, which thankfully has not been causing him any issues.) I find that he is very sensitive in the mouth. he is nervous to put anything in his mouth that he is not familiar with. I find him to be more motivated by familiarity (i.e. familiar foods) than special tastes. I tried putting all different juices in his mouth to get him to want to suck up but he is annoyed with the task.


Right now, my therapist suggested that I try using a large chocolate syringe ( it's an over sized syringe kids love to pour chocolate in their mouth!) which hopefully, will motivate him to suck the tip.


I am scheduled to see Lori Overland in November but I would love to get some tips now already.




Hi Miriam,

I'm Whitney, a TalkTools® Instructor. Thanks for your email regarding your son. Please know you are not doing anything wrong. Often times straw drinking is very difficult to teach so be patient. I am very encouraged that you are scheduled to see Lori Overland in a few weeks. Hands on approach is so much better than any suggestions I can give you without getting my hands on your child.  

For now I would use the honey bear to teach this technique and add a highly flavored favorite liquid. I would also recommend to make the consistency a little thicker than water to help with tolerating this new motor skill. I often use a favorite yogurt or pudding and add water.   For now I would just continue to get acceptance of the honey bear and the straw to his mouth. Do not continue to push it if he becomes easily frustrated as we want to be able to address this skill when you see Lori Overland.  

Please let me know if you have any other questions.  


Whitney B. Pimentel MA, CCC-SLP

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Ask a Therapist: Speech and language delay with the Straw and Horn Kits

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hello! I am Maria and I live in Singapore. I have just purchased the parent kit and started with the Horn #1 and have not seen any major problem so far. I am concerned about the Straw #1. When I started my son (he has some speech and language delay), he seemed to stop learning how to drink with a straw. Well, he could use a normal staw before - but with biting, but when he uses the Straw #1, he tries to bite and no longer sips - when he was able to bite and sip on normal straws before. Do you think I must start with a pre-requisite tool before Straw #1? I am helping him straw with the support of my hand but to no avail.

Thank you,


Sometimes changing the straw texture can be difficult if they've been using a motor plan for one that can not transition to another. My suggestion would be to use the Honey Bear with straw that has a flexible tubing that is firm but not completely stiff. It is designed so that if he cannot initiate the suck easily, you can squeeze the cup and help him learn the motor plan without biting. Providing jaw support can help. Once he is independent on the Honey Bear with Straw, you can again transition to Straw #1.

Your local TalkTools distributor may be able to help you find a local therapist with TalkTools training who can better assess and monitor your son's therapy.

I hope this helps!

Renee Roy Hill

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