Tagged "Liz Smithson"


Ask A Therapist: Chewy Tubes for a one-year-old

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi!

 

I am working with a little boy who is about a year old, developmentally (orally) is around 8-9 months. I gave the family the yellow chewy tube to practice biting/chewing, in addition to desensitizing gag reflex--instructing them to use with close adult supervision. The caregiver reports to me that his pediatrician told her not to give him the chewy tube as it is "too advanced for him". My question: is there a particular age range for these chewy tubes? Is there any information I can provide this doctor to support the use of chewy tubes in the treatment of feeding for speech therapy?

 

Thank you so much!

 

Sarah

 

Hi Sarah,

I am sorry the child's pediatrician is not as accepting of the chewy tubes.  I have used the chewy tubes with much younger children so I am not sure why the pediatrician is opposed to it.  It might be worth calling and discussing with him.  Maybe giving him the website, blog link, and more information about it would be helpful.  

The only other chewy tube that you could try that would be easier is the red chewy tube.

Please let me know if you have anything else come up or have any other questions. We are always happy to help.

Thanks,

Liz

Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 10 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

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Ask A Therapist: Down Syndrome & Teeth Grinding

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hello, 

 

I have a 23 months old baby boy with Down Syndrome, who is grinding his teeth so bad lately. It is so annoying sometimes. He has 9 teeth and feeding is doing much better at this time. We have the Parent Kit and we are using the Straw #1. My husband is thinking to take him to a pediatric dentist, but I believe I can find an answer from the TalkTools experts. Please help us, we are desperately.

 

 

Thank you,

 

Lucy

 

Hi Lucy,

What you are mentioning is a common concern I hear from parents of children with Down Syndrome.  You are right to follow your instincts. Often we see children grind their teeth as a sign of jaw weakness and a need for sensory input. When I see patients who are often grinding their teeth we work on chewing on the chewy tubes frequently throughout the day. This will help with jaw strengthening and providing sensory input.  If you would like more information about how to do this and why, there are two video that you might find helpful: "A Three Part Treatment Plan for Oral Placement Therapy" and "Developing Oral Sensory Motor Skills to Support Feeding in the Down Syndrome Population.". Please let me know if you have anymore questions. 

We are always happy to help.

Thanks,

Liz

 

Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 10 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

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Ask A Therapist: Straw D

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi, 

 

I have a student who just started straw D with the pudding today and after 25 mins with very little progress we called it a day (I work on a school so missing an hour of class won't work). After he left, I tried it myself with the same results! What is normal for this straw? He has gone through the whole program working on his /r/ and I know this last straw is very important for retraction but it seems impossible to drink pudding through straw D. Is it common for people to feel this way initially?

 

Also, any recommendations for cleaning the straw? Water from the faucet didn't get the pudding out and neither blowing. I see quite a few kids for the program so I would prefer to only have to use one straw per student and not one each day.

 

Thank you so much!

 

Alicia

TalkTools | Straw D new cleaning kit

Hi Alicia,

I hate that you are having a hard time with straw D.  I know this is a very difficult straw but it definitely should not be taking that long.  The things going through my head first of all would be: if you cannot drink it, then it may be too thick.  Every pudding is different, but you may have to thin it to a point where you can do it. It does still need to be pudding consistency.  If you have thinned it to the point that you can drink it and your client cannot then I would question if your client still needs to be on the previous straw.  Just a thought.

As far as cleaning it, we recently developed a Cleaning Kit that includes, among others, a bulb syringe to push the liquid out of straws and a 30" flexible tube brush that fits into most straws.  If you still cannot clean straw D, I would suggest that you order that straw in bulk for all of your clients.  Unfortunately because of the diameter of this straw having to be so small to achieve the tongue retraction required, it makes it almost impossible to clean.  

Please let me know if you have any other questions.  We are always here and happy to help.

Thanks,

Liz

 

Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 10 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

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Ask A Therapist: 17 year old with Autism

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi, 

 

My son is 17 and has Autism. He has received speech services since he was 2.8 months old. The most successful therapy has been PROMPT for him. Currently he has 3 therapists working with him. One specializes in PROMPT, the other specializes with his talker device and the other is on the team. My son rarely uses his talker which he acquired about 3 years ago. He basically uses one word to meet his wants.  Unknown people can't understand him. He has hypotonia. He drops off the ending of his words. We recently (Fall of 2015) brought back PROMPT therapist as his speech was regressing with traditional imitative speech therapy. He was saying the /sh/ sound for the /s/ sound and we were having trouble getting the retraction.  Would the horn program help and if so how? And could I do it as a parent? I use PROMPT with my son to correct the /s/ as in yes, but I am not using PROMPT extensively as the SLP is in therapy.

 

Thanks for your advice.

 

Gina

 

Hi Gina,

I am a speech language pathologist who is trained in Prompt as well as TalkTools. I often use the two together for many of the patients I see. I feel they are two approaches that often help my patients with difficulty with verbal communication. I think it is great that you are considering pursuing both for your son. I would encourage you to try to find a TalkTools trained therapist in your area to evaluate your son and create a program plan for you to follow if that is available. You can do it all yourself but you would need to watch the video A Three-Part Treatment Plan for Oral Placement Therapy and follow the directions included in your kit. The horns would work on tongue retraction as well as the Bubble Kit and straw drinking. I often use these activities together with patients working on tongue retraction.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

I am happy to help.

Thanks,

Liz

 

Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 10 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

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Ask A Therapist: A good start for a child with Down Syndrome

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi there, my daughter is 2.5 years old, she has Down syndrome. We live in New Zealand. Can you please let me know what you would recommend for her? She is making sounds and attempting to say a few words. She uses sign language - and has approx 30 signs. Her tongue protrudes every now and then. She has no dribbling issues.

 

Thank you,

 

Cassy

 

Hi Cassy,

I would start with the videos: "Developing Oral Sensory Motor Skills to Support Feeding in the Down Syndrome Population" and "A Three Part Treatment Plan for Oral Placement Therapy". These will help you get the clear understanding of how to do TalkTools Therapy with your child if there is not a trained therapist available. The Parent Kit would be a good place to start as far as tools go to use with your child. You will probably need more in the near future but I think that is a good place to start.  

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,

Liz

 

Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 10 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

Read more →