Tagged "parent kit"


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: 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.

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Ask A Therapist: Horn Help

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hello,

 

I purchased the TalkTools Parent Kit back in December, and have been implementing the oral placement therapy with the support of my daughter's speech therapist since January.

 

We are making great progress with the straws and the bite tubes, but have hit a road block with the horns. My daughter, who will be two years old next month and has Down syndrome, is able to make a sound on Horn #1, but she also bites on the horn when she blows. As well, she sometimes uses her voice as well as blowing (sort of like a kazoo).

 

I'm not sure where to go from here.

 

Her speech therapist suggested stopping the horn hierarchy for a while and trying to get her to blow bubbles. I've tried blowing bubbles, and she can do it but isn't much interested. We've also taken a break from the horn, but any time I go back to it she does the same thing...although she's interested in the horn.

 

Please help! It is amazing what an improvement we've seen in such a short time. I know the horn hierarchy is an important component of what we're trying to do here, and I don't want to miss out on the benefits!

 

Thank you for the important work you are doing. I know my daughter is a bright, funny little girl. I want others to see what I see. Speech clarity and her appearance (tongue retraction) are critical to creating a positive first impression and breaking down negative stereotypes about people with Down syndrome.

 

Words cannot properly express the hope it gives me for her future to hear her speak clearly with confidence, when we were told she wouldn't be able to do that. Thank you for not accepting the status quo.  Thank you for using your expertise to help my little girl and others like her who needed someone to take the time to figure out the why and come up with the how.

 

Jerilee

 

Hi Jerilee,

Let me begin by saying how pleased I am that you are seeing such good progress in the short time you are using the Straw Hierarchy and the Bite-Tube Hierarchy with your two-year-old!

Your speech therapist's suggestion to go to bubble blowing was a good one, as it will establish the motor plan for blowing without making a vocal sound. Here is what I would suggest:

1. Have your daughter blow the bubble 1 time as you say "blow." Remove the bubble wand.

2. Place your non-dominant hand under her chin with your thumb against her lower jaw to keep her from biting on the horn.

3. Place the mouthpiece of the horn on her lower lip as you say "blow." Remove the horn, and if necessary, go back to the bubbles to establish the motor plan.

Thank you for your kind words about the work we are doing at TalkTools. Your comments about your daughter's emerging speech clarity put a smile on my face. Please let us know if you have any additional questions as you work through the program.

Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP

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Ask A Therapist: Trouble Blowing

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hello. I recently purchased the parent kit to use with my son, Patrick. Patrick is 4 years old, has autism and low-muscle tone, and is not yet speaking.  I would like to begin the program with him as soon as possible, but he does not understand how to blow yet. I have begun to work on this by modeling and using bubbles, and will ask his school to focus on this goal. Do I need to wait until he can blow a horn to start or can I begin with just the straws and chewy tubes?

 

Also, Patrick constantly pulls straws out of cups while drinking. Do you have any suggestions for this? I thought about buying more lip blocks to put under the cup lid so that he won't be able to remove it.

 

Thanks!

Hello and happy new year!

Thanks for your questions regarding our parent kit.

You can start with straws and bite tubes before blowing tasks absolutely. In fact by working on jaw lip tongue dissociation you are targeting the necessary skills to move towards phonation tasks.

I'd consult with PT/OT to help with blowing. This is often a sign of apraxia but also is an issue with core strength and rib cage expansion. Start with bubbles step A of the hierarchy - this is is when you pop the bubbles on the lips. It's great to do this with your child laying in a prone position pushing up on the hands for core stability.

Finally I often put a rubber band under the lid on the straw wrapped rightly 5 or 6 times so the straw can't be pulled out!

Thanks for your interest in TalkTools!

Robyn Merkel Walsh, 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,

Maria

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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