Tagged "purple grabber"

Ask A Therapist: Jaw Stability

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hello. I am working with a 6 year old boy who shifts his bottom jaw when producing most fricative and sibilant phonemes. According to his dentist he does not have any structural abnormalities. When working with him he is able to keep jaw stable but it is not without effort and he has yet to generalize. I was wondering what tool(s) you would recommend for me to use with him.


Thank you.




Hi Pamela,

It sounds to me like you may be dealing with some underlying jaw weakness and instability. If you have not seen the 3 Part Treatment Plan video or read the "Assessment and Treatment of the Jaw" book these would be great references. I would work on using the z-vibe with blue tip, and the Bite Tube Set (red bite tube, yellow bite tube, purple grabber, and green grabber).  Jaw stability is the foundation for speech and feeding.  If there is any weakness on one side or both sides these tools will help to correct that. Please let us know if you have any other questions or if anything else comes up.


Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP


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: Biting through Chew Tools

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

My 5 year old son has Down syndrome and chews on grabbers (purple and green Ps). He chews and bites so hard that he bites through the tubes. Any recommendations? He only eats pureed food, bananas and cheerios. He can chew chicken but doesn't want to.



It sounds like your son likes the sensory information he gets from these tools and uses them frequently! You may want to look at how he is chewing on the tools. When using the tools on their own, many children who are sensory seekers grind their teeth back and forth rather than chewing up and down. Besides causing the tools to break down quickly, the children do not learn the up and down chew skill we hope to teach.

There may be a couple of options. TalkTools has a therapeutic Bite Tube Hierarchy that may be a good addition to your current program to teach him to use a controlled up and down chew (this is a pre-requisite prefeeding program when we work to introduce solids). By doing this systematically throughout the day, and being aware of the movement he's using, you can give him the input he's looking for, but also develop better jaw stability and grading skills that he can use for chewing foods and for speaking. You may also want to look at Lori Overland's course "Feeding Therapy: A Sensory Motor Approach.” She teaches how to develop these skills for feeding. Consider looking at some alternative tools for him to chew on that discourage a grinding movement as well. The Knobby Green Chewy Tube has bumps that often facilitate a better chew pattern.

I hope this helps!

Renee Roy Hill

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