Tagged "sensory feedback"


Ask a Therapist: TMJ Sensory Feedback for Calming

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hey Sara,

 

Recently you had a parent open question meeting in Corpus Christi, TX. I was there with my 8 month old baby. You were talking to a woman who's 5ish son with Down syndrome was repeatedly hitting his chin and you mentioned he was satisfying a feeling that was in his jaw by that action. I have noticed my baby has started doing that with her left hand. What do you recommend to help correct/redirect this behavior now?

 

-L

Hi L,

The sight of stability and calming for an infant is in the temporomandibular joint. This joint is where the upper and lower jaw meet right below the ear. There are more nerve endings going through that joint than any other location in the human body. When a baby sucks his/her thumb, sucks from a bottle, sucks on a pacifier, etc. the nerves in that joint are stimulated and the baby calms or even falls a sleep. If your child is doing other behaviors to stimulate the jaw like hitting the chin or for older children it may be teeth grinding, then it is probably time to introduce the Bite-Tube Hierarchy. You can learn more about this and other activities to increase jaw skills for both feeding and speech clarity in my book, "Assessment and Treatment of the Jaw: Putting it all together, Sensory Feeding and Speech."

If you do decide to purchase that book please read the chapter on Sensory first as it will explain to you in more detail the reason why babies and children with muscle-based deficits develop "habits" to compensate for the jaw weaknesses. I would also encourage you to share this information with your SLP as she may have additional suggestions.

I hope this has answered your question.

Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP

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Ask a Therapist: Biting and Feeding Improvement

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi and Good Morning!

 

I am writing from Israel, I have participated in your course that you have presented in November in Jerusalem. Thank Goodness I have been using many of your techniques to assist my clients and I have seen success.

 

Sara, I have an important question to ask regarding an adorable child, Charlie. I will describe Charlie and my results of oral-motor exam administered as best as possible so that you may answer us accordingly! Thank you for your time!

 

I have been seeing Charlie since mid February. Charlie is 3.5 years old. He is developmentally and cognitively delayed (has seizures). According to exam he is both hyper-hypo sensitive, he enjoyed the toothette (with orange juice) in his mouth- at home he constantly requests for the pink, fluffy toothette. He allowed me to go around his mouth and in the mouth after a lot of work. (The second session he only let the toothettes). Charlie's jaw, tongue and lips are weak, and there is not enough dissociation between jaw, lips and tongue. Little grading of jaw, needs jaw assistance to drink from straw #1.

 

Tongue thrust while drinking. Lip closure, protrusion, rounding is poor. Speech is limited to single syllable words (deletes sounds), or short phrases-he is not so clear. He is being treated by PROMPT therapist since he is 2 years old. I have given them a structured program including many tools you have taught (ice stickchewy tube, etc.). They have been practicing and carrying out exercises every day...he is starting to feel his mouth, they have seen a lot of drooling, sticking hands in mouth constantly and even so more, a lot of biting (siblings, friends). Parents are very concerned, they understand that the exercises will help him feel and strengthen lips, jaw and tongue, better speech and feeding. But, now there is excessive biting and touching of the mouth!

 

Sara, is this a normal occurrence?

Yes I do see this response when a child first identifies the positive sensory feedback from increased jaw movements. It is actually a positive sign but I can see why the family is concerned. I will make the following suggestions:

1. Make sure they are doing the Bite-Tube Hierarchy set with as many of the 4 tubes he can use, 10 times each day and to do them as soon as he makes the move to bite someone or touching his mouth.

2. Add the Bite Block exercise and the gum chewing exercise.

If you do all of these exercises, everyday, he will not need to bite. I hope this answers your question.

Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP

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