Tagged "straw #1"

Ask A Therapist: Down Syndrome & Teeth Grinding

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on



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,




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.




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: 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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