Tagged "straw program"


Ask a Therapist: Straws and Tongue Placement

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi Sara,

I have taken your Oral Placement course and you currently have devised a plan regarding this program for my son Cole. I have a question however it is regarding something I am seeing in treatment (I am an OT) when using the straw program. I have a patient who has down syndrome, 6 months ago could not form a seal around a straw much less retrieve fluid. She had/has frequent tongue protrusion which limited this skill. Using your techniques she has gained the ability to form a good lip seal (with cheek cueing provided) and can retrieve liquid. What is happening however is that after she sucks 1-2 times (I believe when she is going to swallow) she protrudes her tongue which then breaks the seal and continues to use a pattern we are trying to correct. Any suggestions or insight on this situation? This child has also learned to blow horn #1 and can do with cheek cueing for 8 blows before compensation. At times she has some nasal airflow which I believe her tongue (midblade) elevates and impacts based on the sound she makes when this happens. She can do bubbles as well with same cueing. Last bit of information on whistles and bubbles I included in case it helped with answering my original question. Thank you for your time!

I have seen the behaviors you describe concerning the suckle pattern with straw drinking.  Here is what I would try.  Have her draw the liquid 1 time, remove the straw, once she swallows, put the straw in again.  See if the single-sip technique helps with the tongue retraction.  Also, make sure the tip of the straw is on the surface of her lower lips and that she is drawing the liquid back using lip protrusion with tongue retraction.  If the straw is on her tongue blade that might also explain why you are seeing the protrusion.  I hope this helps. 

Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP

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Ask a Therapist: Frontal Lisp

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi,

I am an SLP in an elementary school in Virginia. I have been recently viewing your course A Three-Part Treatment Plan for Oral Placement Therapy. I have found your information to be extremely fascinating and, although I have 2 more hours, I have learned so much through your training. I do have a question. I have a 3rd grade student that is considered having a frontal lisp. He fronts many sounds. He is able to accurately produce the /s/ in conversation, when structured and prompted. However, in the course a child was mentioned that was able to accurately produce the /s/ in the structured setting, but once the setting was relaxed, she reverted back to her resting/comfortable position  of frontal sounds. Being that he is a typically developing child (9 years), would the bubble blowing and/or horn hierarchy be appropriate?

My thoughts would be that I need to work on establishing tongue retraction. I am just wondering what your professional judgement would be, considering he sounds a lot like  the girl that played "golf-ball air hockey" against Sara's daughter. I appreciate any thoughts you may be able to share! Thank you so much for your time and expertise!

 

Hi,

Thank you so much for your interest in TalkTools.

I am so glad you are enjoying the course and learning so much.  You are definitely on track with the client you are referring to.  It takes a while to establish the correct resting position for the tongue.  Keep in mind that this child has had his tongue in the wrong position for many years now so you are correcting a bad habit as well.  It is difficult to give detailed suggestions without seeing the child but have you assessed his jaw?  I would look at his jaw placement when he is producing the sound in a variety of contexts.  An excellent tongue retraction exercise is also the straw hierarchy so you may want to consider adding this to his treatment plan as well.

I hope this helps.  Please let me know if you have any other questions.  Thanks so much and good luck.

Whitney Pimentel

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Ask a Therapist: Tongue Placement

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi, I am hoping you can offer a suggestion.

I am an SLP and see a 2 YO child who began sucking on his tongue and had a forward tongue posture before I started seeing him. Once I started working with him I had the family switch to straws only and eliminated the sippy cup. They did that and he continued to have tongue sucking behaviors. Now, he has switched to twisting/turning his tongue around his mouth and it is interfering with his speech sound productions.

I tried to introduce vibration to provide sensory stimulation, but he does not tolerate that in his mouth. I also gave him a chewy tube as a substitution and he will tolerate it, but it is not eliminating the problem.

Do you have any product suggestions? I would greatly appreciate it. He has no drooling, no muscle weakness, and no feeding difficulties. I have never seen a child do this before.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions or product recommendations!

I have a few thoughts on this to help you:

1. Make sure there is not a structural or physiological problem, for example enlarged tonsils and adenoids. If the tongue must be displaced forward for breathing for example it could start these odd habits. Look for a tongue tie.

2. The sensory-motor systems cannot be separated. Though you say there are no feeding issues, I suspect there may be some breakdown in oral-motor development. Look carefully at developmental norms. This will soon be available in the feeding book Lori and I wrote, or you can look into taking Lori's feeding class if you have not already. If this child sucks his tongue at rest, there may be similar patterns on the straw.

3. Use of chewy tubes and sensory motor activities are most useful when you work from the outside of the mouth to the inside of the mouth and the therapy is led by the therapist. So I would not recommend handing the chewy tube to the child, but rather follow Lori's pre-feeding Chewing Hierarchy.

4. Finally, for the tongue sucking, I would recommend tasks that work on tongue retraction. The TalkTools Straw program and TalkTools Horn program, when executed by the directions on the tools kits would be excellent, as would TalkTools Bubble Kit. If you wanted to learn more, we have self-study courses for each of these kits!

Thanks for your interest in TalkTools!

Robyn Merkel-Walsh

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