Tagged "yellow chewy tube"


Ask A Therapist: Chewy Tubes for a one-year-old

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi!

 

I am working with a little boy who is about a year old, developmentally (orally) is around 8-9 months. I gave the family the yellow chewy tube to practice biting/chewing, in addition to desensitizing gag reflex--instructing them to use with close adult supervision. The caregiver reports to me that his pediatrician told her not to give him the chewy tube as it is "too advanced for him". My question: is there a particular age range for these chewy tubes? Is there any information I can provide this doctor to support the use of chewy tubes in the treatment of feeding for speech therapy?

 

Thank you so much!

 

Sarah

 

Hi Sarah,

I am sorry the child's pediatrician is not as accepting of the chewy tubes.  I have used the chewy tubes with much younger children so I am not sure why the pediatrician is opposed to it.  It might be worth calling and discussing with him.  Maybe giving him the website, blog link, and more information about it would be helpful.  

The only other chewy tube that you could try that would be easier is the red chewy tube.

Please let me know if you have anything else come up or have any other 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: Child with a small mouth

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi TalkTools,

I am working with a child with a very small mouth, and the Yellow Chewy Tube is still too big and too hard for him. What would you recommend I use with him instead until he can use that? Thanks.

Jennifer

 

Hi Jennifer,

I received your question regarding your patient with the very small mouth. There are two things that I would try. You could do the gum chewing exercise that is explained in detail in Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson's book Assessment and Treatment of the Jaw, page 115.  I would just use a small enough piece of gum to fit in your client's mouth.  I would also try to work on the Sensory Friendly Bite Blocks (Purple) and gradually work up from the smallest and see if this would eventually increase the oral range of motion for your client. I would then revisit the chewy tube and see if he is able after working on the other exercises.  I hope these ideas help.  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: Unsupervised Chewing

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hello, My patient was evaluated by you in June of 2014.  We are currently using the red chewy tube and yellow chewy tube in therapy and at home to improve jaw strength and stability. However, the patient is now seeking ‘input’ orally- especially with chewing, now more than ever before.  How can we support this sensory need without promoting undesirable skills like jaw sliding?  Is there something else she can chew on- unsupervised? Thank you!

The situation you describe is one I see with many of my clients.  Once the clients "feel" jaw mobility using the "Bite Tube Hierarchy" and are thereby receiving the needed temporo-mandibular joint stimulation for calming they often increase their need or desire to mobilize the jaw (seeking oral input).  The Bite Tube Hierarchy will eventually incorporate four tubes as described in the book, "Oral Placement Therapy for Speech Clarity and Feeding."  The goal of the tools is to give the needed stimulation to increase jaw stability so that the client will then transition that skill into feeding and speech thereby eliminating the need for the tool and the need to chew on non-food items.  For this reason I do ask therapists to not give these tubes to the kids as then they may use them with an inappropriate jaw slide or jut.

With that said, however, you do ask an important question, " Is there something else she can chew on - unsupervised?"  Since I do not know the name of your client I cannot refer to the Program Plan I wrote for her/him I can only list for you the additional options: Slow Feed for snacks, Gum Chewing (without swallowing the gum) and Jaw Grading Bite Blocks. Each of these therapy techniques is taught in that same book, "Oral Placement Therapy for Speech Clarity and Feeding."  In addition, they are taught in the class, "A Three part Treatment Plan for Oral Placement Therapy" which will give you the gestalt of why and how to work on muscle-based speech clarity deficits.

Our goal for anyone with jaw weakness and instability is to increase the skill so that the jaw can support the independent movement of the lips and tongue for speech clarity and feeding safety so that is why I am focusing on the therapy suggestions above.

However, I still have not answered your question.  There are many sensory tools sold by TalkTools and other companies that allow the child to hold the tool without supervision as they are not working on jaw grading but are instead focusing on sensory feedback.  They include the Star Vibrator, Chewy Tubes, and ARK products.  As long as you are not using the tools used in the "Bite Tube Hierarchy" your client can hold and chew on any of the other options.

Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP

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Ask a Therapist: Therapy Cards and Chewy Tubes

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Hi Sara, I am Jonathan's speech therapist, his Mom and I had a few questions for you. 1. When working with your therapy cards should we provide jaw support due to his jaw sliding or just stay on lower level cards that don't cause his jaw to slide until his jaw strengthens from the OPT exercises?

Stay on the lower level cards. As he progresses through the Bite Tubes and the Bite Blocks you can ​add higher level cards.

2. Is it okay for Joe to use the yellow chewy tube unmonitored throughout the day to replace his finger and tongue chewing even though his jaw may slide while he chews it? (The yellow tube causes his jaw to slide more than red).

No, those tubes need to be used only for exercises as stated in the program plan.  You can give him other tubes to chew on throughout the day.  TalkTools carries many other tubes for this sensory need.  Try one of the nubby ones as that may be just what he needs.

3. Is it possible his lower jaw pulls to the right during speech because of a structural issue and not muscle weakness?

I did not see any structural issue when I evaluated him in January so unless he has had an accident I would say no.  This sliding should be corrected as you progress through the jaw exercises.  It is only 4 months since I saw him and jaw weakness is a tough problem to correct. Give yourself at least one year before you start looking into other possibilities​.

Thanks for your time! These were questions concerns that come up during a conversation with mom.

Feel free to contact us at anytime

Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP

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