Tagged "Success Stories"

Success Story - Ozzie's World

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

We recently asked our Facebook fans to share their experience using TalkTools® therapy techniques, and we received some great responses. One of our favorites was from Jason Smith who wrote about his son, Ozzie. Here is what Jason had to say about his family's experience using the TalkTools® Honey Bear:

Ozzie's World - BeachOzzie's World

"Ozzie was born on June 1, 2014. We found out that he might have Down Syndrome on June 2nd. The diagnosis was confirmed on June 4th. Our world was turned upside down.

Having no experience with Down Syndrome, we feared the worst, but I wish we knew what we know now. Ozzie is pure joy! He loves his siblings, he is a ham, he loves the beach and swimming, and he has captured the hearts of countless people.

Down Syndrome is not as scary as one might think, but it is hard work.

Ozzie has been in therapy since he was two months old. We are committed to providing Ozzie with all of the tools and skills necessary to succeed. Being an English teacher, Ozzie's mom is especially driven to facilitate and develop his speech.

Before speech can develop, oral muscle tone must be strengthened. Ozzie nurses like a champ but really struggled with a bottle, cup, and straw. We felt that mastering the use of a straw would help Ozzie with his oral muscle tone and speech development. Drinking from a straw requires different muscles. We struggled with regular straws and baby cups and were left frustrated and defeated.

One day, Ozzie's physical therapist mentioned the Honey Bear from TalkTools as a possible aid. We ordered it immediately and followed the training guidelines that TalkTools recommended. Within a couple of weeks Ozzie was drinking from a straw on his own! He was four months old and we were thrilled. Ozzie was a four month old baby, with Down Syndrome, who could effortlessly transition from breastfeeding to drinking from a straw!

Raising a child with special needs takes extra patience, dedication, and love. It is also the most rewarding and humbling experience. We try to educate ourselves on any ideas, methods, or products out there that can help Ozzie along the way. TalkTools has been invaluable in assisting Ozzie. Thank you for providing support, guidance, and assistance to all of those who struggle to learn new skills."

Congratulations to Ozzie on his success with the Honey Bear, his parents are doing a wonderful job and we love seeing his cute pictures on Facebook. Keep up the good work!

Follow Ozzie's journey on Facebook

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Dashiell Wins The Award For Self-Advocacy

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

"When our son Dashiell was born in early 2004 with Down syndrome, we immediately began researching possible intervention and therapy options. We realized that in our talkative family, speech would be our priority. When we found an article by Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP about her oral-motor therapy, the connections between feeding and speech really made sense to us, especially since we could start working on speech skills before Dashiell was talking. When Dashiell was five months old, I attended Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT's class on feeding children with Down syndrome and started doing the feeding and oral-motor therapy exercises at home. When he was a year old, we started working with Sara and other TalkTools therapists whenever the visiting clinics came to our area. Dashiell has been using the exercises at home for almost 10 years. He has worked his way through the feeding exercises, the straw hierarchy, and the bite blocks and is currently working on using the jaw exerciser, button pull, and tongue depressor push ups among other exercises.

The TalkTools program has helped Dashiell immensely. Because of his good muscle tone and habits, his speech is understood by unfamiliar listeners almost all of the time. His strong speech skills have opened many doors for him. He loves telling stories and jokes, and his friends in a typical classroom can understand him. He has made presentations to many classes and groups about what it is like to have Down syndrome and even emceed an event for over 600 people. We are so grateful that Dashiell can express his feelings and ideas. He has a lot of great stuff to say!"

-Dashiell's parents


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Baby T and Her Ties

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

"When our daughter was born with a tongue and lip tie, we were presented with a problem that we didn't know how to address. Breastfeeding is important to us and we really wanted to give it our best effort. Feeling overwhelmed after having an unsuccessful tongue tie revision, we turned to Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT and the TalkTools team in the hopes that some oral motor therapy would help strengthen her tongue and jaw. We started doing oral motor exercises several times a day before breastfeeding and started seeing some improvement pretty quickly. Lori noticed that her tongue still seemed restricted (all long distance via video by the way, which I thought was especially impressive!). We ended up having a more thorough revision of her tongue, and also had her lip tie revised. Within a couple of weeks, we had a baby with a very strong suck and whose symptoms of gagging, choking, and being unable to hold a strong suck while feeding had disappeared. I truly believe that all the oral exercises we did beforehand contributed to the success we saw. Our daughter was five months old at the time and we are so grateful that at almost a year, she’s still breastfeeding."

Anonymous parent

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Knightly's First Word!

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Moments like this are exactly why we LOVE what we do!

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