Belle is now 2 years and 1 month old and is continuing to do well. You can see in the video below the improvement Belle has made with her Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) exercises. I only made her go to 10 on the horn, but she can do 25 fairly easily when I can her motivated. She loves to say “ten” when we are counting, as you will notice during her horn exercises 🙂

The introduction of gum chewing has also been a big hit. She sees her older siblings chew gum frequently, so she likes the fact that she can participate in something that the big kids do too.

I am continually amazed at Belle’s receptive language and her ability to learn. We have found, however, that she is fairly quick to shut down with her Oral Placement Therapy tasks if she perceives something as too hard, or thinks that she will not be successful.

Our SLP, Whitney Pimentel, was the first one to pick up on this during one of our Skype sessions. Belle was refusing to play one of her horns, because she knew that her first attempt was not on target. Whitney then seamlessly altered our program so that Belle could find success on her previous, lower-level horn, and we could then strategically interject the new horn.

I am also happy to report that Belle has been off the bottle and pacifier for 3 full weeks now! We are so proud of her.

Here is a video of Belle chewing gum, using Bubble Bear & Horn #2:

-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

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