Belle is now 6 months old and we have been working with the Honey Bear for over a month. She is doing a fantastic job learning how to drink out of a straw and control her tongue and mouth. She has learned to close her mouth around the straw which has assisted her in taking consecutive drinks. We could not be more thrilled with her progress. And we were lucky that we were able to capture one of her longest drinks on video! She drank for several seconds without stopping! We cannot express how fun it is for us to see our baby girl getting the hang of the straw and controlling her mouth and tongue in the process.

Children with Down Syndrome typically experience some delays in overall physical growth and tone. This is why various therapies are so important for Miss Belle! Her low tone also affects her oral cavity which is, of course, the foundation for feeding and drinking.  Working with Whitney, our TalkTools Therapist, to help Belle with tongue retraction, jaw strength, and stability has helped us understand the importance of this program. As she gets older, the need for speech and additional oral motor skills will continue. Even though Belle is not “talking” yet, we know that we doing what is best for Belle as early as possible. We look forward to this journey with optimism and know that we are doing all we can for her. We are so proud of her progress!

-Lanie Beetsma

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