Hi and Good Morning!
I am writing from Israel, I have participated in your course that you have presented in November in Jerusalem. Thank Goodness I have been using many of your techniques to assist my clients and I have seen success.
Sara, I have an important question to ask regarding an adorable child, Charlie. I will describe Charlie and my results of oral-motor exam administered as best as possible so that you may answer us accordingly! Thank you for your time!
I have been seeing Charlie since mid February. Charlie is 3.5 years old. He is developmentally and cognitively delayed (has seizures). According to exam he is both hyper-hypo sensitive, he enjoyed the toothette (with orange juice) in his mouth- at home he constantly requests for the pink, fluffy toothette. He allowed me to go around his mouth and in the mouth after a lot of work. (The second session he only let the toothettes). Charlie’s jaw, tongue and lips are weak, and there is not enough dissociation between jaw, lips and tongue. Little grading of jaw, needs jaw assistance to drink from straw #1.
Tongue thrust while drinking. Lip closure, protrusion, rounding is poor. Speech is limited to single syllable words (deletes sounds), or short phrases-he is not so clear. He is being treated by PROMPT therapist since he is 2 years old. I have given them a structured program including many tools you have taught (ice stick, chewy tube, etc.). They have been practicing and carrying out exercises every day…he is starting to feel his mouth, they have seen a lot of drooling, sticking hands in mouth constantly and even so more, a lot of biting (siblings, friends). Parents are very concerned, they understand that the exercises will help him feel and strengthen lips, jaw and tongue, better speech and feeding. But, now there is excessive biting and touching of the mouth!
Sara, is this a normal occurrence?
Yes I do see this response when a child first identifies the positive sensory feedback from increased jaw movements. It is actually a positive sign but I can see why the family is concerned. I will make the following suggestions:
1. Make sure they are doing the Bite-Tube Hierarchy set with as many of the 4 tubes he can use, 10 times each day and to do them as soon as he makes the move to bite someone or touching his mouth.
2. Add the Bite Block exercise and the gum chewing exercise.
If you do all of these exercises, everyday, he will not need to bite. I hope this answers your question.