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