Good morning! If you have not yet seen, I have announced the 3 winners of the Word Stress app giveaway! Congratulations to Laura, Stephanie, and Melissa! There will be another giveaway posted this week, so stay tuned.
Last week, I received a package in the mail from ARK Therapeutic. The package contained oral motor tools to use with students/ patients that are working on chewing and swallowing. I was thrilled to learn about these products and have just began to use them. I have an 8 year old private patient I work on feeding skills with. Currently, she is on a mostly pureed diet. Her mother and I wanted to introduce more foods to her diet and work on chewing skills. Last week I began using the Grabber with her. The Grabber is a mouthing tool that provides the opportunity for her to work on jaw movements, tongue movements, and oral exploration. It is a chewy tool that helps desensitize the mouth and allow her to practice chewing. This product also helps reduce teeth grinding and chewing on non-food items (which can result in choking). I introduced the Grabber to her by dipping in into yogurt (her favorite treat!) That way she was receptive to the tool and willing to put something unfamiliar into her in her mouth. So far, she has been willing to use the Grabber. She has not yet chewed on it, but she is willing to put the Grabber in her mouth. Her mother keeps it on hand to use when she begins grinding her teeth during the week when I am not working with her.
There are also textured and scented Grabbers to use in the future with her when introducing new foods and textures. Another bonus for this tool is that it is made from medical grade solid materials with no holes or crevices where bacteria or saliva can hide. You can put the Grabber in the dishwasher, too! I will continue to keep you all updated on her progress with this tool and other products from ARK. Have you used any oral motor tools like these with your students?