Monthly Archives: June 2011

Q&A – Jaw Grading & Stability

Q:  Can you please tell me how to use (oral exercises) ARK’s Animal Tips for jaw grading and stability?  Also, where are the bite blocks? Please explain the different levels of thickness on the tips. I am working with a 20-month-old with limited sounds including vowels and consonants and low tone.

A:  Dear therapist,

I am glad you emailed me with such a great question.   The Animal Tips have bite blocks on their reverse sides to work on jaw grading and stability.  They are of three distinct thicknesses to increase the level of difficulty as the individual progresses.  The Dog Tip has the thickest block; the Mouse Tip a thinner block; and the Cat Tip the thinnest.  They also come in two different resiliencies (soft and hard) to accommodate various sensory preferences.

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Q&A – How to Improve a Weak Suck

Q:  I am looking for suggestions for our 2-year-old son with epilepsy. He currently functions at a 6 month level.  He can eat by mouth (only stage 2 or 3 baby foods), but lacks a suck.  He can swallow well, but we have to use a syringe to get liquid into his mouth first.  I do have the Z-Vibe with the Cat and Mouse Tips, but since his mouth is so tiny, they haven’t really helped. Can you suggest any others?  

I’ve also tried a ton of cups and nothing has helped.  If we don’t see improvements soon, we will probably get the g-tube just for liquids.  He has had one before, but we would prefer to get him to take everything by mouth.  I have seen him suck on his finger and make a sound – so he is doing it at times.  He will be getting Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in three weeks along with intensive speech therapy, and I want to make sure I have all the products that he may need.   Any thoughts?

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