Toothettes, Jigglers and Z-Vibes.. Oh My!

Today was day one of the TalkTools seminar that I attended on Long Island, Foundations in Feeding and Speech Clarity, Oral Placement Therapy. Well the day did not start out too well to say the least. First I woke up at 6:50 AM, registration was to start at 7:45 and the seminar started at 8:30 AM. In most other areas of the US, you could have simply hurried and still made it on time at least to the start of the class. WELL those of us that live in the New York Tri-State area would have probably thought that it would have been best to just go back to sleep! So I hurried the most I could and left most of the kid duties up to Hubby.. (sorry hon!)
Even with driving like a maniac, I still arrived an hour late.. I HATE Manhattan traffic!!! How is it possible I hit traffic on EVERY SINGLE imangineable road on my way to Uniondale! Yes it’s my fault for waking up late, but good Lord!

Anyway, I finally make it there and it turns out I wasn’t the latest one, but by the time I sat down one of the few seats left was the seat that usually no one wants: The seat right at the very front, right smack next to the presenter… Then I found out that I was the only person there as just a parent. Everyone else there were speech therapists. Nevertheless, I am so glad that I attended this seminar. I have learned so much about the mechanics of feeding and little things you can do to stimulate sound and proper chewing. When I went into the class I had little to no knowledge on all the different tools that can be utilized to help a child along; like toothettes, jigglers and z-vibes (come on! you know you want to say it! OH MY!).

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I was talking to our private speech therapist and she thought these could be great tools, but only when Eli allows us to get close enough to his mouth to use them on him. He tends to be very orally defensive and isn’t a big fan of dry foods going into his mouth let alone a big chewy tube! If we could get that defensiveness down then it would be a great technique to try. I want to see if I can pick up a starters kit of some sort to bring home. When I showed the video of Eli devouring down his pasta to the presenter she thought that it was great that he was eating and enjoying food, BUT he still is not chewing properly. He’s still suckling a portion of his food; which also explains why he hates crunchy food. That also ties into his speech issues with apraxia. The tongue movement that he lacks for moving food around his mouth also affects the types of sounds he makes.

Very interesting all in all, but it makes me wish that I had been more proactive years ago when I first realized that he was making no progress with his first speech therapist. I was just so happy that I found someone that didn’t make him cry that I never questioned her as to why she wasn’t using different techniques or why he was making virtually no progress at all in the areas of speech and feeding. She pretty much worked on trying to get him to say the B and M sound for 2 years, but in reality it would never really come until his feeding issues were addressed. It also explains why Eli tolerated her; because she never pushed him beyond his comfort level. Please don’t get me wrong. She was a great therapist, but I don’t think she knew how to handle Eli’s case. Anyway, after going to a different apraxia workshop I learned that is one of the red flags of a child with apraxia. The child will make little to no progress in speech therapy even after several months.
As they say hindsight is 20/20!

Tomorrow is the last day of the seminar where I will learn how to apply these techniques specifically to an apraxic child which was the main reason for my wanting to take this course. That portion will promptly start at 8:30 so I will now go to bed so that I can wake up at the butt crack ass of dawn to try to make it in time!!

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