Question: I am an SLP seeing a 8 year old student with a tongue thrust. What products would be the best for addressing the tongue thrust? How long does it usually take for them to affect a change in a child’s lingual placement?
Great question. For tongue thrust therapy, I use the protocol outlined in the book Swallow Right, 2nd edition by Roberta Pierce. It’s a must and a wonderful reference for therapists working on swallowing / tongue thrust therapy. It typically takes me about 12-16 weeks to correct a tongue thrust, depending on the child and other factors of course.
For some of the exercises in the book I use ARK’s Probe. Roberta uses a twizzler or stirrer to do them (the Probe wasn’t developed at the time it was written). But I find it much easier and more effective with the Probe because it provides more input. It’s also a versatile tool for a variety of related skills such as jaw stability, tongue tip elevation, mid tongue elevation, back of tongue elevation, tongue pops, oral awareness, and more. I use one Probe in therapy, and my client has one as well for home practice.