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ARK University

Welcome!  

Compiled here are tips, strategies, and exercises that I have found effective with the children who I personally see and treat.  Please note that the information here is by no means all-inclusive, nor should it be considered a substitute for an in-person evaluation with a speech therapist, occupational therapist, and/or other professionals.  Each child is unique and treatment must be catered to their specific needs accordingly.  But it is my sincere hope that you find some of this information useful towards that end.

All my best,

Debbie

 

FEEDING THERAPY

The must-reads:

Food Refusal - Is It Oral Motor or Is It Sensory?
Oral Defensiveness & Food Aversions
Oral Sensitivities & Low Tone in Children with Down Syndrome
How to Teach Biting & Chewing Skills
How to Develop a Rotary Chewing Pattern
75+ Feeding Therapy Tips & Strategies

More:

The Right & Wrong Way to Spoon Feed
Practicing a Rhythmic Chewing Pattern
Mouth Stuffing & Food Pocketing
Food Pocketing - Possible Causes & What You Can Do
Using Twizzlers as Spoons?!
"Thinking Outside the Plate" Feeding Therapy Strategies
5 Reasons Why Playing with Food Can Lead to Trying New Foods
Tips to Accepting Different Food Textures
The Importance of Supporting Children with Eating Problems
How to Desensitize Children to Cups & Straws
Is Your Child Not Chewing Soft Foods?
Transitioning from Bottle to Cup Drinking
How to Teach Straw Drinking
Finger Feeding Tips for Toddlers
Tips for Pleasing Picky Eaters
G-Tube Advice
Feeding Tips & Tricks for Cleft Babies & Preemies
Consecutive Bites of Food
Improving a Weak Suck
Feeding Issues from Reflux
Straw Drinking Prerequisite: Tongue & Jaw Dissociation
Babies Biting on Straws
When Kids Think Feeding Utensils Are Food

 

ORAL MOTOR THERAPY:

The must-reads:

Oral Motor Exercises
Z-Vibe Oral Motor Exercises
When / How Long to Use the Z-Vibe in Therapy
Oral Sensory Motor Strategies for Children Who Have Down Syndrome
Gum Massage for Oral Stimulation
How to Decrease Tongue Protrusion
Using Gross Motor for Oral Motor - How Trunk Turning Exercises Can Improve Tongue Lateralization
Drooling - How to Target & Address the Causes

More:

Fun, Edible Oral Motor Exercises
Exercises for Jaw Strength & Stability
Exercises for Jaw Grading & Stability
Tongue Pop Exercises for Tongue Movement & Control
Tongue Lateralization & Protrusion
Assisting Lip Closure
Training the Oral Musculature with Lip Bloks
Drooling - Getting to the Root of the Problem
Does the Grabber Work on Different Skills than the Y-Chew?
Thumb Sucking Side Effects & Strategies
How to Teach Blowing Skills 
Why Mouthing Is an Important Stage of Early Oral Development
Food Pocketing - Possible Causes & What You Can Do
Assisting Back of Tongue Elevation for /k/g/y/ Speech Sounds
The Oral Motor Benefits of Straws
Lip Closure & Rounding
Straw Drinking Prerequisite: Tongue & Jaw Dissociation
Tongue Tip Elevation Exercises
Tongue Thrust Therapy
Oral Motor Straw Workout

 

THE ORAL SENSORY NEED TO CHEW:

The Reasons Why Some Kids & Adults Need to Chew
Strategies for Individuals Who Need to Chew
Guide to Choosing the Right Chew Tools
Does Needing to Chew Mean My Child Has Autism or SPD?
Needing to Chew + Drooling
Do Chew Tools Increase the Need to Chew?
Chewing on Ice
Chewing on Straws
Thumb/Finger Sucking Alternatives
The Sensory Benefits of Heavy Work Activities

 

EXERCISES FOR THE Z-VIBE AND/OR PROBE:

Tips & Techniques for the Z-Vibe
Oral Motor Exercises with the Z-Vibe
Easy Oral Motor Activities
Edible Oral Motor Exercises with Cheerios, Lollipops, Etc.
Normalizing Oral Sensitivities
Oral Strategies for Children with Down Syndrome
Rhythmic Chewing
How long to use the Z-Vibe during a single session
Is Vibration Necessary for Oral Motor Therapy?
Using the Spoon Tip to Product /k/g/y/ Sounds
Lip Closure and Rounding Exercises
Tongue Tip Elevation Exercises

 

EXERCISES FOR THE GRABBER AND/OR Y-CHEW:

Tips & Techniques for the Grabber
How to Teach the Concept of Biting & Chewing Skills

How to Develop a Mature Chewing Pattern
Practicing a Rhythmic Chewing Pattern
Improving Jaw Strength & Stability
Tongue Pop Exercises
Assisting Lip Closure
When to Use the Grabber vs. the Y-Chew

 

SENSORY:

Why Does My Child Chew on Everything?
My Child Chews on Everything - What Can I Do To Help?
Do Chew Tools Increase the Need to Chew?
The Sensory Benefits of Heavy Work Activities
Back to School Sensory Strategies
  
Oral Defensiveness & Aversions
Tips for Toothbrushing with Oral Defensiveness
Tooth Grinding - Possible Causes & What You Can Do
How to De-Sensitize Children Who Are Afraid of Gloves
Inappropriate Chewing & Finger/Knuckle Biting
DIY Sensory Mats   
DIY Weighted Snake
Building a Therapy Lego Wall

 

FINE MOTOR:

Vertical Velcro Pull
10 Play Dough / Putty Exercises
“Birthday Cake” Fine Motor Activity
Cork Button Castles
Finger Isolation Activity
Bilateral Coordination Activities
The Importance of Stacking / Nesting Toys for Fine Motor Development
Fine Motor DIY Piggy Bank
Building a Therapy Lego Wall

 

SPEECH THERAPY:

How to Turn Your Voice On - Teaching the Difference between Voiced & Unvoiced Phonemes
Visualizing /sh/ as a Continuant
Speech Therapy with Bandaids
Tips for Easier & More Effective Therapy Homework
The Importance of Stacking / Nesting Toys for Language Development
Speech Trick for Assisting Back of Tongue Sounds /k/g/y/
DIY Auditory Feedback Device
Tongue Thrust Therapy

 

 

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