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Designed by Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP, ARK's Probe, proPreefer, and proMini were developed with over 35+ years of speech and feeding experience in mind. The Probe has a rectangular tip that is bumpy on one side, striated on the other, and smooth along the edges. The proMini has the same design as the Probe, only slightly smaller for babies and smaller mouths. The proPreefer has a cylindrical top with long striations along its circumference for a different sensation and for when a "rolling" action is needed. These textured surfaces provide oral input, awareness, and stimulation, which is particularly important for those with oral defensiveness and/or food aversions.
The handles are rigid for an easy grip. The blue/yellow/turquoise tip ends are softer with more "give" to be gentle on the lips, tongue, cheeks, and tongue. At less than 5 inches in length, they’re super lightweight, compact, and portable - a must-have set for any sensory oral motor "bag of tricks."
Caution: this therapeutic tool should be used under adult supervision at all times.
• Use these tools to stimulate the gums, palate, lips, cheek, and tongue by tapping, stroking, and applying gentle pressure.
• Use the proPreefer for when a "rolling" action is desired - roll it over the lips, across the tongue, inside the cheek area etc.
• Dip these tools in foods to use them as "dipper spoons" in feeding therapy. This is an excellent tactic for beginning spoon-users. It also helps introduce texture to puréed foods and eases the transition from puréed to textured foods. Sticky foods work well, like stage 1 baby foods, applesauce, ice cream, yogurt, etc
• Most of us are either visual or auditory learners. But when these two senses are not enough, you may need to physically direct the articulators for certain speech and feeding skills. Use these tools to provide targeted tactile cues within the oral cavity to teach tongue elevation, tongue lateralization, lip closure, rotary chewing, and much more. For example, use the Probe to apply gentle pressure to the alveolar ridge (just behind the upper front teeth). Then remove the Probe and instruct the individual to touch the same spot with his/her tongue tip. Follow up by prompting the individual to say the tongue tip sounds /t/d/n/l/.
• ARK's proPreefer has also been used in the NICU to stimulate a suck - place the tip of the proPreefer just inside the baby's mouth, and gently pull it in and out to stimulate a sucking action.
• See the videos in the description tab above for more exercise ideas from Debbie.
With so many infants and toddlers diagnosed with seizure disorders, I have turned back to the basic probes as an alternative to the z-vibe for targeting oral motor skills. The various sizes and shapes offered make it easy to use and adaptable for different size mouths. I use it primarily to target tongue lateralization and chewing. My little ones sit right down and open up for the "mouth moves" during therapy.
As a pediatric therapist I need a tool that I can leave with parents for carryover after I have provided them with training. These tools offer me a less expensive, but effective tool to gift to families of little ones who need to be "working daily" on developing skills.
|feature:||A staple set for providing sensory oral motor input|
|feature:||Different textured tips for varying sensations|
|feature:||Can also be used as beginner "dipper" spoons|
|feature:||Personally made by ARK in Columbia, SC, USA|
|feature:||See full details below|