Great product and VERY friendly customer service team.
Make drinking easier by keeping liquid at the top of the straw||| ARK's Select-Flow Valve™ packs make drinking easier for beginners and/or individuals with oral motor difficulties. It's uniquely designed to control the direction of fluid - liquid flows up into the straw, but does not flow back down. Because fluid stays at the top of the straw, each subsequent sip requires less effort. It also reduces the air ingested, so users experience less coughing and choking while consuming more fluids. Highly recommended for individuals who tend to aspirate or have difficulties generating and maintaining suction (a weak suck). Simply push the tapered end of the valve into the bottom of a straw, and you're set to go!
For individuals who tend to take too much fluid at a time, the Select-Flow Valve™ packs also slow the flow of fluid, allowing for smaller, more manageable sips that lower the risk of coughing/choking. If a restricted flow is not necessary, simply trim the tapered end with a pair of scissors to increase the flow.
Caution: contains small parts that may pose a choking hazard; please directly supervise at all times
Great product and VERY friendly customer service team.
This is exactly what i was looking for and the price was good. My mother suffers from dysphagia and the valve, which attaches to the end of her straw, reduces the amount of fluid with each sip of fluid. Recommended by speech therapist.
They wear out and stick after a month or two, but they work well when new. Needs replacement often if used daily.
Drinking was always a hurdle for my son. He has mandibular hypoplasia, which is a small jaw, and he is missing parts of the muscles in his cheeks due to his genetic condition. He never learned how to suck on a bottle, or a pacifier, so drinking just wasn't safe for him. The biggest risk for him was aspiration, liquids going into his lungs. His Occupational therapist started working on different areas of movement in his mouth, and before long we got the all clear from the doctor to try drinking! The OT passed over a handful of these small white valves. Little did I know, these would be the answer. He is now drinking without the valve, and is doing so SAFELY! The ARK Therapeutic select flow valve keeps the liquid at the top of the straw (it's kind of hard to see, but in the last picture you can see it at the top of the straw), this prevents over sucking, allows the child to get a drink without having to do too much work so they can work on swallowing safely. The valves work with disposable straws (these blue ones are my own). It doesn't work with stainless steel straws that I have tried though. The valve also needs to be hand washed, from my experience, but they are dishwasher safe. But it is easy to hand wash.
We bought the straw valves hoping it would help my mom with her swallowing problems. She is on hospice and cannot suck hard enough every time she takes a new sip because she is so weak. These valves hold the liquid up in the straw so she doesn't lose the liquid and have to suck so hard to get the liquid back up in the straw. It was coincidental because her hospice CNA and I were discussing inventing something to help her out. I started looking on the internet and there it was -- you had it! And it arrived at the house in 4 days!
Your slow flow valves for straws are perfect for my elderly father who has an untreatable terminal illness (PSP, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy,) and has been bed bound for several months with no hope of recovery. It's horrible to see him struggle beyond anything I've ever seen, but the product helps him so much! And *i* his daughter, found it! Also the home care nurse who was here today wants to know where she can find the product to recommend to the many elderly patients she assists in her line of work. Just thought you might want to know. Thank you for your help!!!!! I wish your company all the best!
I use this products for training sorbicion with children that initialy don´t have enough strength or oral motor skills, it´s been really helpful!
This valve has been so helpful in enabling an 18-month old client to drink for the first time in an upright position. In conjunction with the bear bottle and lip block she is making good progress with her drinking skills.
This little plastic valve is the key to successful feeding therapy as far as I'm concerned. Our 1 yr old daughter is learning to use a straw and she does not have to oral motor skills to maintain suction without this valve. When we use this valve along with a lip block on either her Cip Kup or her Honey Bear cup, we make significantly more progress. The valve does have a tendency to clog so be sure and rinse it in hot water (sometimes I soak it in hot, soapy water) after each use. I did have one stop working so I just threw it out and bought some more back ups.
It does what they say it will do. It definitely holds the liquid in the straw which is helpful for those who just swallow too much air as they advance the liquid. You have to cut the valve to allow for an easier flow if the goal is to make it easier for those who lack the strength/stamina to advance the liquid all the way up the straw each time. The one way valve straws probably are a better bet for these individuals. I'v tried it also with a couple of children who just need a slower flow and it does slow them down a little but not as much as I would have liked.
These work great. My Mother recently became bedridden and it has been a learning experience for both of us. She was gulping air when she drank from a straw. She would then burp, start coughing, and then vomit. These valves have really helped. She is getting a lot less air and the vomiting has diminished. Thank you.
In my experience as a therapist using the select-flow valves and a container such as the honey bear; children who are experiencing developmental delays impacting their oral motor skills can still learn to become efficient straw drinkers between their first and 3rd year. I have also seen children in their second year who have been unsuccessful in their prior attempts to learn to drink from a straw and with the introduction of this valve alone they were drinking from a straw in at little as 10 minutes and within a week or two they no longer required the valve. I don't know what I would do without it!
ARK chew tools come in 3 color-coded toughness levels:
Usually we recommend going with the softest/standard level by default. Unless someone chews through or causes damage to anything else they chew on (chews through pencils, chews holes in shirts, etc.), in which case the XT level would be longer lasting.
If someone does chew through things, it’s possible they may need the toughest XXT level eventually. XXT is super firm, though, so we don't always recommend getting it right off the bat (some people find it uncomfortable chewing on something that firm).
So XXT is usually best either for people who have chewed through the XT level already, and/or for anyone who already likes chewing on very hard items - things like legos, hard plastic toys, wooden items, etc.
Heads up: Designs that are wider and "beefier" will feel tougher than designs that are more slender in the same toughness level. For example, the Dino-Bite in XT will feel tougher than the Krypto-Bite in XT.
Probe Tip - This is the most versatile & popular tip attachment. It's bumpy on one side and striated on the other side for different levels of sensory input (the bumpy side provides more input than the striated side).
Mini Tip - This is a smaller version of the Probe Tip, designed for smaller mouths (about 2.5 years and under). This age recommendation is not a hard-and-fast rule though - we've seen younger kids use the Probe Tip and older individuals use the Mini Tip.
Preefer Tip - This tip attachment is rounded with ridges all along the circumference for when a "rolling" action is desired for a different kind of sensory input. Roll it over the lips, across the tongue, and inside the cheeks.
Fine Tip - This tip narrows down to a fine point, which makes it perfect for pinpointing very specific areas in the mouth.
Bite-n-Chew Tip - These tips are rounded and chewable, for practicing biting & chewing skills. The "extra long" versions are about an inch longer and a little skinnier, to make it easier to reach the back molars. The textured version has bumps for extra sensory input.
Bite Tube Tip - These tips are similar to the Bite-n-Chew Tip, but with a hollow center so that you can put puréed foods (applesauce, yogurt, etc.) inside the tip for functional biting & chewing practice. Once you bite down on the tip, you get 'rewarded' with a taste of food.
Spoon Tip - Great for feeding therapy and mealtimes, these attachments turn the Z-Vibe into a vibrating spoon! The smooth, gentle vibration can help "wake up" the mouth and decrease aversions. The textured version has bumps on the bottom of the spoon bowl to help stimulate the tongue and lower lip, and to help encourage the transition from puréed to more solid foods. The hard Spoon Tip is rigid, like a regular spoon. The soft Spoon Tip is flexible (still firm enough to hold food, but flexible enough to be gentle on the teeth if someone bites down on the spoon.
Tongue Tip - This tip can be used as a traditional tongue scraper to help establish good oral care. It can also be used to help establish the concept of tongue lateralization and elevation (hold the Tongue Tip vertically in front of the mouth and ask the individual to put the tip of their tongue inside the hole, then guide the tongue from side to side or up and down). You can also place the Tongue Tip flat on top of the tongue to provide input to a large surface area of the tongue (this tip has the largest "footprint" surface-area-wise).
Popette Tip - This tip attachment is an adaptor that lets you use lollipops with the Z-Vibe. Just twist the Popette Tip into the Z-Vibe handle, then press a lollipop into the Popette Tip. Lollipops are a fun way to get kids interested in sensory oral motor exercises.
Brush Tips - The soft version has gentle bristles for gum massage; the hard version has firmer bristles closer to that of a traditional toothbrush. These can be used to help get orally sensitive individuals more comfortable with oral care, so that they can eventually use regular toothbrushes, be more comfortable going to the dentist, etc.
Pencil - This attachment turns your Z-Vibe into a vibrating pencil! The vibration of the Z-Vibe is very smooth, so it doesn't create squiggly lines. Instead, it can help increase focus by providing more sensory input and awareness to the hand.
Pen - This attachment turns your Z-Vibe into a vibrating pen.
Crayon - And this attachment turns your Z-Vibe into a vibrating crayon.
Brick Tip - This tip attachment has large bumps on one side and small bumps on the other side for lots of varying sensory input while biting & chewing. It comes in 3 toughness levels for mild to moderate to avid chewing.