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Debbie's Blog

Chewelry Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is definitely a FUN holiday for most people!  But sometimes it can also be stressful.  On Halloween, it can seem like the world flips upside down.  Monsters come alive, goblins run amuck, there's fake blood and strange costumes.  There are lots of new experiences and potentially over-stimulating situations that can cause stress/anxiety/sensory overload. Having a [...]

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Using Chew Tools in Oral Motor / Feeding Therapy

Most people know the Grabber, Y-Chew, and Guitar as non-food chewing tools that provide a safe alternative to nail biting, chewing on pencils, etc.  But did you know they can also be used to work on lots of different oral motor / feeding therapy goals? ..Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate the Grabber, Y-Chew, and/or Guitar [...]

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Using the Grabber to Assist Pointing / Joint Attention

Back when my daughter was about 8 or 9 months old, I remember carrying her out to the car one day, and on the way she pointed up to an airplane in the sky. I immediately reinforced this by saying something along the lines of: "Yes, that’s right! That’s an airplane. Airplane. [...]

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Transitioning off of / Replacing the Binkie

Question:  I just bought your brick chewie for my son, who chews up all his clothing!  But I'm wondering - I'm having a terrible time getting my 2 year old daughter to give up her binkie - do you think that one of your chewies would work to replace them too?  Have they ever been used in [...]

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Teaching Kids the Concept of Sucking (Not Blowing) through a Straw to Drink

Question:  Good afternoon!  I'm a speech therapist working on straw drinking with a child who has Autism. We've done the first 3 steps of your How to Teach Straw Drinking blog post, but cannot proceed to the 4th because the child does not know what it means in general to take a sip.  I cannot think [...]

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Oral Motor Staples for Babies Who Have Down Syndrome

Question:  Hello!  About 1 week ago my husband and I got a confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome for our upcoming baby girl.  I want to help my little flower as much as possible and start as soon as possible!  What tools are recommended for starting at an early age?  We are very excited to help [...]

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Alternatives for Nail Biting

Question: My five-year-old has recently started biting his fingernails. I came across your site when trying to find a way to switch him away from that habit. I also bite my nails so I'd be interested in something for me too. Do you have any recommended products we should try? . . We do! [...]

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Can't Eat by Mouth, but Still Want/Need to Chew?

Question:  I’m a therapist searching for a product for an older woman with intellectual disabilities. She loves food and drink, but it’s not an option to drink and eat all day.  So we’re looking for a safe way to her to chew without actually eating. I was thinking about your grabbers? What do [...]

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When Kids Think Feeding Utensils Are Food

Question: I work with a child who has Down Syndrome. She is 16 months old. She presents with open mouth posture and tongue thrusting not during feeding. Mom purchased a Z-vibe and I saw your article on using the Z-vibe to promote lip closure. Only problem is....anytime we go near her [...]

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Oral Motor Straw Workout

Below are directions for a Straw / Lip Blok program I've used with many of my kids over the years. I usually do this in conjunction with tongue thrust therapy when their swallowing pattern needs to be changed.  And it also helps work on oral tone and tongue retraction. . . What You'll Need: 1. Krazy Straws. [...]

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