Question: I have a daughter (24 months old) who has low tone in her face, open mouth posture, and drools all the time. We are wanting to find a feeding therapist soon but also want to get started on our own at home in the meantime.
I read your articles about drooling but am not sure which tools would be most appropriate for her. Should we start out with the soft Y-chew for lip closure and jaw strength and a Z-Vibe for awareness? Are there any other products you would recommend?
Great question. Finding a feeding therapist as you mentioned would be best - they'll be able to assess your daughter in-person, make the best recommendations specifically for her, and guide you both through this.
In the meantime, we have two blog articles on drooling, I wanted to send you both in case you only saw one:
If budget allows, I’d also recommend a Mouse Tip, which is a different/additional tip attachment for the Z-Vibe. You can use the Mouse's ears as spoons, so that’s just another opportunity (and a fun and friendly one) to introduce different sensations and help wake things up.
The 3 size combo ones are pre-set to different lengths (3/4", 1/2", and 1/4"). Whereas the flexible one you'll gradually trim over time to the shorter sizes. I'm personally partial to the pre-set ones, but the nice thing about the flexible ones is that you only need 1 flexible Lip Blok to take you through the different sizes. With either option - the shorter the length, the harder the lips/tongue/cheeks have to work, so it’s a great oral motor workout.
For more information on introducing the Z-Vibe, click here.
For more information on using the Y-Chew, click here (she might be a little young for some of the directions and exercises, but even if she just mouths / bites / chews it that will be good).
For more background on using Lip Bloks, click here.
Last but not least, be sure to follow through with any "homework" that the feeding therapist gives you. I see the best results when there's follow-through at home.
I hope this is helpful! If you have any other questions, please let us know.
Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP