How to teach Honey Bear Straw Drinking in Children with Down Syndrome-Technique #2

Thank you once again to Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson for sharing her amazing strategies to teach tongue retraction and lip protrusion….learning the dissociative movements that have to occur between the lips and the tongue….this means that the lips and the tongue move independently of one another.  I have been taking classes offered through and have learned an incredible amount of information about oral motor feeding specific to children with Down Syndrome.


Honey Bear Straw Drinking-Technique #2-This technique is used if the child has significant tongue protrusion when attempting Technique #1 and cannot draw liquid through the straw. 

1. Pull the tip of the straw through the hole in the Honey Bear lid until a 1 inch length extends from the top of the lid opening.  Use the palm of your non-dominant hand to support the client’s jaw as you implement the following technique.

2. Place the 1 inch length of the straw on the surface of the child’s tongue at midline.  You may assist in lip rounding by squeezing her cheeks. 

3. Squeeze a small amount of the liquid into the child’s mouth and remove the straw.  Continue to support the jaw and assist in lip closure if necessary.

4. Repeat this task three times at the beginning of each liquid-fed activity.  This should be done 1-3 times per day.  As skills improve reduce the amount of assistance. 

5.Once the child is able to draw 2 ounces of liquid independently through the Honey Bear at the one inch length, reduce the exposed straw to 3/4 of an inch, and repeat the technique as described.  The shorter length of the straw requires the back of the tongue to work harder to draw the liquid through it, this encourages tongue retraction.

6.Once she can draw 2 ounces independently, reduce the exposed length to 1/2 and repeat the technique.

7. Once the child can draw four ounces of the liquid on her own at the 1/2 inch length (which is technique number 1)…introduce the talk tools straw drinking hierarchy.

Goals: jaw stability, lip rounding and tongue retraction


Hope this was helpful….I will post about the third Honey Bear technique.

Be sure to go to for the Honey Bear and the Straw Kit.

Hope this was helpful!



About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
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