Chewing exercise for children with Down Syndrome….and children presenting with chewing delays

This is a very simple exercise….and is frequently motivating for little ones. Take a preferred yogurt….put inside of a straw…close off both ends with a clip strong enough to keep the straw from leaking yogurt.  Put the yogurt in the freezer.  After frozen…take out…remove one of the clips…and present the straw sideways (horizontally) inside your little one’s mouth….on the back molars.  Encourage your little one to chew on the frozen treat….as she is chewing on it….the frozen yogurt should come out of the straw.  Practice on both sides of her mouth.

Remember increasing taste and temperature…with regard to food…gives little ones with Down Syndrome more information.  Remember too…their sensory neurons are hypo-sensitive to taste and temperature…so when we increase the temperature (a colder food)….and increase the taste (buy yogurt that has a stronger flavor)….this additional information helps their sensory neurons….the texture of the frozen straw on the molars also gives additional information to the  sensory and motor system…ah!…this will help in chewing.  So giving more sensory information with regard to taste and temperature helps the sensory system…which then will also help the motor system for chewing.

Have fun!

Kim

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 resource....so 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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4 Responses to Chewing exercise for children with Down Syndrome….and children presenting with chewing delays

  1. syeda says:

    hi kim. i find your ideas very interesting and new to me. I struggle with my sons eating habit as he doesnt chew. But he also is very afraid of anything new. Like the things you suggested to increase the sensory thing i dont how to put the straw inside his mouth. he rejects everything new (specially very sensitive inside his mouth. please help

    • Kim says:

      hi there..how old is your son. You really should start on the chewing hierarchy..you start with level number one with the yellow chewy tube. working on this will help with his chewing. also did you buy the honey bear straw cup to work on straw drinking. you can follow the techniques I posted about to teach him straw drinking. best, kim

  2. Rori DeBiase says:

    My daughter is 7 1/2 months. She is happy and healthy. She was breast fed for about 10 weeks. She could never latch on to me so I used a prosthetic plastic nipple. We use the tommy tippee bottles and she is hitting all milestones. She hates eating baby food. Nashe tries to eat it however when earring she sticks her tongue out and the food is pushed out. So I guess I am wondering if she hates the food or is she struggling with eating and chewing? How do I know?

    Thanks
    Rori

    • Kim says:

      Hi rori…..before I really respond…I want to be sure….does your daughter have DS….I assume yes because of where you post your question….but I do not want to assume. Once you respond…I will be able to provide you with additional information. Best, Kim

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