This post is in reference to the third technique used when teaching Honey Bear Straw drinking. You can find the other two techniques under the link to the right of my home page: Honey Bear Straw Drinking in Children with Down Syndrome.
Honey Bear Straw Drinking-Technique #3:
You will be using this technique if your little one is resistant or unable to drink using a 90-degree angle in the jaw. (needed: four lengths of Talk Tools Flexible Tubing for this exercise: 4″, 5″, 6″, & 8 “)
1. Start with the four inch length of flexible straw tubing. Leave 1/2″ extending from the lid opening. Use the palm of your non-dominant hand to support the child’s jaw as you follow the following:
~Place the tip of the straw on your child’s lower lip at midline. You may assist with lip rounding by squeezing gently on the cheeks to create a circular posture. The 4″ length will allow the child to drink using a head tilt-back (this is okay).
~Squeeze a tiny amount in and remove the straw. Support the jaw and help with lip closure and wait for the swallow.
~ Repeat three times at the start of each liquid-fed activity. Then allow your little one to finish the rest of the liquid in the manner she is most successful. Remember nutrition is important. So as she is learning to drink from the straw be sure to only repeat this three times at the start of the feed…and allow her to finish the rest from the bottle or cup. Be sure to do this one to three times per day. As her skills improve you will be squeezing the bear less and giving less support to the jaw and lips (for closure).
~Once your little one can drink 2 ounces on her own from the 4” tubing…replace with the 5″…and follow the technique above. What has changed with the 5″ tubing?: The slightly longer straw will require your little one to hold the Honey Bear in a lower position in order for the liquid to enter the tubing…and this promotes the chin tuck.
~Once your little once can drink 2 ounces from the 5″ tubing…replace with the 6″ tubing…and repeat above technique. Same as above…the slightly longer straw requires that the Honey Bear be held in a lower position.
~Once she can drink 2 ounces independently through the 6″….replace with the 8″…and follow the above technique. The 8″ tubing requires that your little one holds the Honey Bear in an even lower position.
(Goals for technique #3: jaw stability, lip rounding and tongue retraction).