Just when we thought that our plate was full in life, God dished us up some dessert!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Is therapy really therapeutic?

Most definitely!!!

Remember...Stas came to us only able to eat mush, like this....every meal looked the same. Any texture without enough liquid and he choked:

On occasion Stas would find a cheerio or even an M & M on the floor and we would find a little puddle of throw-up with, say, an M & M in the middle. He had no idea how to get the food to the back, to chew, to lateralize the food back and forth from side to side to chew.

Let's follow the progression:

Stas' tongue is frequently out. When he eats he sticks it out and has never learned to eat with it in his mouth. Step one, work on the tongue staying in to eat. This is the spoon that helped tremendously. It still comes out a little to swallow, but nothing like it used to. Watch in the video how his tongue retreats because he feels the texture:

We have been using the chew tubes to strengthen the jaw and help with jaw stability:

Then came the Veggie straws or veggie fries....we would place them in his back teeth, being careful that the piranha didn't munch our fingers off!

These things are so tender but he couldn't even bite through them at first. Once I left a veggie straw on his highchair and he picked it up and ever so delicately put it between his back teeth and bit it. It was so exciting that I decided he was ready for this:

Okay, fine....he still needs OT based on his finger skills there.

While we were working on eating/chewing, we were of course working on getting him off of a bottle. This started with a straw:
First the honey bear because it was flexible and because you could help squeeze to get the fast feedback of a drink. Then this other straw that you cut and make the mouth part shorter and shorter so only his lips eventually fit around the end (without the tongue).

We switched speech therapists and she had a better idea, she thought. The verdict is still out.

The idea is to use the ridge to get his tongue in and learn to wrap his lips around the edge like we would do....I don't know. Time will tell. He bites on it and gets frustrated and it runs all over.

So, yesterday I was at my mom and dad's house and the neighbor was selling Tupperware. I have been looking for the old, no nonsense, regular sippy cups without all of the bells and whistles because neither boy can use them. Ricky drinks thickened liquids and none of the no-spill cups work.

I tried this regular old cup with Stas and I think it is a hit. I can get him to pull his tongue in (sort of) and he sucks. He thinks it is hilarious and did it a bunch of times. The first video not as successful but awfully cute (if you can ignore my voice again! Sorry.):

This one he gets it at the end:

As of today, he no longer uses a bottle and many of his meals I am able to break up pieces of food, put it on his tray and he finger feeds.

I would say therapy helps!! How about you?


  1. Awwww Gretchen, he is doing soooo well!!! Good for Stas!!

  2. That kid is too cute!!!! hmmm....my memory is not very good about working on the tongue in business. It's been a long time! What about using the honey bear, but cutting the straw off right at the tip of the honey bear tip? So you can still squeeze it, but the part for his mouth is short so he has to pull his tongue in to put the tip in his mouth.

  3. So adorable! That is so awesome! Very cute videos!

  4. now THAT is one happy boy!

    we all watched the videos and Alex said 'I love him....I want to bring him home' :)

    That's why I like to sit and look at RR with Alex, he just loves them all!!

  5. What wonderful progress Stas is making! Good for him! I'm looking forward to the day when I'm completely "hands-free" at meal time. I know it will be awhile but it's a worthy goal to shoot for!:)

  6. Oh my goodness, he is ADORABLE!!!

  7. Keep up the good work Stas! My son Paris would pass out if I put a cheerio in his mouth. He's all gags and panic faced if things get too textury(not a word). Where'd you get that spoon? I need one like yesterday. Way to go Stas!

    Love wins,
    Renee Tam