Two times a day we do a series of exercises given to us by Noah’s speech therapist as part of the Beckman Oral Motor program. The Beckman exercises are designed to help children with low muscle tone (a common physical characteristic of children diagnosed with Down Syndrome) develop strength in their mouth which helps with oral motor skills, and eventually speech.
Z-Vibe Is A Great Speech Therapy Tool For Children Born With Down Syndrome
In the video it looks like Noah doesn’t enjoy some of the exercises, but he actually doesn’t mind them. In fact, on most days he giggles and laughs all the way through them. We’ve seen tremendous progress in Noah’s ability to eat since we started these exercises almost five months ago. We went from seeing our son hardly being able to drink from a bottle, to devouring spoon fed cereal like a champ! It’s really quite remarkable…!
In the second half of the video we are using a tool called a z-vibe. It’s basically a small, vibrating toothbrush with a soft rubber tip on the end. In the video it may look as if we are just randomly sticking the z-vibe in his mouth, but there’s actually a series of very specific exercises that are required as part of the Beckman oral motor exercises program. These exercises provide oral stimulation, and help reduce tongue protrusion (which is also a common characteristic in babies diagnosed with Down syndrome.)
Why do babies born with Down syndrome stick their tongue out: If you don’t know anyone personally with Down Syndrome, you may not know why many babies with Down Syndrome sometimes stick their tongues out. The reason for their tongue sticking out (known as tongue protrusion) is partly due to the low muscle tone in their face, and mouth. Almost everyday someone says, “Wow…look at him stick his little tongue, that’s so cute!” While it may look cute to everyone else, to us it’s actually a reminder that Noah was born with Down Syndrome , and that we have a lot of work to do! Don’t worry if you’ve made a comment like that to us, it doesn’t offend us in the least. Up until six months ago I didn’t know any of this myself, so we’ll all learn together!
What sort of things to you do for oral motor therapy? Have you tried out the Z-Vibe? Do you have any experience with the Beckman oral motor exercises? Have any questions for us? Be sure to post in the comments below.