Thursday, April 23, 2009

Helpful Hints...and a request

I was just thinking about how while most of the time Playette requires nothing more than any other child her age would require, sometimes we've come across some things that are pretty interesting and helpful in overcoming some of the challenges she's faced.

I've never documented them here, so I'm hoping that maybe this is good info for someone:

Nosefrida - An absolutely disgusting concept with amazing results. We used to use this thing at least every morning. I see now that it's available at some Whole Foods. Yay for no shipping! And, no, we never got boogers in our mouths. Really.

Maroon Spoons - We used these pretty much exclusively when Playette first began eating food. First, we used the small ones and then later, when we saw that her mouth was big enough to handle it, we moved on to the large size. We still do use the small ones though because they're still good. The idea behind these, as it was explained to me, is that it helps with tongue protrusion. I don't know how accurate that is, but all of the literature says that it's "widely used for working with children who have problems such as poor lip closure, oral hypersensitivity, or tongue thrust. The narrow, shallow bowl of the spoon makes it ideal for feeding therapy." I know that for me it helped me to be conscious of not scraping the food off the roof of her mouth and allow her to work to get it.

Z-Vibe, Nuk Brush - We got these oral motor tools pretty early, back before we moved and when we were still under VA's Early Intervention (PIE) program. Our Service Coordinator was fantastic [Really, she was. So much, in fact, that I just had to stop typing, check to see if I still had her number, and called to say "thank you." I figure the good ones don't hear that enough. She's no longer at that number, apparently.] and set us up with two ST consults ("You can have one every six weeks free of charge," she said) in the four months we were with her. When the ST recommended these two items, over came the Service Coordinator to our house with the request forms all filled out for the purchase. I remember that all I had to do was sign and she put the papers in a addressed and stamped envelope that she stuck in the mailbox steps from our front door. *sigh*

Anyway, the point is that the ST thought that exposing these to Playette early via some easy exercises would be helpful to her in the long run. She didn't like it at first and we, admittedly, weren't super disciplined with the exposure, but these days sometimes we'll pull one out of the cabinet and she'll just put it in her mouth and play around for a while. She probably really likes it now because of the teeth coming in and all, but hey. Whatever works.

EasieEaters Curved Utensils - Either this item or something that resembles it very closely was brought up during our so painful I wanted to stick an EasieEaters Curved Utensil in my eye to take me out of my misery IFSP meeting the other day. I think it's a great idea and we'll give the one they lent us a try after I soak it in bleach for 3 days. Playette understands what the fork and spoon are for and does an ok job at getting some food into her mouth, but she does have some trouble rotating her wrist appropriately. Perhaps this will help. I think I'll buy/order some Boon Benders if all goes well.

Nuby Cups - We bought Target out of these. They worked really after we transitioned from bottle to cup. I had always heard/read of how straws were much preferred over sippy cups because they helped strengthen the mouth muscles and limit tongue protrusion. Again, I'm no expert, but I took that info and ran with it. We started out with the (expensive) Sip Tip Cup. It served it's purpose, I guess, in that she learned how to drink from a straw that way. It's not what I would call convenient though since it's not easy to transport your drinkables without spillage, and the small pieces can disappear easily.

Someone kindly offered us the SRJ Straw Kit, but I haven't used it as much as I should. I should buckle down and buy the DVD already.

Hmmm...I can't think of anything else at the moment. If I do, I'll be sure to post.

And if you have any questions about any of this, ask away. I'll help however I can.


And now for the request:

It's been recommended that we purchase some Nosey Cups so that Playette can learn better how to position her head while drinking and hopefully improve her swallowing (now she tends to tilt her head to her back and whatever is in the cup ends up more on her than in her mouth). I've done the Google thing and I still can't decide which specific ones to get and from where. And the prices are all over the map.

Would you mind sharing your experience with the Nosey Cups? Did you end up liking them? What size did you get? Where did you buy/order them? Any info is greatly appreciated.


jonashpdx said...

thanks for this list, I haven't heard of half these things... and we're trying to transition to more self-feeding, so the Boon Benders might help.

(no experience with the Nosey cups, sorry! we're still using a sippy cup and one with a straw to prevent spillage since Archer's a biiiiig cup thrower.)

Megan said...

We have one of the small nosey cups. I'm mixed on it as Stella likes to chew on it which makes the actual drinking from a cup part moot. We got it for "free" from our IE.

Thanks for the tip on the free ST consults. We're in VA and I'm totally going to bring that up at our IFSP.

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Thanks for this list. I haven't heard of most of this stuff either. I've been the least thrilled with our ST services....we have an appt tomorrow so I'm going to ask about some of these things!!!

Lovin Mama said...

Our OT brought us a small pink nosey cup. My daughter has a horrible time handling liquids. They just run right back out. She is able to take about 4 sips from the nosey cup, successfully, now. she also does really well with the Nuby straw cups you mentioned.

Lacia said...'re definitely on the ball. I never knew of any of this stuff when Kaia was little. We had no EI until after she turned 2! (I live in the land of the waitlists!)

Drinking from a cup was always our toughest thing, and she did alot of the "tilting her head back too far, therefore getting soaked" thing. With us it was just a matter of practice before she finally got it. I would only put a tiny bit of liquid in the bottom so she wouldn't get so soaked, and eventually she figured it out.

Cate said...

We have a small pink nosey cup that our OT gave me. I haven't used it as much as I should, but it seems to work okay.

It's the one here. The price is for 5, I think, which isn't too bad; my instinct is you should get the cheapest one you can find, because you probably won't use it forever.

Beth said...

Chrystal, I've been remiss in keeping up with all that's going on with you and Playette.

It sounds like you've got a decent start with oral motor things for feeding and drinking. We used the nosey cup for a very brief period of time. My focus was on the TalkTools straws (yes, buy the VHS copy is constantly loaned out, but it's valuable info, so everyone should see it.)

Go Nosefrida!

Take heart--the exhaustion of dealing with all this stuff gets better. It gets SO much easier as you go along. It is a marathon, but you get stronger as you run the race--the sprint is in the beginning.