the eric update – day 436: Sipping From a Straw!

day 436: Sipping From a Straw! I.

while odin has been messily drinking from a “real” cup for awhile and despite our mild reservations he’s mastered the sippy cup but we thought it might be nice to see how he might fare when challenged with the more complicated task of drinking from a cup with a straw if only because the motions needed to sip from a straw can be considered a fun and easy form of oral motor therapy:

“In English, in order to have connected speech (co-articulation) and speech clarity, we have to stabilize the back of our tongue on the back of the palate. Whatever else our tongue is required to do, it moves from that position of stability.

The tongue elements work with four basic movement components:

* retraction/protrusion,
* back elevation/depression,
* tip elevation/depression, and
* the ability to spread the sides of the tongue.

At birth, babies have approximately a 50 percent back and 50 percent forward movement from the resting position called a suckle. As children get older and begin spoon and cup feeding, they achieve about a 75 percent retraction and 25 percent protrusion. They do not stick their tongue out during feeding.

Those who do frequently present with feeding problems. Straws have been prescribed routinely for these occurrences because, at the very least, the client can return to the 50-50 suckle through straw feeding.”

“It should be mentioned that sippy-cups, a popular feeding tool, encourage suckling, once again falling short of the preferred 75 percent/25 percent retraction/protrusion goal.”

“Normal straw drinking requires complex movement from the jaw, lips and tongue. Through the coordination of these movements, a vacuum draw is created. Each of our speech sounds are made with a different combination of these graded movements.”

now, other than an issue with gagging on foods that was recently overcome we haven’t yes seen any signs that would indicate odin might have a significant problem with oral/motor delays, but sometimes they can be fairly subtle and it’s never a bad practice to encourage odin to practice the complex skills since delays are quite common in infants born weighing less than a thousand grams.

we thought it might be quite a challenge to teach him how to drink from the evenflo “dazzler” cup, but of course – as always – he proved us wrong.

day 436: Sipping From a Straw! II.

after blankly staring at the cup for a few moments wondering what on earth he was supposed to do next, we decided to test his rapidly developing ability to imitate by simply showing him in an exaggerated fashion how to purse one’s lips and suck on the straw.

he watched very intently and figured it out on the first try, which – if i’m not mistaking the look on his face – made him quite proud 🙂

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