Jaw Exercises

I’ve been noticing over the past several weeks how difficult it is for Jacob to eat a cereal bar.  I wanted Myrna to see what I was talking about with him not chewing his food but more of suck on it until it goes down.  I normally buy Fiber One bars for me and the Quaker Oat bars for the kids because they’re not as expensive and they go through them like gangbusters!

While Jacob was throwing his tantrum for the first five minutes, Myrna went over what she was going to have him do.  Whether you realise it or not, there is a certain order to your mouth and the way that you chew your food.  When you’re a baby you swallow, then move to gumming it, and over time and exposure to different foods you learn the proper order of your jaw’s movement.  Jacob still hasn’t gotten there.  He’s in between a suck and a cow chewing cud movement!  Not the most attractive or most effective.  It causes him to drool a lot and choke more than usual because he hasn’t fully chewed the food.

She taught me a few tricks to help with that and I was amazed to see him eat an entire cereal bar without drool and in small bites 🙂 .  She said the key was to “shock” or “wake-up” his mouth.  I’m noticing the common thread that runs through all of his many different therapies.  His body is just, for lack of a better word, lazy!  It’s not that it’s intentional but I’ve never noticed how important our muscles are until I’ve had to deal with Jacob’s issue.  By drinking a class of ice-cold water or milk or using lemon pudding or applesauce as a palette cleanser to wake up his mouth makes all the difference.  With constant reminders, he was eating that cereal bar just like normal.

I must have seemed like such a weird mother when I was almost in tears from him successfully eating his snack.  It just showed so much promise that we’re finding ways around this little hiccup and we’re going to be able to move on to other things!


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Filed under Early Childhood Intervention, Jacob

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