Q: I’m working with a child 3 and half years old. His tongue seems uncontrolled when chewing. What would be step one (tongue placement) in teaching this child the rotary chew, bolus collection, etc.? He also needs help with lips seal as well. What is step one in teaching chewing and what is appropriate?
A: His age is a primary factor. I would do only simple tasks related to rotary chew… perhaps demonstrating ability to move a raisin or other item efficiently side to side…molar to molar, etc. As far as lip seal, the Quiet Time activity should cover that, but be certain that he is able to breathe nasally with ease before you give any closed lips activity. With a little one like him, I would have him go for about minute, while you “talk” him through it, especially if you are using something on the tongue. For most three year olds, I would not use the elastics, but rather a flattened raisin or a tiny flat cake decoration candy.