Hi I have a 3 year old client in speech therapy – new this week – she is chronically licking her lips; sometimes just the lower, then other times all the way around the outside……numerous, numerous times in a session – lots of redness and chapping, of course. She has a “cold” right now, but dad said it is a chronic habit – not a sucker or other habits, but mouth has been open all this week (she comes in 3 days a week for communication preschool setting); I can see that establishment of lips closed and correct tongue resting posture will be beneficial, but have you directly targeted that specific behavior?
I would indirectly target that behavior, but first I would have a real close look to see if there are any structural components. I’d check under each of her lips to be sure she does not have an annoying tight/short LABIAL frenum. If she is a chronic mouth breather (which would be determined once the cold is gone), that in itself might account for the dry, sore, red lips which encouraged the development of a lip licking habit to bring moisture. If that is the case, I’d have her use lip “gloss” as needed, above and below the lips themselves as well as on the lips. I’d incorporate the goal of reducing/eliminating the licking habit right into an activity directed at another goal, preferably another goal that is very easy…so you can attend to the licking habit without over taxing her ability to remember too much at once. I hope this helps. Keep me posted. Sandra