This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Handling Oral Hypersensitivity the Easy Way
By Pam Marshalla
Q: I have a six-year-old male client with severe apraxia who lacks many phonemes. I am trying to cue him for place and manner at the mouth, but he is very resistant to my touch. For example, I want to hold his nose to teach him how to make his sounds come out his mouth, but he won’t let me. Any suggestions?
Let me answer this in terms of what is the easiest ways to handle oral-tactile hypersensitivity:
The easiest way to handle oral-tactile hypersensitivity is to teach these clients to cue themselves. For example, have him hold his own nose instead of you holding it. Kids can tolerate all kinds of tactile stimulation to the face and mouth when they do it to themselves.
Another easy way to by-pass oral-tactile hypersensitivity is to find a different way of going about this. Find a different way to pique his interest. For example, give him a tube to hold at his mouth and that stretches to his ear. That way he can talk or blow into the tube and enjoy the sound he can make. That way you might be able to by-pass holding his nose at all.