Those of you who have been following Acting Balanced since the beginning know that we have a struggle to get Liam to eat a variety of foods and to eat properly. One of the factors is of course the gluten free diet he's on, but another part of it is simply that his mouth and jaw need exercise! For a very long time, Liam had one on one Occupational Therapy at home and for almost a year they worked exclusively on oral motor stimulation. He also used to use them in Speech Therapy back when they were working on strengthening his ability to sense his tongue and lips.
Since he's started to take the bus to school this year (which he adores) his day is getting longer and we can't always guarantee that he'll be in the best possible shape for a long therapy session, so I've opted to work with him one on one and have gotten guidance and therapy tools from a great source: Ark Theraputic Services. Ark Theraputic sent me a fabulous array of their Grabbers and Y-Chew products to use with Liam.
They also sent along a fabulous little book called Tips and Techniques for the Grabber Family, which gives me exactly that - tips and techniques to make our home therapy time more useful and directed.
I was first introduced to Ark Therapeutic through our OT, who would bring her grabbers and Y-Chews to the house. Liam especially loves the texture of the Y-Chews and they're great for helping to stretch his jaw and also work the cheek and gum. What I love about them is that they are incredibly durable and easy to clean! Even more, I love that I got a set of baby grabbers in my package and Erik is absolutely loving them as a teething tool! They were especially helpful this last three weeks when he cut not one, but four new teeth - his first two on each of the top and bottom - and now, just today while I was playing in his mouth, he's got two more little buds on the bottom - MORE TEETH! Thank goodness for the baby grabbers, it means that he's not chewing on me or his books and clothes!
Speaking of which, getting back to Liam, when we use these techniques regularly it helps to keep his fingers out of his mouth and also cuts down considerably on his need to bite his clothing and other stimming behaviors. I can tuck a grabber or Y-chew into his book bag and send it to school as a substitute and I know that it will help calm him down and give his jaw a workout at the same time! Some of the fun grabbers are even scented with everything from blueberry to chocolate to help entice your child to participate!
Some of the other features that I love about the grabbers and Y-chews are that they are dishwasher safe and completely non-toxic. They're also made in the USA from medical grade, FDA compliant materials that contain no lead, phthalates, PVC, BPA, or latex.
Ark Therapeutic makes a whole range of other fabulous oral motor tools, speech therapy products, and feeding therapy tools that can help Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, teachers and parents to help children (and adults) bridge the therapeutic gaps that they have.
I can't say enough about how invaluable these products are to my family and if speech, feeding or oral sensory issues are something you are battling at home or you work with special needs kids, then you definitely want to check out the giveaway! One lucky Acting Balanced reader from the US is going to win a complete set of Grabbers and Y-Chews from Ark Therapeutic - a $100 value!
And if you can't wait until I announce the winner, they've also provided all of my Acting Balanced readers with a discount code - AB10 for 10% off all Grabbers & Y-Chews until December 31st!
Disclaimer: I received the products described above at no cost for the purpose of completing this review. All opinions are my own.