children with oral hypersensitivities
Also called oral defensiveness, will exhibit many, or all, of the following characteristics:
1. dislikes having teeth brushed and/or face washed
2. has a limited food repertoire and/or may avoid certain food textures – especially mixed textures.
3. will take their food off the fork or spoon using only their teeth, keeping their lips retracted
4. will gag easily when eating and may only get food down by taking a drink with it
In addition, children may exhibit signs of tactile defensiveness such as; disliking being touched, avoiding messy play (glue, play doh, mud, sand, finger paints, etc. ), or, may not pick up eating utensil or food with a grasp that involves the palm of his hand.
When working with oral defensiveness, keep in mind that the mouth is an “extension of the body”.
Let the child know what you are doing and what you will do next. Use firm pressure with slow even strokes… the more predictable the better. Start with the feet, legs, hands, and arms.
Once you have reached the face, start with his cheeks, then jaw, lips, don’t move too quickly to the inside of the mouth! Give the child the most control at this stage.
Take it slow and do not force stimulation on any part he is not “ready” for… try it, just don’t force it – severe anxiety or fear and gagging are signs of distress, not effective therapy – gently work your way through this no matter how long it takes.
Lastly, oral motor programs, therapy for oral hypersensitivities, and child speech therapy may not be able to be worked on, or effective, until underlying sensory issues are addressed and sensory stimulation is tolerated.
Before going to Clear Speech, my son didn’t understand language receptively nor could he express his feelings in words. He was getting frustrated very easily. Now, our son can understand and has started talking to us about how he feels and what he wants. This makes our daily life a lot easier and less stressful.
Both of my kids had speech delays and would get frustrated due to their lack of language development. Now I can carry on full conversations. They both are a lot more focused! They love coming to their sessions and have had progress in their behavior and attitudes! I would highly recommend Clear Speech to any family needing speech services. The progress I’ve seen in both my children has been amazing since we started coming here! The therapists are so friendly and professional!
Before I came to Clear Speech therapy my child was not speaking. No
sentences or anything. Life was challenging not just for me but for my
child as well. I noticed my child is now saying more sentences, has
improved eye connection, and is a better listener. I would recommend to
another family that it is very important to get your child into speech
therapy as soon as you can because it’s like a tool, not only for your
child, but it also helps the parent work with your child on speech and
learning to communicate.
Prior to speech therapy at Clear Speech, it was hard for my child to communicate. He also was combative and frustrated. He now is able to speak in sentences and describe what it is if I didn’t understand the first time. He also has more confidence. Lucas is no longer combative. With any child that has delayed speech, you should seek speech therapy and any help before school will be a huge benefit.
My son has a limited amount of words, was hard to understand when he did
speak, and was sensitive to loud sounds. After starting therapy I can
understand him better, he rarely covers his ears for loud sounds, and has a
larger vocabulary. The most important advice I can give is to follow your
instincts. Our pediatrician did not think my son had a delay, therefore we
did not pursue therapy in a timely fashion. I wish I would have followed my
We were looking for supplemental speech for articulation concerns during the summer. Not only did we get help in articulation, but help with his Sensory Processing Disorder. The Safe and Sound Protocol helped in ways I didn’t realize were available through speech therapy. My son’s speech is more intelligible and many of his sensory phobias have dissipated. Clear Speech is great at addressing the child’s needs in the usual ways as well as introducing the newest most innovative therapy treatments available.
Prior to getting therapy at Clear Speech, I noticed my kids had a hard time telling me and others what they needed. They would become very frustrated so most days they had tantrums, they would hit, and when unfamiliar were around they would be very quiet and interact. Our day-to day routines have improved significantly since starting speech therapy. When they couldn’t communicate, we spent hours each day managing their frustrations and trying to understand their needs. Now we can move through our day with little to no frustration. When frustrations do happen, they can use their words to solve the problem. Clear Speech has been a great experience for all three of my children. I recommend to families who need speech therapy to get started as early as possible. Commit to the therapy process and soon you will be able to better connect with your kiddo and hear what they need!
When we first joined Clear Speech we had been using the birth to 3 program. Maddie was making some progress but she was still so delayed. Because of her new therapist, Michelle, Maddie has discovered her voice. She is still delayed but able to communicate so much more. Our son, Camden, also has Apraxia and he is becoming better since working with Michelle. It has improved so much. Maddie and Cam are both able to communicate more with us which has greatly helped our day to day lives. We now have tools as parents to help with the two of them and the stress has gone down. Don’t hesitate to seek out speech services. It is never too early to at least have your child evaluated. Once a line of communication is opened between you and your child, it is like a whole new world.
My son could not say his “g” and “k” sounds. Melisa Aar has been so fantastic with my son. He is able to say all his sounds now and is more confident when he talks to people. The therapists are so personable here and we would give Miss Melissa 5 stars for being so awesome!
My son, Zach, began speech therapy in 2015 with great success. His annunciation became clearer and more understandable in just a year. Once he graduated from speech therapy, he continued on with writing comprehension to further his language understanding. Now, a middle schooler, his writing has improved to grade level and in some cases above level. Thank you Clear Speech therapists! Because we needed help with annunciation and writing, I would recommend their SLPs to any parents whose child could benefit. With their 1:1 ratio, kids get faster results than the SLPs within the school districts as their ratios are higher and sessions are shorter.
My daughter’s pediatrician recommended speech therapy services for our two
year old. Although was able to follow directions and understand others, she
wasn’t speaking as much as she should have been. After started services, he
speech has gotten clearer and she seems much more confident talking,
communicating, and identifying. her breath control has gotten better as
well as her tolerance to having her face touched. After the Safe and Sound
Protocol, she has gotten much more patient, willing to share, and follow
directions. Her melt downs from not getting her way are at a minimal as
well as she takes more to time to understand why something is the way it is.
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Location: 3602 Everett Ave
Everett, WA 98201
Telephone: (425) 785-3342
Fax: (425) 259-6317