15 June 2009

Cigar Anyone?

Vera's into cigars - harmless ones. They stick to her lips and melt in her mouth.

Our recent visit to speech therapist Vasu brought good news. He saw how Vera was drinking water by the spoon and was clearly impressed. That's a skill that is supposed to be more advanced than bottle sucking. On top of that, kids usually start off therapy with thicker textures before moving on to liquids which is supposedly more difficult. So Vera's gone the other way around! She doesn't take well to puree. In fact, he went as far as to say that she probably has mild to moderate oral dysphagia, and not pharyngeal (further down the throat) dysphagia. This is a therapist with nearly 15 years of experience so I was really happy with his words. I just felt like, all the effort with therapy every day for the last 10 months...the toothette, the face massage, the spooning, it paid off! It seems it all clicked for her after her lateral cleft was repaired.

So now, we're going backwards and starting Vera on food. They must be high-taste, such as salty or sweet crackers. The aim of this is more to awaken her different tastebuds, rather than to get her to ingest something. Sour is not recommended though, such as orange juice. She tends to choke on citrus juices.

The strips of crackers seem to do the trick. She plays with little bite-offs with her tongue. We're taking it slow though. Cigars are best enjoyed that way anyway.

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