Skip the Sippy!

Bethany Anderson MS, CCC-SLP
Director of Speech and Language

I know, the “Sippy-cup” is very useful; it prevents spills, is mobile and convenient.  However, mixing in the use of a “regular cup” will help your child’s oral-motor development.  To do this, start by giving your child 2-3oz of their drink in a regular cup 1 time a day for one week.  Then, choose one meal a day where only regular cup or a “big kid cup” is available.  This will help them coordinate the complex fine motor movements within the oral cavity.  If your child is over the age of 2 and uses a pacifier or a bottle, PLEASE STOP!!  The use of a pacifier or bottle beyond the infant stage maintains the infantile tongue-thrust swallow that can impede oral-motor development.  Tongue-thrust can be caused by prolonged pacifier, thumb or finger sucking. Constant thumb sucking in particular may change the shape of the child’s upper and lower jaw and teeth, requiring speech, dental, and/or orthodontic intervention. Tongue-thrust is a type of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD).   With tongue-thrust, the tongue pushes too far into the anterior portion of the oral cavity while speaking and/or swallowing. The tongue may lie forward during rest or may protrude between the upper and lower teeth during speech and swallowing, and at rest. Typically a frontal ‘lisp’ (i.e. saying ‘thith’ for ‘sis’) is due to tongue-thrust.  Other sounds that may be impacted due to tongue-thrust include: /s/,/z/, “sh”, “zh”, “ch” and “j” . 

For further information, visit http://www.asha.org/ or contact the Speech and Language Department at Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics.

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