Dribbbbbling…… is one of the things that I worry about, especially as Cayla will be starting school next year. It is quite common in kids with cerebral palsy and it is not due to an overproduction of saliva but is usually related to abnormalities in swallowing, difficulties moving saliva to the back of the throat, poor mouth closure and so on.
I’ve also recently read somewhere that a lot of children loose control of saliva and drool as they are developing control of gross motor and fine motor movements which makes sense. Drooling is however quite normal in kids under four years of age but if it continues beyond that it may be due to very low muscle tone or physical disability. Swallowing can contribute to drooling if the person doesn’t swallow frequently enough or if the swallowing is not effective. This seem to fit in with Cayla and there are a number of things we can do to help.
One is something called pressure point percussion techniques. This is meant to help reduce high tone/tension in the face, stimulate muscles control and increase lower jaw movement which may benefit Cayla as she is apparently quite stiff in her cheeks. It involves doing a sequence of different pressure points in Cayla’s face and is too be repeated 5-7 times/day. Before we do this we are going to massage her cheeks and face muscles and mobilise her lower jaw by moving it side-to-side and then forwards and backwards. We are also to encourage Cayla to hold a small soft toy between her chin and chest. This exercise will stretch her neck muscles, allowing the retracted position of her jaw, forward movement…… I have only just started to perform this sequence a couple of times a day but I am not mobilising her jaw… I have no clue what I’m doing so will leave that for the pro’s! Not sure if it will work but hey, I will give it a go.
We have recently met with our new speech pathologist Avril from TCCP and I am very pleased. Even gave her a hug when she left the first session at our house…! Not sure why actually.. just one of those weird things but I really liked her and think she will be a great help to improve Cayla’s speech. She has set us some goals with the Vantage Lite (Cayla’s Talker) so hopefully we will use it a bit more as it’s been a bit so and so up until now… Cayla is not overly keen on using it so it does demand a bit of encouragement and of course consistency from our part per usual.
Below are some photos from this year’s Special needs children’s X’mas party in Mirrabokka. Everything from rides to ice creams, cuddly animal farm to fairy floss was free. The kids were given great pressies from Santa so all up a great morning.