Ask A Therapist: Bubble Therapy
My nephew is 3 years old with Down syndrome. We have bought the Straw, Horn and Bubble kits. Following your instructions in DVD, he is doing great with straw and horn, but he does not accept bubble therapy at all, though he did well in the first exercise. We live in a country with limited qualified speech therapists, therefore we are seeking your advice. Is it possible to skip bubbles therapy?
Some children do not understand how to form their lips for bubble blowing and/or how to coordinate oral airflow with their lips rounded. Because your nephew accepts the horn it is evident he can create oral airflow, so the lip rounding without the “feel” of something in his mouth seems to be the problem. Here is how you can help him to learn to blow bubbles.
Cut a wide diameter straw to a 2 inch length. Have him blow one time on Horn #1 as you say “blow.” When he blows the Horn #1 remove the horn and put the straw between his lips and instruct him to “blow” through the straw. Continue to alternate between the horn and the straw until he automatically blows through the straw when you put it in his mouth 5 times in a row.
Next: Blow a bubble from the bubble tube and catch it on the wand (existing bubble). Place one end of the straw in your nephew’s mouth and hold the existing bubble at the open end of the straw. Instruct him to blow through the straw. This should move the bubble on the wand, pop the bubble on the wand, or blow the bubble off the wand. In any case, it will teach him to associate the oral airflow used in blowing a horn with the oral airflow used in blowing a bubble. Gradually eliminate the use of the straw and you should be able to use the bubble hierarchy along with the horns and straws.