Caution: this therapeutic tool should be used under adult supervision at all times. When changing tips and/or the battery, please use caution as the unit contains small parts that pose a choking hazard.Most people are either visual or auditory learners. Sometimes, however, these two senses are not enough, and we look to the sense of touch to teach certain skills. Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) have been trained to use tactile input to teach individuals how to lateralize their tongue, elevate their tongue tip, make a tongue bowl, close their lips, learn a rotary chew, position the articulators for sound production, and much more. The DnZ-Vibe is a tool to help therapists work on these skills in and around the mouth.
Unlike other tools in the SLP toolbox, the DnZ-Vibe allows therapists to use targeted tactile input within the oral cavity to improve muscle tone and movement of the articulators. The DnZ-Vibe also takes tactile learning to the next level with the added bonus of vibration. It can always be used in the off position without vibration. Or, it can be turned on to vibrate. The vibration will provide a new level of sensory stimulation to increase oral focus and to draw more acute attention to specific movements of the cheek, jaw, lips, and tongue.Increase Oral Awareness: The DnZ-Vibe is highly recommended for individuals with hyposensitivities and low oral tone. Its gentle vibration will increase oral awareness and provide much needed proprioceptive input to the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw. For sensory-seekers who crave oral stimulation, massaging the gums with the soft Brush Tip is particularly effective.
Decrease Oral Sensitivities and Food/Texture Aversions: The DnZ-Vibe is also recommended for hypersensitive individuals. In these cases, vibration as well as the various scents/textures of the tips can gradually desensitize the mouth and decrease oral aversions and sensory defensiveness.
Calm and Soothe: Some individuals with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD), etc. have inappropriate oral behaviors, such as self-biting or chewing on miscellaneous and sometimes hazardous items. Vibration is a very helpful tool for calming and organizing. The DnZ-Vibe's smooth vibration provides gentle sensory feedback to the lips, gums, tongue, jaw, and inside the cheek area. While it is mostly used inside the oral cavity, it can also be used outside the mouth on the cheeks, neck, and arms for additional feedback.
Transition from Pureed to Textured Foods: The Sylvie Spoon Tips have a textured surface on the back side of the spoon. Use these tips with the DnZ-Vibe in order to gradually introduce new textures during feeding. Or, use the ears of the Animal Tips to feed and allow the individual to mouth the tips and explore their various textures and shapes.
Increase Interest in Therapy: Use the DnZ-Vibe with the Scented Bite-n-Chew Tips, the friendly Animal Tips, and/or the Popette Tip with a lollipop in order to spark attention and increase participation in therapy.
Teach Biting and Chewing Skills: Use the DnZ-Vibe with Bite-n-Chew Tips to develop and improve the oral motor skills necessary for feeding, including a sustained bite, rhythmic chewing, jaw strength and stability, and more. These tips are available in berry and citrus scents that simulate the smell of real food as well as extra long (XL) versions that can reach all the way to the back molar area. The Animal Tips can also be used to practice biting, chewing, and jaw grading and stability.
Develop Oral Motor Skills: The DnZ-Vibe provides a safe and effective way to work on the oral motor skills necessary to make speech sounds and to manage food. These skills include: lip/cheek/tongue awareness, lip closure, lip extension, jaw stability and grading, tongue and jaw dissociation, tongue elevation, tongue retraction and protrusion, tongue lateralization, and a tongue bowl. Using the DnZ-Vibe, therapists and caregivers can target specific movements within the oral cavity - physically demonstrating where the tongue, lips, and jaw should be for each skill. For specific exercises on how to improve these goals, consult Tips & Techniques for the Z-Vibe DnZ-Vibe, & Z-Grabbe.
Improve Oral Hygiene: Use the Brush Tips for gentle gum massage and teeth cleaning and to transition individuals into the eventual use of a regular toothbrush. The Tongue Scraper, Popette, and Floss Tips can also be used for dental care with the DnZ-Vibe.
Work on Writing Skills: When used with the Pen or Pencil Tips, the DnZ-Vibe becomes the Tran-Quill Pen/Pencil - an excellent tool for oral sensory motor needs. The vibration increases focus and attention while working on handwriting, homework, and other writing tasks, but does not affect the actual writing.Who manufactures the DnZ-Vibe? We do! At ARK Therapeutic, you are buying directly from the manufacturer and designer of this tool.
The DnZ-Vibe is the brainchild of Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP and her husband John Lowsky, Jr., BS ME. Having worked with children and adults with speech and feeding disorders for over 35 years, Debbie fully understands the challenges that the special needs community faces every day. The DnZ-Vibe was therefore designed with safety, durability, and versatility in mind.
Are the materials safe? 100% yes. ARK Therapeutic was founded with the desire to serve the special needs community with quality products to improve their quality of life. We are one of the only companies in the industry registered with the FDA, and all of our products are listed with the FDA and manufactured in the USA. All of ARK's products are also constructed out of medical grade materials that contain NO lead, phthalates, PVC, BPA, or latex. To learn more about our rigorous safety standards, click here.
Who can benefit from the DnZ-Vibe? ARK's DnZ-Vibe can benefit individuals of all ages and cognitive abilities, particularly those with an articulation disorder, feeding disorder, sensory issue, and/or oral motor difficulties. These difficulties may be seen in dividuals with, but not limited to, Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, SPD, etc. Caregivers should consult with your speech and/or occupational therapists to see if the DnZ-Vibe can be incorporated into your loved one's therapeutic treatment plan.
Is vibration right for everyone? Many individuals crave oral sensory input and welcome stimulation from the DnZ-Vibe. However, each person has his or her own set of sensory preferences, likes, and dislikes, and so some may be less receptive to vibration than others. Vibration is very alerting, and it may take time to establish trust and acceptance. Start slowly and gradually introduce the device without vibration first. Then, turn it on and show it to the individual, allowing him or her to feel the vibration in the hands or on the arms, slowly working towards acceptance into the mouth. Remember, however, that the DnZ-Vibe can always be used in the OFF position without vibration. Even without vibration, the DnZ-Vibe can be used for oral motor stimulation and speech/feeding exercises.
I am a parent/caregiver. Can I use the DnZ-Vibe at home? Absolutely! It is very important for parents to follow through with recommended therapy techniques at home. On average, children see their speech therapists 1-2 times per week, but you see your child every day! Accelerate learning by working on your child's therapy homework every day, several times throughout the day. Ask your therapist to explain AND demonstrate the exercises and to give you tips for making progress at home. Detailed exercises on how to use the DnZ-Vibe can also be found in Tips & Techniques for the Z-Vibe DnZ-Vibe, & Z-Grabber.
Can my child use the DnZ-Vibe on his own? As a medical device that contains small parts, the DnZ-Vibe must be supervised at all times.