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Whistle Blowing Speech Therapy???

(15 Posts)
pinkiepunksmummy Sat 27-Mar-10 00:46:46

DS 6.3 has been given a selection of whistle type toys by a specialist salt he saw as a one-off. Some he can make a sound with, others he can't. As part of daily speech therapy (to be done at home, by me) he has to blow into each of these whistles 20 times, leaving a 2 second gap inbetween blows. I am to hold the whistle, to ensure he keeps to the 'in-blow-out' rhythm and I am supposed to keep a diary of how many times he has managed a good sound without faltering.

Does anyone know if this is an actual speech therapy exercise??? It feels as though it is something that has just been dreamed up to keep me quiet.... hmm

DS has low muscle tone in tongue and lips caused by Hypermobility Syndrome. No-one except myself can understand him, and even I struggle. There seems to be no definition to his speech, and he leaves the letters off the beginnings of words, mixes sounds up and cannot make quite a lot of sounds. He is making extremely slow progress. Verbal Dyspraxia has been sort-of considered, but from what I have read it seems more likely to be a Phonological Disorder, although his SALT won't comment other than to say his problems are complex.

DS is refusing to do the whistle blowing now, because he says it is 'for babies'. If I knew it was worthwhile, I'd force the issue more, but I am not going to upset him for something that is just to fob me off.

*he isn't a spoilt brat, but quite sensitive where his poor speech is concerned and I have been doing other speech therapy with him instead*

OP’s posts: |
philosophymum Sat 27-Mar-10 07:08:33

Well, I'm trying to get my DS to blow a whistle as part of his SALT. He has ASD and seems to have difficulty co-ordinating and organising the muscles in his mouth. His SALT also has him doing other oral-motor stuff like sticking his tongue out, licking jam off his lips, opening his mouth wide, trying to make faces at me etc. So I think it's a normal SALT thing to do and I hope it helps your DS.

Phoenix4725 Sat 27-Mar-10 07:19:11

Yes it is normal excersise what about blowing bubbles or blowing through a straw into water

Phoenix4725 Sat 27-Mar-10 07:20:30

Sorry thought another one your ds might like use either ping pong balls or feathers and have races blowing them

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 27-Mar-10 07:36:05

Yes its an exercises designed to strengthen his oral muscles.

BooKangerooWonders Sat 27-Mar-10 08:13:42

Your ds could also try blowing through a drinking straw (big at first, smaller later) to move things around. Blowing out candles also works on the same muscles.
My ds had all these exercises to help his mild oral dyspraxia, now gone.

BooKangerooWonders Sat 27-Mar-10 08:14:57

You need to get him to think of the exercises like someone at a gym doing reps on various pieces of equipment.

anonandlikeit Sat 27-Mar-10 08:40:45

blow football, licking hundreds & thousands off of plates.
Making letters on plates with sticky stuff & getting him to lick the letters off..

It sounds like we were given similar stuff to your ds (& some whistles) but it only works if its fun!
Can he march around the garden blowing the whistles?

bubble2bubble Sat 27-Mar-10 09:20:30

Asking a 6 year old to blow 20 times on demand and counting sounds a bit grim. Several SLTs have told me about the importance of blowing for kids with speech difficulties - both for breath control and motor control and there really is good research to back up what they say. I'm guessing that if he is a bit sensitive about his speech then drilling him is not really going to help. As others have said, blow football,I found these very good & motivational, those packets of cheap party blowers you get in Tesco....anything that doesn't make him think he is doing therapy

NorthernSky Sat 27-Mar-10 10:51:24

Message withdrawn

pinkiepunksmummy Sat 27-Mar-10 12:33:16

Wow loads of replies!!! Thanks everyone.....

DS was given a harmonica (simple) a train whistle (simple to give a loud 'blast' so I was trying to get him to blow for a little longer) and a party blower (which he mastered in the same afternoon).

Actually getting him to blow the whistles is no problem, it is the making him do it for the 20x for each whistle....with only 2 seconds in between each blow...he wants to say things like 'that was loud' after each blow, which messes up the rhythm, so it is frustarting for him not to speak (he is a chatterbox). I told him it was physio for his tongue (he has physio for his body)and he thought that was funny so was willing to do it at first, but I think he is bored by it now as well as being able to blow all the whistles so there is nothing to work towards. And he can blow up a balloon, blow bubbles, candles ect. with no problems. He has used a straw for drinks since he was little due to weakness in his hands (problems holding a cup) so is great at blowing bubbles in liquid too.

I was also told to do the Cheerio on the top and bottom teeth for five sceonds, which seems a bit pointless as he can do it so easily...he can lick his lips top and bottom, but not at the sides. Also I was told to massage his face every day, to get him used to being touched....but this has never been a problem either.

The suggested therapies seemed a bit 'odd', not tailored to DS at all and not like I had just been sitting in a room with the specialist SALT who gave them, but I thought DS would be seeing her again and he was due to start more SALT sessions in two weeks, I thought it wouldn't matter too much and he could do these anyway. BUT, that was at the beginning of January, and each time I chase up the session date, I am told oh, it'll just be two weeks....And apparently the specialist SALT only saw DS as a 'favour' so he won't be seeing her again. He was having group sessions along with DD2, but they weren't making any progress with the sounds, so were not able to move forward with the group. DS is much more severe (DD2 has now come on in leaps and bounds and most words are understandable) and I was told he needed 1-2-1 sessions, but they were very difficult to get so he would continue in group sessions until 1-2-1 places were available......BUT DD2 was given 1-2-1 sessions, which have helped dramatically, and poor DS is still waiting with no sessions at all angry I just get the feeling this is one more thing to shut me up and stop me chasing appointments!!

OP’s posts: |
NorthernSky Sat 27-Mar-10 12:57:43

Message withdrawn

pinkiepunksmummy Sat 27-Mar-10 13:23:58

Yes, Northen Sky, that is a great idea. Will definitly give that a try, thanks.

The only thing that has worked so far as therapy goes, apart from repeating sounds at the same time as watching me and watching himself in the mirror, is using a tongue depressor to hold his tongue in the correct position...that enabled him to make a 'k' sound.

OP’s posts: |
theresnogoodnamesleft Sat 27-Mar-10 16:54:07


The fact that the SALT has asked for 20 blows per horn sounds like it's from the Talk Tools guidance,
if it is then you generally have to work through the horns in a specific hiararchy, moving onto another when the easier one is mastered, i would be wary of using all of them at once, but that's just my understanding of experience of talk tools so if it isn't that it may be different.

HairyMaclary Sat 27-Mar-10 20:34:37

WE did the talk tools programme too, it's designed to strengthen the mouth muscles. the timings sound exactly like how we had to do it, we did it daily and DS soon got the hang of it, I would count while he blew. It's quite self motivating as they move through the whistles, straws etc quite fast.

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