Children afflicted with cleft palate experience many difficulties and impediments on their oral-motor skills. A child born with this condition will show one of the many varieties of the condition with their degree of severity. However, the problems it presents is always the same. Difficulty feeding is the most common, directly impacting the child’s health. Often, these problems can get in the way of proper feeding and receiving the right amount of nutrition. Fortunately, pediatric occupational therapy can help develop the oral-motor skills of children for the long term. Here are a few examples of exercises that could benefit your child afflicted with the condition.
- Massages, especially for infants, can help develop oral awareness while they are still in the early stages of their lives. It could also help increase the facial tone.
- Sipping through a straw can help develop the skills needed to eliminate feeding difficulties.
- Training the child’s taste and mouth using new varieties of food can also help. This way, they get used to different food textures so that they get some good chewing practice.
- Blowing activities using blow-pens, woodwind instruments, whistles and bubbles are also a good and fun way to develop the child’s skills. Your child will benefit from breath control, motor-planning skills, and lip rounding from such activities.
Pediatric occupational therapy should be a part of your child’s treatment. Be sure to consult with your child’s doctor or pediatrician about this.