Oral Placement Therapy Tools

10 Oral Placement Therapy Tools

10 Oral Placement Therapy Tools

It is critical for these clients to expand speech sound production from phonemes and other similar oral movements that they can already produce.

The sensory component of movement is awareness. A client may be hypersensitive or tactile defensive, hyposensitive to tactile input, or have mixed or fluctuating tactile responsivity.

To improve speech clarity, oral placement therapy employs a combination of :
  • auditory stimulation
  • visual stimulation
  • tactile stimulation to the mouth

For clients with placement and movement deficits, OPT is an important addition to traditional speech treatment methods. Traditional therapy is predominantly auditory and visual in nature.

What is the Process?

It is critical to extend speech or sound production beyond phonemes and other similar oral movements that the child is already capable of producing.

Oral Placement Therapy is a speech therapy which utilizes a combination of

  1. Auditory stimulation
  2. Visual stimulation
  3. Tactile stimulation to the mouth

To improve speech production and clarity. ( Reference Talk Tools.com)

  • OPT is an important addition to traditional speech treatment methods for clients with placement and movement deficits.
  • It is a tactile-proprioceptive teaching technique which accompanies traditional therapy. Traditional therapy is primarily auditory and visual.
  • Clients with motor and/or sensory impairments benefit from tactile and proprioceptive components because speech is a tactile-proprioceptive act.
  • OPT is used to improve articulator awareness, placement (dissociation, grading, and direction of movement), stability, and muscle memory; all of these are necessary for the development of speech clarity.

Who benefits from Therapy of Oral Placement

OPT can be used with clients of many ages and ability levels. It can be incorporated into program plans for many types of speech disorders (e.g., dysarthria, apraxia of speech voice disorders, fluency disorders and post CVA clients, as well as clients with mild-to-profound levels of hearing loss).

Individuals identified with the following disorders can be helped by the Talk Tools program-

-Down Syndrome
-Cerebral Palsy
-Rare Syndromes including Rett Syndrome and Angelman -Syndrome
-Autistic Spectrum Conditions
-Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia
-Feeding difficulties and/or dysphagia

OPT is also useful for adults with dysarthria ( unclear speech post a stroke/neurological condition).

What are the Tools used for OPT?

Here is a summary of the various tools for OPT. You can click on the pictures to purchase the tools (via Amazon).

1) Chewy Tubes  –

Chewy Tubes are innovative tools designed to develop biting and chewing skills. They are made up of a Thermo-elastic polymer. These are innovative tools for developing biting and chewing skills. They are constructed of a thermo-elastic polymer.

  • Yellow Chewy Tube

This is used with a smaller jaw. Hence infants or young children would benefit from this colour. This can also be used with individuals who cannot open their jaw wide enough. Also used with children who are very defensive about oral tactile stimulation. It features a hollow, narrow stem of 3/8″ outside diameter (OD). Yellow Chewy tubes are typically used with infants and younger children with smaller jaws.

Yellow Chewy Tube

  • Red Chewy Tube

This is used with toddlers, older children, adults or with individuals who are status-post oral surgery. It provides a smooth surface for practicing biting and chewing skills. It features a hollow stem of 1/2″ OD.

Red Chewy Tube


  • Orange P &Qs

Babies enjoy exploring the little stem on the Q with their tongue.  At about 6 months when lateral biting begins to develop, the child will swing that little stem over to the side of the jaw for more intense biting.For larger jaws, the circle portion of the Q offers a firm bitable surface for bilateral jaw closure activities.

  • Orange P &Qs
    Green Chewy Tube

The Green knobby Chewy Tube has been designed to increase sensory input by means of the raised dots on the shaft. The shaft diameter is 15mm OD. The Green knobby Chewy Tube is slightly harder to chew on when compared with Yellow and Red Chewy Tubes

  • Green Chewy TubeBlue Chewy Tube

The Blue Chewy Tube is smooth and is the largest and firmest of the Chewy Tubes. It is intended for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities, autism or sensory integration disorders. It features a hollow stem of 5/8″ OD.

Blue Chewy Tube2) Z Vibe :

This is a vibratory oral motor tool that can help build oral tone and improve a variety of speech, feeding, and sensory skills.  You can use it to provide a varied sensory experience and/or to provide targeted tactile cues within the oral cavity.

3) Horns/Whistles :

This motivational therapy tool serves as a beneficial adjunct to traditional therapy techniques. The horn kit is designed to normalize oral musculature, correct articulation errors, improve abdominal grading and speech clarity, and also serves as a prerequisite for working on oral-nasal contrasts. Instructions included.

4) Jaw Grading Bite Blocks

This essential tool is used in the famous activity “Bite Block hierarchy.” Jaw Grading Bite Blocks promote symmetrical jaw strength, stability, and grading for clients with weak jaw musculature evidenced during speech sound production or feeding (i.e. reduced mobility, sliding, or jutting).

Excellent for use with Dysarthria, Apraxia and Dyspraxia. This tool is used for a variety of tasks, including “Bite Block Hierarchy.” Grading of Jaws Bite Blocks encourage symmetrical jaw strength, stability, and grading in clients who have weak jaw musculature as evidenced by speech sound production or feeding.

Jaw Grading Bite Blocks

5) Straws :

A pillar of OPT (Oral Placement Therapy), the Straw Therapy promotes jaw-lip-tongue dissociation through twelve stages of development.

Straws are excellent for OPT. Through twelve stages of development, they promote jaw-lip-tongue dissociation.

6) Infant Toothbrush :

This is a Finger toothbrush. It is smooth on one side with soft rubber bristiles on the other, the Finger Cuff can be used to teach motor plan for chewing utilizing the phasic bite.

Infant Toothbrush
7) Honey Bear Drinking Cup :

Honey Bear W/ Flex Straw not only helps in lingual grating and tongue retraction but also is preferable for all those oral grating movements, which are necessary for feeding and development of speech capabilities. If your child is someone who has forward tongue thrust and doesn’t know how to drink from a straw this will be very useful.

Honey Bear Drinking Cup

8) NUK Brush :

Wonderful tools for oral motor stimulation and desenzitation. It offers valuable sensory input. Provides calming benefits for a sensory diet.It is claimed to be latex free.NUK Brush

9) Tongue Tip Lateralization Tools :

The design of the Tongue Elevation Tool helps establish jaw stability to facilitate independent movement of the tongue tip for lateralization across midline and for elevation and depression of the tongue tip.

Tongue Tip Lateralization Tools
  10) Oral Sensory Integration Kit :

A collection of tools with changeable tips that provide a variety of sensory oral motor tactile input. Great for desensitization. The above is a reference list.

Nonverbal children began making sounds and babbling. Drooling children started swallowing more. We would love to hear which tool worked for your child, and if you are looking for help! Pleas leave a reply. We saw a significant improvement in children after they became aware of their oral structures through the structured OPT programme we used.

Pratiksha Gupta
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(1 Comment)

  • L shivaraj

    J need oral motor kit for therapy a autisum child .he has restricted tongue movement (up), unable to blow and suck with straw. unable to lips close sometimes.he can express words but unclear and repetitive word’s.no attention span and concentrate More Time. he understands simple sentences and following simple commands also. I needed this kit 1) lip closer,2) tongue depresser.3)straw 4)
    whistles and tongue twistre. His age 9 year’s.
    (speech therapist)

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