Elliott loves bubbles. It was one of his first words. He asks me to blow them for him all the time. He loves them in his bath. But, he can’t blow them very well. I am not sure when kids learn how to blow bubbles, but ours cant really do it well.
We practice about once a week. Not only because he loves them, but because it is part of the oral therapy we started for him. You may have noticed that in many photo’s we post–he is wearing a stylish baby neck wear (aka: a bib), and if he isn’t his shirt is wet. We often have to change bibs and shirts several times a day.
Since he was an infant, he has had allergies. I observed it when he was around 6 months old–his eyes would water when he was outside, he would sneeze with frequency, and he always has a throaty noise when he was breathing. Since his symptoms didn’t seem to bother him too much when he was a wee lad, we never sought out a medical or Rx treatment.
However, at his 18 month doctors appointment I mentioned the allergy theory to his Doc. She asked a few questions, of which we answered yes. She took a look in his nose–redness, swelling, etc. Although 6 months early, she prescribed Zyrtec. A few days after starting the medicine, he immediately was better. He could finally breathe through his nose, the throat breathing was gone.
I realized that because he couldn’t breathe through his nose-for basically his whole life-he learned to breathe through his mouth. As a result of being a mouth breather, he didn’t learn to swallow his saliva. And, thus he drools a lot.
The bubbles are a way to help him learn to control his mouth and lips. They teach him to blow. We are also reminding him to keep his chin dry as well as to keep his mouth closed. We will do an exaggerated inhale through the nose while keeping our lips pursed as an example. Lastly, we are offering him cups with straws over cups with spouts.
It did seem to be improving, until he started cutting a new tooth. Now his saliva production has increased and he is chewing on his fingers. Which means more drool.
All of this doesn’t seem to be bother Elliott one bit. Although he is starting to become aware of the fact that he wears a bib and the other kids don’t. Once he realizes it fully, I will just opt to remove it and let his shirts get wet, changing them often. Until then, we will continue with our current methods. His 2 year appointment is fast approaching and once it does we will address the drooling issue with his doctor and hope that our new medical insurance covers occupational therapy or the like.