On the Horizon – 06/10/2008

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Horizons Developmental Remediation Center

On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 16: Oral Motor and Its Affect on Feeding Disorders

On the Horizon is a weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

To keep receiving On the Horizon, please add the email address “nicolebeurkens@horizonsdrc.com” to your safe address list.

In This Issue

Improving Feeding and Speech!

A Note from Nicole: Staff Increases, a Wedding, Oral Motor Problems

Idea of the Week: Horseshoes

Feature Article: Oral Motor and Its Affect on Feeding Disorders

Featured Resource: Feeding Calendar/Journal Combination

Featured Program: Summer Camps 2008-Last Week to Register

Upcoming Events: CORE Approach Workshops, SibShop


A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone!

This past week was full of exciting celebrations at Horizons!  We had a dinner party to celebrate Erin and Courtney leaving their school jobs and coming to Horizons full-time.  This represents a significant change for their careers, and they are both so excited about the opportunity to serve more families.  We’re all looking forward to having them both around the office every day!  On Saturday, most of our staff members attended Courtney’s wedding and reception.  Courtney is now Courtney Kowalczyk (we’re still trying to engrain the pronunciation into our minds) and we couldn’t be happier for her!!

Those of you who have children in your families, or on your caseload, with oral motor problems (often implicated in feeding and speech issues) will benefit from the feature article this week.  In it, Erin provides an easy-to-understand description of what oral motor problems are and how to address them.  Don’t miss the featured product information about Erin’s feeding calendar and journal set.  This set provides parents and professionals some great user-friendly tools for exploring and expanding food preferences!

Looking to the horizon,

Nicole Signature 

Idea of the Week
Childrens Horseshoes


Set up a game of horseshoes in the backyard.  Take turns playing with different members of the family.  You can play one-on-one or on a team.  Use different objects to toss, and try finding different ways to throw the horseshoe, like standing backwards, standing to the side, sitting on the ground, or closing your eyes.  Talk about which way was the easiest to throw the horseshoe, and which was the hardest.


Feature Article
Mouth Exercise

Oral Motor and Its Affect on Feeding Disorders

By: Erin Roon, MA CCC-SLP

What is an oral motor deficit?  An oral motor deficit affects the musculature of the mouth including the lips, tongue, and jaw.  The following are causes of oral motor disorders:

  • Incorrect motor programming of the muscles of the mouth.  In other words, the brain sends a message to the muscles of the mouth, but the muscles don’t receive the message or it is misinterpreted.  This causes the muscles either to not move at all, or to move in an incorrect fashion that results in mismanagement of food in the mouth.
  • Low muscle tone, meaning the muscles of the lip, tongue, or jaw are weak.  Many times children with low muscle tone in the jaw have an open mouth posture.  Difficulty with puckering, drinking from a straw, or frequent spilling of liquids when drinking is caused by weak lip strength.  Poor tongue strength can result in an inability to stick the tongue out, or move it from side to side.  Drooling can also be caused by weakness in the muscles of the mouth.  Strengthening these muscles can be very important in improving both feeding deficits and speech intelligibility.


Featured Resource

Explorations in Eating Calendar and Journal

$19.95 (Per Calendar) or $34.95 (Per Calendar and Journal) Each day has ideas to expand your child’s diet and food preferences. Calendars are assembled by clients in our EmployAbilities program. $1.00 from every calendar will be donated to FARR.

Click on the image below to visit our store!

Explorations in Eating Calendar Image

Featured Program
Summer Camp Fun!

Summer Camps 2008!

Absolute last week to register and only a couple of spots left!!

Your child is going to LOVE the exciting adventures we have planned for this summer! Each week we will explore a different theme together, complete with lots of opportunities for movement, music, problem solving, working together, and indoor and outdoor fun. Our camps are design to offer a fun, safe, and therapeutic environment for children with developmental disabilities to engage with peers, try new things, and retain skills over the summer months. A low staff to child ratio ensures that everyone is supported. Principles of the Relationship Development Intervention (CORE Approach) Program are integrated throughout all activities, which provides oportunities for campers to improve communication, increase competence, enhance regulation, and build relationships.

For a brochure, click here

For a registration form, click here

To sign up online, click here

Upcoming Events

Please join us!

  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) ® Program 2-Day Workshop
    June 13 and 14 in Lansing, MI
    Click here for more information or to register.

  • Teleseminar – Co-Occurring Disorders:  Separating Core Deficits From Other Symptoms
    For current clients only
    Tuesday June 17, 8:30 PM EST
  • SibShop – Horizons Sibling Network
    Open to everyone!
    Saturday June 28, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM EST
  • Beginning CORE Approach 4-day Parent Seminar – Lansing, MI
    November 10-13
    Registration and Location Information To Be Announced…

See our Event Calendar for more details…

On the Horizon is a weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child¹s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

Our mailing address is:

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
3120 68th Street SE
Caledonia, MI  49316

Our telephone:
(616) 698-0306

Our email address:

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