When our son Owen was a newborn, he had trouble choking while nursing and drinking milk from a bottle. We went to a lactation consultant, tried nursing shields, various nursing positions, the slowest-flow nipples we could find, but nothing stopped the choking. Owen’s GI ordered a modified barium swallow (MBS) at4 months, and he was diagnosed with laryngeal penetration. We started feeding him honey thick liquids and were told he would eventually outgrow the condition.We were optimistic his 3 subsequent MBS’s would show progress, but sadly we were still at honey thick consistency and extremely discouraged. One of the speech language pathologists at Phoenix Children’s Hospital suggested we look into VitalStim therapy. We immediately discussed VitalStim with Owen’s pediatrician. He had never heard of the therapy, and therefore didn’t feel like he could recommend it to us. We respect our pediatrician very much, and were hesitant to try a new therapy without his recommendation. Still, we wanted to know more. Jennifer Buck at Jabbermouths was very responsive to our initial inquiry, and answered our numerous questions regarding the therapy, costs, and expected results. Her thorough explanations and case studies really helped clear up some of our confusion and hesitation to try the therapy.
Happily, Owen responded immediately to VitalStim, and especially to Jenn’s warm, loving approach. Within the first few sessions, Jenn began moving him to thinner consistencies. She also coached us about thickening at home as we progressed through therapy. He had very little choking during therapy and never once became ill. By our last two sessions, he successfully drank un-thickened milk and apple juice! After all this effort, we are optimistic that our tedious days of thickening and expensive MBS procedures may be over forever. Buh-bye, thickeners… and thank you Jenn!
– Lindsay W.