Ask A Therapist: Open Mouth Posture

Hi TalkTools,

I have purchased the Jaw Grading Bite Blocks to assist a client I have who has an open mouth posture most of the time and some significant difficulty with articulation and moderate amounts of drooling. Unfortunately I think I was premature in attempting the Bite Blocks assessment. I read through the book Oral Placement Therapy for Speech Clarity and Feeding thoroughly before beginning. He had a lot of difficulty attending to the specific directions I was giving. In addition, when he did bite down on the #2 block at the very beginning of the assessment, his jaw kept moving laterally. He doesn’t have a “natural bite”.

Could someone please advise me as to how I should proceed with this client?  I’m new to the TalkTools world and would appreciate an idea on where to start with this client.


Hi Karen,

I would advise that you work on the Bite Tube Set starting with the Red Bite Tube. This will work on your client’s jaw strength and as you work through the bite tubes you can revisit the bite blocks. You would look to see if he is later able to achieve the “natural bite” and “bite hold” required with the bite blocks. Please let me know if you have any other questions.



Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 10 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

Talktool admin 04 May 16