|Sorry it took so long to get back here but I wanted to wait until everyone was asleep so I wouldn't be interrupted. |
As far as Vital Stim is concerned.....#1 make sure an ST or OT does it and you NEED to check and ask to see their certificate for that type of stimulation. Not just any OT or ST can use it. They have to take a course on how to use it properly. So ask to see the certificate before allowing them to use it.
#2 Vital Stim CAN be VERY productive therapy for children with dysphasia. The therapy is best when the child eats while it is being used. That way while swallowing, the muscles are being stimulated by the probes.
I know a Mother who has used this on 2 of her children with great success.
Children also tend to need to work up in the length of time they can tolerate the therapy as well. The first time out will be short and as the weeks go on the sessions can get longer.
As far as speech sessions, we do OT for feeding issues. You may want to go with an Occupational Therapist versus an reg. ST because swallowing involves the muscle groups not speech issues. JMHO and what we did. We made sure our OT had ALOT of background in working with kiddos with feeding issues.
When Jedd was pretty much completely tube fed, we would run his feed through the pump and while that was running (30mins) we did alot of oral stimulation with oral motor tools. Jedd really liked this alot. Once he tolerated that pretty well, we moved to trying to get him to take bites of food.
We had great success when we finally moved to just concentrating on getting him to take his formula though. We used syringes to help him to take small small amounts at each sitting. Once he was taking enough to qualify as a meal, we cut out those tube feeds where we could.
We stayed on formula ( a next step one) for a while when we worked on foods.
I will say from person experience that oral motor tools are VERY VERY important when it comes to tube fed kids. I firmly believe this because they need to get all the oral stimulation that they can because they don't use those muscles since they don't eat.