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Research Article  |   August 1990
Decreasing Drooling With Oral Motor Stimulation in Children With Multiple Disabilities
Author Affiliations
  • Leigh Strawbridge Domaracki, MEd, is a Special Education Teacher, Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, 201 North Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213–1499
  • Lori A. Sisson, PhD, is a Clinical Psychology Researcher, Department of Research and Clinical Psychology, Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Practice
Research Article   |   August 1990
Decreasing Drooling With Oral Motor Stimulation in Children With Multiple Disabilities
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1990, Vol. 44, 680-684. doi:10.5014/ajot.44.8.680
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1990, Vol. 44, 680-684. doi:10.5014/ajot.44.8.680
Abstract

Many persons with severe and profound disabilities exhibit chronic and excessive drooling, which can have unfavorable effects on their socialization and health. Few treatments to reduce this behavior, however, have been evaluated systematically. In the present investigation, oral motor stimulation was used with 2 children who attended a residential educational facility for students who are blind and who have multiple disabilities. The treatment involved the brushing of the hard palate, the upper and lower gums, the tongue, and the inside of both cheeks at 1-hr intervals during the school day. The efficacy of this approach was demonstrated with a withdrawal experimental design. Because this treatment did not eliminate drooling, vibration was applied to the chin and neck, first in conjunction with the oral motor stimulation and then contingent on the subject’s having a dry face. Vibration did not have additional therapeutic effects. The results of this study are discussed in relation to the existing literature on modification of drooling and the difficulty of effecting change in the behavior of persons with severe and profound mental and physical disabilities.