Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder & 
Oral Motor

What is oral motor?

"Oral motor development refers to the use and function of the lips, tongue, jaw, teeth, and the hard and soft palates. The movement and coordination of these structures is very important in speech production, safe swallowing, and consuming various food textures."

You can have either hypo-sensitive or hyper-sensitive oral motor. 

Signs that a child is hyper-sensitive (oral sensory avoiding) typically include dislike of brushing teeth, having their faces wiped, and are usually very picky eaters especially with specific textures. They are usually very particular about being neat and not enjoying messy play or eating.  They also may prefer a very specific type of cup/nipple for a bottle and not able to use other brands. They may also be unwilling to use utensils.  

Signs that a child is hypo-sensitive (oral sensory seeking) may include eating/licking everything. They may always have the tendency to have something in their mouths including non food items.  They usually tend to overstuff their mouths with food and very messy eaters.  They may like very crunchy foods and foods with a strong flavor such as spicy foods, very sweet/sour foods such as lemons, and very salty foods.  They may be nail biters or chew on clothing. Chewing and sucking on items such as pens, pencils, hair and fingers. 

Drooling is the flow of saliva outside the mouth.  It’s often a result of weak or underdeveloped muscles around your mouth or having too much saliva.

When your child receives a Sensory Processing Disorder diagnosis your child can meet with an Occupational Therapist to discuss your child's sensory diet plan and which oral motor tools and activities would be best for your child and what is age appropriate. Please always consult with a professional. This page will give you a few helpful ideas. 

Oral motor exercises help the muscles in the mouth and face for speech, eating, and saliva control.  Here are some things you can do with your child just for fun, and target better oral motor control at the same time. Never push or force your child to do the excersizes. They can gradually. 

Using chew sticks or necklaces may help with both sensitivities.  For those that are hyper-sensitive, it may help to introduce different textures to help stimulate their hard and soft palates.  For those that are hypo-sensitive it may help stimulate the palates so they do not chew on clothing, etc and give that sensation that their body is craving.
1. Try using a vibrating toothbrush to stimulate tongue.

Triple Bristle GO | Portable AA Battery Sonic Toothbrush for Travel | Three Brush Modes | Soft Nylon Bristles - Great for Autistic & Special Needs Adults and Kids
Triple Bristle Sonic Toothbrush
The dentist created three sided sonic toothbrush, the Triple Bristle. This unique three sided toothbrush was designed to help take the guesswork out of brushing. The soft angled bristles clean all sides of your teeth at once, helping you obtain a brighter, whiter smile in 1/3 the time. Swap your single sided toothbrush for the Triple Bristle and discover a new way to help maintain your oral health.

Vekkia Dragon Lord Sonic Rechargeable Kids Electric Toothbrush, 3 Modes With Memory, Fun & Easy Cleaning
USB Fast Charging: the indicator light flashes when charging, full of constant light on.
Mode Guidance: when the tooth brush starts, click within 3 seconds switch mode, after 3 seconds turn off.
Memory Function: no need to re-circulate to choose favorite mode again next time use.
For best brushing results, replace the brush head 3 months (recommended by the dentist).
This power toothbrush has 3 modes (clean 7-12, soft 3-6, massage 12+) with memory function, one on/off mode button, it does not need to be held down. Comfortable handle size designed for small little hands, lightweight only 2.45oz, easy grip. 

Oral-B Kids Electric Toothbrush With Sensitive Brush Head and Timer, for Kids 3+
While their smiles continue to grow and develop, there's no better time to start healthy oral care habits. This Oral-B kids electric toothbrush has a round brush head with soft bristles that rotate, oscillate and remove plaque better than a manual toothbrush. To help your kids brush for the dentist-recommended time of 2 minutes, there is a timer built into the handle. Compatible with a variety of Oral-B brush heads, this toothbrush is perfect for every oral care need.

2. Blowing bubbles and blowing up balloons.

Star Essence Awesome Bubbles
Star Essence Awesome Bubbles FRESH + FUN
Bubbles with benefits! Your child can enjoy the sensory activity of blowing and chasing bubbles while delighting in the aromatherapy advantages of the Awesome essential oil blend.
The curated combination of oils reduce reduce fatigue and provide a sense of balance.
Safe for children 2 years and older.
Available in a 4 oz plastic container with a bubble wand.

Star Essence Focus Bubbles
Bubbles with benefits! Your child can enjoy the sensory activity of blowing and chasing bubbles while delighting in the aromatherapy advantages of the Focus essential oil blend.
The curated combination of oils reduce nervous tension and help with concentration.
Safe for children 2 years and older.
Available in a 4 oz plastic container with a bubble wand.

Star Essence Focus Bubbles
Star Essence Energy Bubbles
Star Essence Energy Bubbles
Bubbles with benefits! Your child can enjoy the sensory activity of blowing and chasing bubbles while delighting in the aromatherapy advantages of the Energy essential oil blend.
The curated combination of oils promote a clear mind and is a mood booster.
Safe for children 2 years and older.
Available in a 4 oz plastic container with a bubble wand.

Star Essence Relax Bubbles PLAYFUL + RELAXING
Bubbles with benefits! Your child can enjoy the sensory activity of blowing and chasing bubbles while delighting in the aromatherapy advantages of the Relax essential oil blend.
The curated combination of oils promote relaxation and have a calming effect.
Safe for children 2 years and older.
Available in a 4 oz plastic container with a bubble wand.

Star Essence Relax Bubbles

Schylling Multi Bubble Trumpet
The bubble trumpet turns playtime into a symphony! Creates a stream of bubbles with every blow. Great for children who have trouble with the traditional blowing ring
Helps to develop oral motor skills, fine motor skills, and visual tracking skills.
Apart from providing a stream of bubbles with each blow, this trumpet is brilliantly suited to children who may have trouble with a traditional blowing ring. This pack contains a multi-bubble trumpet, dipping tray and 125Ml bottle of bubble mix. Manufacturer recommends suitable for ages 3 and up. Helps to develop: oral motor skills fine motor skills visual tracking skills 

3. Encourage your child to blow into music instruments such as horns and harmonicas. 

iPlay, iLearn Toddler Musical Instruments Toys, Kids Drum Set, Percussion, Tambourine, Trumpet, Maraca, Harmonica, Flute, Learning Gift
This toy helps children develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as well as higher intelligence and greater emotional understanding.
The drum itself also can be used as a storage box, convenient for your little ones to collect toys, and easy to carry when going out — the perfect size for preschoolers and early elementary children.

Click n' Play Set of 2 Musical Wind Instruments for Kids - Metallic Silver Saxophone and Trumpet Horn
Music is one of the great joys of childhood, and kids that learn music are proven to do better in skills like science and math. These Click n' Play Set of 2 Musical Wind Instruments that includes Metallic silver saxophone and Trumpet makes learning music fun and exciting. You'll find that with this durable Wind Instruments, burgeoning musicians can't get enough as they experiment by blowing and pressing on keys which produces realistic sounds! The size of each of the unique instruments is 16.5 inches and it's heavy-duty constructed from European material which have passed all tests for lead and other unsafe chemicals. It is a great gift for kids of any age from three and up.

3. Chewing bubble gum and blowing bubbles with gum. 

4. Play a funny face making game with a mirror with your child.  Make silly faces in the mirror while you are brushing your child’s teeth and try to get your child to imitate. 

5. Have your child smile, don't smile, then a frown and repeat.  

6. Have your child practice saying "oooo" and then "eeeee" then combine the two movements. 

7. Have your child drink different consistencies of liquids and food through a straw such as water, smoothies, apple sauce, pudding and milk shakes. 

8. Practice eating different textures of foods such as crunchy, soft and chewy. 

9. Blow bubbles with a straw in a glass of milk or water. 

10. Encourage your child to try licking lollipops and popsicles.

11. Get your child to click their tongue. Make clucking noises.

12. Put yogurt or pudding in the corner of your child's mouth and have them lick it off. 

13. Encourage your child to blow kisses or put feathers in their hands for them to blow on them. 

14. Oral motor cards and games. This helps children master lip, tongue and jaw exercises at home or school. 

Super Duper Publications Can Do Oral-Motor Fun Deck Flash Cards Educational Learning Resource for Children  
Each colorfully, illustrated card has a fun oral-motor exercise with instructions
Educational - Helps children master lip, tongue and jaw exercises at home or school  
Who's doing the "Tip Tickle Up," the "Kiss and Smile," and other fun oral-motor exercises? Why, zillions of kids everywhere! This is one card deck you need to have in your "bag of tricks!"
This Can Do Fun Deck gives you:
52 cards per deck plus lots of game ideas to vary your teaching.
Large cards (3" x 5") that are easy for small hands to hold.
Colorful illustrations and an oral-motor exercise "how to" on each card

Super Duper Publications Can-Do Oral-Motor Game Educational Learning Resource for Children
"Can-Do" Oral Motor Game Boards were developed from our experience with preschool and school age children who demonstrate weak oral-motor functioning. We have designed the games to be fun, hands-on, easy to use, and motivational.
Before beginning the games, introduce the characters: Tony, Tina, Danny Dog, Gerry Giraffe, Katie Cat, Manny Monkey, Peggy Pig, and Cassie Cow. Allow each player to choose a character token. Insert each character into a plastic stand provided.
Kids will have fun as they roll the die and move around the game boards doing the exercises!

15. Get your child to lick their teeth while counting them. 

16. Use vibrating therapy toys around the face and mouth.  Use a vibrating toothbrush or vibrating therapy toys for their mouths and move it around their entire mouth. These stimulate the muscles, and promote more musculature awareness.

Nuk Brush
Wonderful tools for oral motor stimulation and desensitization. 
Offers valuable sensory input
Provides calming benefits for a sensory diet.
Item not refundable
Latex free

Great oral motor tool for preparing little ones to get acquainted with the feel of a tooth brush. The NUK Brush is a wonderful tool for oral motor stimulation and desensitization. Use also before eating to stimulate chewing and biting. 

ARK's Z-Vibe Oral Stimulator for Speech & Feeding. Smooth, gentle vibration helps "wake up" the mouth and increase oral awareness. Textured Probe Tip provides tactile input to help decrease food aversions and normalize sensitivities.
Highly recommended for individuals with speech, feeding, and/or sensory integration issues. 
The Z-Vibe is a vibratory oral motor tool that can help build oral tone and improve a variety of speech, feeding, and sensory skills. Use it to provide a varied sensory experience and/or to provide targeted tactile cues within the oral cavity. Its gentle vibration provides a new level of sensory stimulation to increase oral focus and draw more attention to the lips, tongue, cheeks, and jaw. Vibration can also be very calming, soothing, and organizing.

ARK's 10-Tip Set for The Z-Vibe
The 10 most popular tips for the Z-Vibe (Z-Vibe sold separately)
Set includes: 1 Probe Tip, 1 Preefer Tip, 1 Mini Tip, 1 Hard Fine Tip, 1 Bite-n-Chew Tip, 1 Textured Bite-n-Chew Tip XL, 1 Hard Spoon Tip, 1 Soft Spoon Tip, 1 Hard Brush Tip, & 1 Soft Brush Tip
Tips have various textures to help normalize sensitivities and decrease texture aversions

Great for sensory stimulation, oral motor exercises, and targeted tactile input 

Senso Brush Oral Motor Stimulator Professional Series Proven Effective
Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapy Approved Device
Offers instant calming for difficult feeders
Perfect for use on gums, cheeks, or outside of mouth. 
The all new Senso Brush by Sensory University is an excellent tool for both therapists and parents. Children with many sensory disorders are constantly seeking sensory stimulation. The Senso Brush can be used to directly stimulate areas of the mouth both inside and out. Due to its alternating textures, this brush is perfect for children with feeding difficulties. By introducing new textures you will find it easier for a child to process a wider variety of food textures. 

Chubuddy VibraZilla is the new, exciting vibrating Zilla chew handle that provides oral stimulation and oral desensitization (for those who have oral defensiveness- hypersensitivity to food textures, have difficult tolerating tooth brushing, or other oral input challenges).  VibraZilla, when used in conjunction with a Speech or Occupational Therapist approved program, can help with oral skill development and function.   VibraZilla is an amazing sensory tool for self-regulating oral input, oral desensitization, and for addressing other oral motor facial challenges for oral sensory seekers   

17. Get your child to hold a carrot stick or another small piece of food in their teeth. 

18. Try using some Oral Motor Tools For Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD. Always consult with your Occupational Therapist which ones would be best for your child's sensory diet and age. 

ARK's Ultra Bear Bottle Kit - Comes with a special valve that keeps fluid at the top of the straw, which means less effort is required to take a sip - perfect for beginners or kids with oral motor difficulties / a weak suck. Also comes with a Lip Blok to prevent biting the straw or putting it too far back in the mouth. The lip Blok also naturally exercises the mouth muscles for an oral motor workout. You can also squeeze the friendly bear's belly to assist drinking. For individuals who tend to take too much fluid at a time, the Select-Flow Valve also slows the flow of fluid, allowing for smaller, more manageable sips that lower the risk of coughing/choking. 

Sammons Preston Rubber Massage Brush
Set of 3 rubber massage brushes are ideal for oral motor facilitation, stimulation and desensitization of oral tissues
Ideal for those with hyper sensitive teeth, can be used as a toothbrush to clean sensitive teeth or a stimulator to assist with gum desensitization
Oral therapy brushes for pediatric or adult use, children should use under adult supervision

Oral motor tool, used by speech therapists can also be used as a trainer toothbrush, advanced & adaptive oral care 

19. Read a book about Sensory Oral Motor for more ideas and exercises to try with your child.

Oral-motor activities for school-aged children
Improving Speech and Eating Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders - An Oral Motor Program for Home and School

Improving Speech and Eating Skills in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Oral-Motor Program for Home and School introduces an oral-motor protocol designed to enhance the child's ability to speak and eat by producing more normal movement patterns. It is accompanied by activities that can be incorporated into the child's daily schedule at home or at school for improved eating and speech development.

Can Do Oral-Motor Fun and Games 
Let Cassie Cow, Manny Monkey, and all their friends show your students how to do oral-motor exercises! This practical, fun filled book has reproducible exercises for tongue stimulation, tongue strengthening, tongue movement, lip strengthening, and lip movement. Lively illustrations with detailed descriptions are provided for each exercise, making the drills understandable for even the youngest child. Numerous game boards, color-cut-paste activities, and manipulatives will hold your students' interest.

20. Try using a sensory oral chew toy for your child. 

Scribbles Pendants Munchables sensory chew necklaces, bracelets, zipper pulls and pencils toppers offer a stylish solution for chewed shirts, pencils and fingers. We’ve poured our hearts into creating the highest-quality, most stylish chewable jewelry available.
Made with 100% safe silicone - contains no dangerous additives such as BPA or phthalates.

Chubuddy Spiralz fidget bracelets and necklaces are a great, discreet way for kids to find calm without being disruptive.  The understated colors of clear, black, blue and red are discreet, typical-looking and fashionable.  They are also super handy when your child needs to fidget or when they need a light chewing alternative. 

If your child has autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, anxiety or just needs a handy, discrete fidget- Spiralz may be the solution you are looking for to maintain calm and satisfy their need to fidget.

Gummy Chic Girls Sensory Necklace. Kids Non Toxic Jewelry. Teething Beads
These are hand crafted by me (YES! no resale of previously assembled products here) silicone non toxic jewelry for girls, teething necklaces for babies and just fun kids bijouterie!
These fiddle, biting necklaces are great to keep fidgety hands occupied or for those with anxious tendencies. 

The Therapy Shoppe Blue Chewy Tubes
Presenting a revolutionary member of the Chewy Tube family!  Our Blue Chewy Tubes are designed especially for adolescents and adults (individuals with mature jaws).  These extra tough chewies feature a larger diameter and thicker wall on the bitable stem than our other Chewy Tubes.  Blue Chewy Tubes are a superb XT oral motor chewy tool that provides greater resistance for those with stronger chewing and cheek muscles.  Latex-free, non-flavored, and non-toxic.

Love Some Gear Tube Chewy Necklace
Great for those with a desire for moderate chewing.
Length is approximately 18".
These are a more socially appropriate way to provide oral motor input for kids who crave oral stimulation. 
Break away safety clasp (clasp is not for chewing on)
Helps with self regulation, anxiety, oral sensory needs
Safe for kids and stylish, too!

100% food grade tubing