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How a sippy cup affects a child’s speech

When assessing your child’s speech we may ask questions about what type of cup your child uses at home.  It may seem unrelated to their speech sounds, but really anything your child puts in their mouth (thumb, chew toys, pacifiers, cups, etc.) can affect their speech! 

Below are reasons why certain cups are or are not recommended by speech therapists for promoting correct tongue positioning while drinking.

Sippy cups are not recommended (at least those with a hard spout) because it can block the tongue from where it needs to be during the swallow.  The tongue needs to be able to make contact behind the front teeth which allows for a mature swallow pattern.  This is why doctors recommend weaning from a bottle by the age of one. If there is a hard spout in the way of the tongue elevating to the bump behind the front teeth, it can start to affect the tongue’s resting position.  Over time, the tongue can start to rest forward which is how it impacts speech!

Rather than a sippy cup with a hard spout, we recommend using a straw cup, open cup or a 365 cup.   A straw cup (the shorter the straw the better) is a good option because it still allows the tongue to touch behind the front teeth to swallow.  A great cup for teaching a young child how to drink from a straw is the Honey Bear cup. With this, a parent is able to gently squeeze the bear allowing for water to come up the straw and the child catches on easily!

An open cup is ideal, but obviously not appropriate for a young child, so another great option are the 360 cups.  These have no spout and the child can drink from anywhere on the lid. 

Whether or not your child has any speech sound difficulties it is a good idea to steer clear of the hard spouted cups!  There are so many cup options that it is easy to become overwhelmed, but now, armed with this information, you will be able to make an informed decision about the right cup for your child!

-Carrie Ravine, MA, CCC-SLP

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LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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