Speech Therapy Ideas for Patients with Tracheostomy Using a Passy Muir® Valve

Passy Muir Clinical Specialists are frequently asked about therapy ideas and suggestions for patients using the Passy Muir® Valve. Therefore, we have dedicated a section of our website to share some therapy ideas and tips for different treatment goals, including patient education, voicing and communication. Many of these very creative therapy techniques and strategies have been shared with us by talented and dedicated clinicians and parents working with tracheostomized individuals. We have included a printable guide for each of these therapy ideas for your convenience.

Therapy Idea: Using Application Software (Apps)

There are numerous apps now available for free or low cost that can be used to facilitate voice, communication and swallowing. The Talking Tomcat app is an example of a fun app that can stimulate vocalization. As you can see in this video Tomcat repeats everything the user says and responds to touch, thereby making him a cute and engaging conversation partner. This app is very rewarding for the youngest patients just learning to speak! This is a video of Ellis and Tomcat having a chat. We thank Ellis’ family for sharing this video. Talking Tomcat is Free through iTunes.

Click here for Therapy Idea Guide

Toby Take-Home Backpack

This idea was provided to us by Cindy Harrington, MS, CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist from Baucom Elementary School in Apex, North Carolina. Ms. Harrington wanted to educate the first grade classmates of Kennedy, a student with a tracheostomy and a Passy Muir® Valve. The students took turns taking home a backpack containing Toby Tracheasaurus, the Tammy and Toby Tracheasaurus Coloring Book and a story Ms. Harrington wrote about different ways to breath. After a week, the children returned the backpack to school with a drawn or written reflection about what they learned. These reflections were compiled by Ms. Harrington into a special book called “Time with Toby” that was kept in the class book-nook and then given to Kennedy at the end of the school year. Ms. Harrington told us that this project received such great feedback from the first grade teachers and students that she adapted it to use with the second graders the next year.

“This project helped educate a class full of curious first graders about tracheostomy tubes and that led to a wonderful year for all!” Cindy Harrington, MS, CCC-SLP

Click here for instructions in the Therapy Idea Guide

Toby Take-Home Backpack

Kennedy showing off Toby with her second grade classmates, her teacher, Ms. White (on right), and her nurse, Ms. Parks.

Creating a Storybook

This is an excerpt from From TalkMuir, our newsletter, Spring 2011 Pediatric Issue. In this issue, Passy Muir consultant Katy Peck, M.A., CCC-SLP, CBIS, CLE, explains how she creates individualized storybooks for her pediatric tracheostomized patients.
Click here to read the full article.

"The storybooks I have created for my patients chronicle the child’s medical journey and highlight how the Passy Muir® Valve has changed their lives. Each storybook documents a child’s individual sequence beginning with an introduction to their therapist and the Passy Muir® Valve and progressing to a description of improvements in the following areas:

  • Wear-time tolerance
  • Improved voice production and respiration in the home and medical settings
  • Sensory responses to smell and taste stimulation
  • Safety of swallow and progression to oral feeding
  • Ability to cough and manage secretions

I encourage the patients and the parents to participate in development of their own storybook as the child increases his use of the Passy Muir® Valve. Digital photographs are taken during therapy sessions and are pasted into the storybook pages. These pictures are accompanied by simple sentences and ‘thought bubbles’ that portray specific activities during Passy Muir® Valve use, for example, blowing bubbles to increase oral exhalation or tasting a newly introduced food. Patients participate by sequencing the pages developed or by authoring their story with the photographs already in place. I bind the books together with binding combs, and add a transparent cover page and a durable back page, all of which are available at local office supply stores."

Click here for Guide and Outline for Creating a Storybook

Distraction Techniques

Speech and Swallowing Exercises

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