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Does the Grabber Work on Different Skills than the Y-Chew?

2 min read

In this article Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP from Ark Therapeutic tackles the following points:

Skill-wise, what would a child gain from using a Baby Grabber vs. a Grabber vs. a Y-Chew? In other words, does the Baby Grabber work on different skills than the Grabber?  Does the Grabber work on different skills than the Y-Chew? 

The Baby Grabber is for mouthing, teething, and oral exploration for babies/toddlers up to about the age of 2.5 years old. Oral exploration is a normal stage of mouth development - babies put things in their mouths to learn about their environment and to experience new textures and sensations. So the Baby Grabber provides a safe outlet for them to do so. Chewing/mouthing can also help exercise the mouth muscles in preparation for speech and feeding skills later on.

The regular Grabbers (same shape but with a longer stem) as well as the Y-Chews can also be used for mouthing and oral exploration. But because of their longer extensions and intended age-range (2.5 years and up), you can use them to target more advanced skills and specific oral motor exercises, such as: jaw strength and stability, rotary chewing, rhythmic chewing, tongue pops.

Should you use the Grabber or Y-Chew for the exercises mentioned above? These two chew tools are mostly interchangeable in this respect. Most exercises for the Grabber can be modified for the Y-Chew and vice versa. For example, the Grabber has a loop that works really well for bilateral chewing (biting down using both sides of the mouth at the same time), but you can also accomplish that with the Y-Chew by placing one of the extensions laterally.

Some differences:

•   The Grabber has a built-in loop that makes it easier for some individuals to hold. 

•   The Y-Chew has a different texture on each "arm" (ribbed, bumpy, and smooth). The Grabber comes in two different versions: smooth or textured.  The texture on the Y-Chew is more mild whereas the Textured Grabber has more pronounced bumps for additional sensory input.

•   The Grabber is one thickness all around. On the other hand, the Y-Chew has slightly different widths/heights on each of the ‘arms’ so you can practice jaw grading with the different heights.

Other than that it’s mostly just preference between the Y versus P shape when using them for oral motor activities. Debra likes to have both at my disposable depending on the situation.