Oral defensiveness falls into two main categories: HYPOsensitivity and HYPERsensitivity:
• Individuals with hyposensitivities have low oral tone and very little awareness of what's going on inside their mouths. This "oral numbness" so to speak can cause significant speech and feeding delays. For example, the ability to create a food bolus is a critical oral motor skill necessary for swallowing. But how can I teach this skill to an individual who cannot feel his tongue? Lack of awareness can also lead to mouth stuffing, leftover food particles in and around the mouth, drooling, etc. In these cases, it is important to increase oral awareness by providing varied oral input and sensation throughout the oral cavity. It is at this point, however, that hyposensitive individuals can become orally defensive. Because they are not used to new feelings and sensations inside their mouths, they may be afraid/unsure of the sensations and therefore refuse intervention.
• On the other han