Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. David L. Nelson

Second Advisor

Dr. Cindee Peterson

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven LaGrow

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study was designed to test the effectiveness of oral sensorimotor techniques in decreasing drooling. A withdrawal a1-b-a2 design was used with two subjects diagnosed as having mental retardation and cerebral palsy. The baseline phase consisted of 20 minute sessions of play, followed by a 45 minute period during which the subjects wore a bib. The treatment phase was identical to the baseline phase except that the 20 minutes of play was replaced with 20 minutes of treatment. The treatment techniques that were used included the following: light touch to the midline of the lips, maintained pressure around the lips, stretch pressure, firm strokes applied on both sides of the larynx downward, and popsicle sucking. The amount of saliva collected on an absorbent bib during the 45 minute period which followed the 20 minutes was measured and recorded. Though data sessions for one subject were marked by high session-to-session variability, the treatment effectively decreased drooling in both subjects.