Young children with Down syndrome can have poorly developed muscles and a tongue that tends to stick out of the mouth. This can make eating and speaking difficult, often leading to slower development in those areas.
A recent graduate of Purdue University has developed a simple teether device that’s designed to encourage kids to play with it and to frequently bite down on it.
Named Jon, the teether helps to strengthen jaw muscles, but it pretends to be a toy. It resembles a teddy bear, with ears that are fun to bite on that light up and play music.
Interestingly, one of the parts of the toy is made using silicone gel that, after being placed in the freezer, gets cold while remaining malleable. That lets the kids soothe those teething pains right on the same toy that they should love to chew on.
The Jon teether is blue and yellow, the colors of Down syndrome awareness.