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From: The Original Jade on
I've never posted here before but I'm at my wits end. I have a five year old
autistic son who is completely non-communicative. I need advice on how to
brush his teeth. Two adults are unable to hold him still to get it done and
he can't do it himself. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks,

Jade


From: CrazyDayz on

"The Original Jade" <kylia_wind(a)hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:0HIIh.10865$zJ1.1230(a)newsfe24.lga...
> I've never posted here before but I'm at my wits end. I have a five year
> old autistic son who is completely non-communicative. I need advice on how
> to brush his teeth. Two adults are unable to hold him still to get it
> done and he can't do it himself. Does anyone have any ideas?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Jade

One thing I've learned from my autistic son is that I can't force him to do
anything he doesn't want to. I have to sell him on it and get him to want
to do it. Also, if he knows ahead of time what is going to happen he's
usually ok with it. It's the unexpected that usually sets him off. Do you
use augmentitive communication, like pictures? You might try it to show him
the steps of tooth brushing so he knows what to expect. You could try one
of those cheap battery powered toothbrushes. Let him play with it and stim,
but don't start out trying to actually brush his teeth with it. Once he's
comfortable with it you can show him to put it in his mouth. That's how we
got him started. Of course the noise might set him off. For flossing we
use the disposable plastic thingys that look like a bow on one end and a
toothpick on the other. We had a lot of trouble at first but now it's ok.
Some days he doesn't want me to floss his teeth so I back off and catch them
the next day.



From: MauiJNP on
>
> I've never posted here before but I'm at my wits end. I have a five year
> old autistic son who is completely non-communicative. I need advice on how
> to brush his teeth. Two adults are unable to hold him still to get it
> done and he can't do it himself. Does anyone have any ideas?
>


do you have behavioral therapists working with him? if not, what state are
you in? you could probably get some form of state provided therapy for your
son.



ideas----

~break down the steps required to brush teeth (for example get toothbrush
out, get toothpaste out, open toothpaste, put toothpaste on toothbrush,
etc). write the steps in order and make them simple. have a picture for
each step (use pictures of him, a sibling, a parent, etc). tape the steps
on a mirror or somewhere he can see them. work with him 1 on 1 to teach him
to do the first step. use a reward (candy, praise, playtime, etc) when he
does the step himself. do that for a few days. then add the second step.
teach that one the same way you teach the first. keep adding on.

~model how to brush teeth by doing it with him

~write a simple song or book about brushing teeth and teach it to him

~give lots of praise, rewards for any effort he does in getting the job done

~be patient (that's the hard part)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.educ.ttu.edu/EDSP/burkhartproject/ModuleThree/Different_Approaches/Social_Stories.htm

this website has a good story and pictures that break down the steps

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SAMPLE social story about teeth brushing...........
Brushing My Teeth
[ by Michele Gardner ]

The story
At night I need to brush my teeth so they are clean.

I put the toothbrush in my mouth.

First I brush in the back on the bottom.

Next I brush in the back on the top.

Then I brush in the front on the bottom.

Last I brush in the front on the top.

When I am done brushing my teeth I can spit out the toothpaste.

I can rinse off my tooth brush after I spit.

When I am ALL DONE I can have something special.







From: The Original Jade on
CrazyDayz wrote:
> "The Original Jade" <kylia_wind(a)hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:0HIIh.10865$zJ1.1230(a)newsfe24.lga...
>> I've never posted here before but I'm at my wits end. I have a five
>> year old autistic son who is completely non-communicative. I need
>> advice on how to brush his teeth. Two adults are unable to hold him
>> still to get it done and he can't do it himself. Does anyone have
>> any ideas? Thanks,
>>
>> Jade
>
> One thing I've learned from my autistic son is that I can't force him
> to do anything he doesn't want to. I have to sell him on it and get
> him to want to do it. Also, if he knows ahead of time what is going
> to happen he's usually ok with it. It's the unexpected that usually
> sets him off. Do you use augmentitive communication, like pictures? You
> might try it to show him the steps of tooth brushing so he knows
> what to expect. You could try one of those cheap battery powered
> toothbrushes. Let him play with it and stim, but don't start out
> trying to actually brush his teeth with it. Once he's comfortable
> with it you can show him to put it in his mouth. That's how we got
> him started. Of course the noise might set him off. For flossing we
> use the disposable plastic thingys that look like a bow on one end
> and a toothpick on the other. We had a lot of trouble at first but
> now it's ok. Some days he doesn't want me to floss his teeth so I
> back off and catch them the next day.

The electric might work, he likes things that vibrate. He uses PECS at
school, but we're still trying at home. His evaluated communicative age,
both expressive and receptive is less then six months, so that makes it
harder because he just doesn't understand what I'm doing to him. The other
complication at the moment is that he had dental work this week, making his
gums very tender. But they won't toughen up until I can brush them.


Jade


From: The Original Jade on
MauiJNP wrote:
>
> do you have behavioral therapists working with him? if not, what
> state are you in? you could probably get some form of state provided
> therapy for your son.
>
>

He's in school, has been since he was two. His teachers are great and he
really likes them. Until they have to give him medicine or brush his teeth.
Then he's a little hellion. It's amazing the strength that one little body
can pack. One major problem is that both his receptive and expressive
language test out at less than a year, usually around six months or so.

>
> ideas----
>
> ~break down the steps required to brush teeth (for example get
> toothbrush out, get toothpaste out, open toothpaste, put toothpaste
> on toothbrush, etc). write the steps in order and make them simple. have
> a picture for each step (use pictures of him, a sibling, a
> parent, etc). tape the steps on a mirror or somewhere he can see
> them. work with him 1 on 1 to teach him to do the first step. use a
> reward (candy, praise, playtime, etc) when he does the step himself. do
> that for a few days. then add the second step. teach that one the
> same way you teach the first. keep adding on.
> ~model how to brush teeth by doing it with him
>
> ~write a simple song or book about brushing teeth and teach it to him
>
> ~give lots of praise, rewards for any effort he does in getting the
> job done
> ~be patient (that's the hard part)
>
>


I don't know if a picture story would work. I think that's a level of
attention to detail that he doesn't have. He doesn't notice the little
things. He's just recently started noticing other people exist. <g>

Patience is something I've learned in the past eleven years. His older
brother, 11, is also autistic and his older sister, 8, is classified as MR.
If I didn't have a sense of humor, I would have lost it years ago.


Thanks for the suggestions.


Jade



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