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sensory activities for home

Sensory Activities in the Home

See, smell, touch, hear, taste and move. 80% of your brain is used in the processing, translation and use of sensorysensory activities for home information while your entire childhood is a process of learning, development and play! From early ages we learn what we should touch and what would burn us; we learn what sounds make us fall asleep and what sounds make us cry; we
also learn what foods we crave and which ones we say “yuck!” toward. All these sensational experiences help to shape our brains and help us engage in everyday activities, including play!

Without realizing it, the play scenarios you create with your child provide learning opportunities through every sensation. Though it may look like a child at play is only playing, he is in fact learning HOW to learn by engaging his sensory receptors to provide his body feedback. Of course, sensory play and sensory learning can be incorporated into your every day.

Here are sensory play activities you can engage in with the materials you have at home:

 

SENSATION INPUT TO YOUR BODY ACTIVITIES TO TRY AT HOME
Vestibular (movement balance) The three-dimensional sensation that places your body “here”, allowing you to understand where your body is in relation to the ground Crab walks

  • Somersault tumbles
  • Inversion yoga poses (downward dog, headstands, handstands)
  • Cartwheels
  • Spinning in circles (either assisted or independently)
  • Playground swings
  • Going down slides in different positions (on butt, on stomach feet first, on stomach head first, on back)
Proprioceptive (body position) This is your body awareness system, knowing where your body parts are in relation to one another.
  • Simon says for body movement
  • Animal walks (crab walk, bear walk, penguin walk)
  • Burrito rolls inside a blanket
  • Riding a bike
  • Dancing free style or the hokey-pokey
  • Bunny jumping

 

Tactile (touch) Through touch you get sensations about pain, temperature, texture, size, pressure and shape.
  • Play-doh
  • Shaving cream play
  • Sand boxes
  • Finding toys in rice or dry beans
  • Slime
  • Finger paint
  • Balloon volleyball
  • Secret message back writing
Visual (seeing) Your sight provides you with information about color, size, shape, movement and distance.
  • Bubbles
  • Eye-spy
  • Floating balloon
  • Mazes
  • Interactive iPad games (I love fireworks, pocket pond, glow free)
  • Play a game of “how far is that” (will need a measuring tape to confirm)
Gustatory (taste) A “chemical” sense that gives you information about the objects (edible or not) that you place into your mouth.
  • Guess that taste!
  • Play restaurant
  • Explore different tastes: sour, sweet, bitter,
  • Allow oral motor exploration during tummy time
  • Explore different textures: crunchy, smooth like yogurt, thick liquids like apple sauce, thick solid food like meat
Olfactory (smell) Another “chemical” sense that registers and categorizes smells in the environment.
  • Smell candles
  • Guess that food!
  • Scented markers
  • Make cookies
  • Label different fruits by smell
Auditory (hearing) Allows you to locate, capture and discriminate sounds in your environment.
  • Sing and dance
  • Guess that sound!
  • Directions based games (Simon says, Hokey Pokey, Bop-it, Hullaballoo)
  • Guess that animal sound!
  • Listen to different types of music
  • Hide a sound making device in the room and have your child locate it.



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NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

sensory processing disorder the auditory system

Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder: Auditory System

“I know there’s nothing wrong with her hearing but I have to call her name 100 times!”

Sound familiar?

Much like the tactile system, discussed in the previous post of this series, the auditory system refers to our ability to take in information, process it, and produce an appropriate response. When a child overreacts to sounds or seems easily distracted by noise that many of us can tune out, she is demonstrating auditory hypersensitivity. This may be due to an improperly functioning stapedius, which is a middle ear muscle that contracts in response to loud noise in order to protect the hair cells of our inner ears. When this muscle is not properly contracting, sounds may seem louder to these children. This understandably puts extra stress on them and causes difficulty filtering out background noises that most of us don’t even notice. On the other hand, you may see a child with a hyposensitive auditory system seeking out loud noises or demonstrating difficulty localizing and distinguishing sounds.

Below are red flags for hypo and hyper sensitivity to noise:Sensory processing disorder auditory system

  • Fear of sounds from hair or hand dryers, vacuums, flushing toilets, etc
  • Overreaction to loud or unexpected sounds (covering ears, crying, running away, aggression)
  • Annoyed or distracted by sounds most of us either don’t notice or become used to such as fans, clocks, refrigerators, outside traffic, etc
  • Becomes upset with others for being too loud (but are often times very loud themselves)
  • Prefers to keep television, radio, or music very loud
  • Dislikes noisy places such as malls, movie theaters, parades, fairs, etc…
  • Enjoys making noise just to make noise
  • Doesn’t respond promptly to name being called
  • Needs you to repeat yourself often or doesn’t seem to understand what you said
  • Unable to recognize where sound is coming from

It’s important to note that terms related to auditory processing are not always defined consistently. While auditory hyper and hypo sensitivities could be considered an auditory processing disorder (since they refer to a dysfunction in the processing of sound), this term is commonly used to describe dysfunction in the brain’s ability to translate sounds. Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), now commonly referred to as simply auditory processing disorder (APD), is when normal hearing is present, yet the brain has difficulty interpreting what it hears. Symptoms of this condition can look similar to auditory hyper and especially hypo sensitivities in many ways, yet key symptoms include difficulty with interpretation of sounds or language, speech delay, and difficulty learning to read. In this instance, an audiologist will help identify the issue and may refer to a speech and language pathologist for treatment.

However, if you have concerns that your child is exhibiting some of the red flags listed above for hyper and hyposensitivity, it is worth consulting with an occupational therapist to identify helpful supports for your child. There are a variety of sound-based programs out there and an occupational therapist (OT) can help identify if one may be beneficial for your child. Additionally, issues with the auditory system are often accompanied by issues with other sensory systems and a comprehensive plan should be put in place. Your OT may also provide you with useful tips to minimize distractions for activities in which concentration is required, guide you on the use of noise cancelling or minimizing headphones, and offer other suggestions such as repeating back instructions prior to beginning a task.

Click here to learn about the subtypes of Sensory Processing Disorder.

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Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder: Tactile System

The tactile system, or sense of touch, refers to the information we receive though the receptors in our skin. It alerts us to pain and temperature and helps us discriminate the properties of things we come in contact with, i.e. texture, shape, size, and weight. From very early on in development this sense plays a crucial role in helping us gain awareness of our own bodies and understand everything we come in contact with. Touch is considered one of our most basic senses since body awareness, motor planning, visual perception, and social/emotional development are so dependent on it.

 The Tactile System:

There are general patterns to how different types of touch affect us. Short, light touch, like the tickle of a feather or anSPD Tactile ant crawling on your skin can cause alertness such as a quickened heart rate and an immediate need for response. On the other hand a prolonged, deep pressure, such as a hug, is generally calming and can provide a sense of security. But what happens when a person’s tactile system is over or under responsive to touch? What would happen if an affectionate caress caused irritation or panic, or if objects always seemed to drop from your hands as soon as your attention moved elsewhere? Just imagine how stressful it would be to live in a constant fight or flight state because so many day to day events caused physical discomfort. And how frustrating it must be to learn new skills when you can’t adequately feel the objects you’re using!

Red flags that your child may be experiencing difficulties with tactile processing include:

  • Becoming overly upset about having his hair washed, brushed or cut
  • Having his nails cut, or teeth brushed
  • Avoiding or overreacting to touch from others, particularly when it’s unexpected
  • Showing irritation over tags or particular types of clothing such as jerseys or jeans
  • Isolating themselves from groups or preferring to play alone
  • Over sensitivity to temperature or decreased awareness of extreme temperatures
  • Over or under reactive to pain
  • Frequently dropping objects out of his hands or using inappropriate force on objects such as squeezing his pencil too hard or crumpling his papers
  • Having difficulty with, or being frustrated by, fine motor tasks such as drawing/writing, cutting, zipping, buttoning, tying laces, etc.
  • Being a picky eater or showing a strong preference for specific textures/types of food
  • Anxiety over standing in line or being in crowds
  • Disliking socks and shoes or alternatively, avoiding walking barefoot, especially on textures such as grass or sand
  • Seeking out deep pressure rather than light touch
  • Preferring tight clothing rather than loose-fitting garments that may rub on skin
  • Insisting on pants and long sleeves even in hot weather, or very little clothing even in cold weather
  • Avoiding or overreacting to wet or messy textures
  • Not noticing a messy face or hands

A general rule of thumb for these kids is to engage in deep pressure or heavy work activities often, as this is the most organizing and grounding form of touch. If these sound like things your child is struggling with, consult with an occupational therapist to get a clearer profile of his sensory needs. Your OT can help you gain a better understanding of why your child exhibits certain behaviors and create an individualized plan to make him more comfortable in his own skin!

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

sensory processing disorder

Understanding The Subtypes Of Sensory Processing Disorder

The term sensory processing disorder(SPD) is one that’s been buzzing quite a bit in recent years. It’s a complicated and frequently misunderstood topic as these children who have SPD can look so different from one another and will often display inconsistent behaviors themselves from day to day.

What is Sensory Processing?

Sensory processing refers to the way in which we take in information through our senses, process sensory processing disorderwhat that information means, and then produce an appropriate response. For example, if you step on a tack, your tactile system sends the message that you’ve stepped on something sharp, you determine this is painful, therefore you quickly lift your foot and inspect the damage. Other responses are less reflexive and we react with learned or conditioned behaviors. Upon hearing a dog bark, many of us may orient our attention briefly to the sound before carrying on with our business. However, an individual who has had a negative experience with one of these animals may jump at the sound. His startle response can cause him to feel anxious until he feels assured he is out of harm’s way and has had enough time to move on from any negative association triggered by the sound. For some with sensory processing disorder, this heightened state of alertness is how they live most of their day.

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

With sensory processing disorder, sensory information is processed in a disorganized way. We ALL have differences in the way we perceive our world; a smell that makes you feel nauseated may be one that another person seeks out. Or a favorite food of yours may have a texture that someone else can’t stand. This type of variation is normal. We begin to consider these differences to be a sensory processing disorder when an individual’s day to day life is significantly impacted by their difficulty taking in this information and producing an appropriate response. The result of which may be anxiety or hyperactivity, depression or sluggishness, clumsiness, difficulty with peer relationships, or struggles with schoolwork to name a few.

Sensory processing disorders have been grouped into three categories:

  1. Sensory Modulation Disorder: In this group, individuals experience sensation at varying levels of intensity and have difficulty regulating responses. They may be more sensitive to one or more sensations such as noise, touch, or movement, or on the other hand, they may have difficulty even registering this input. Within this category, we often see children who either seek out extra input or who avoid input many of us would consider innocuous. It can be confusing to dissect behaviors of these children. For example, those who are more sensitive to touch or noise may become overly upset by others standing too close to them or by noise produced by others, yet they are the children who don’t seem to understand personal space or are scolded for being too noisy themselves.
  2. Sensory-Based Motor Disorder: For these kids, disorganized processing causes less than optimal motor output. We may see issues with balance, motor planning, coordination, postural control and/or endurance. These are the kids who appear clumsy, lethargic, or have difficulty keeping up with their peers.
  3. Sensory Discrimination Disorder: Those in this group have a more difficult time perceiving details of sensory input. It may take them longer than average to determine exactly what they’re looking at, hearing, or feeling. This could be the child who appears awkward with many fine and gross motor tasks or who often seems unaware of his surroundings.

Sensory processing disorder can look many different ways and children often fall within more than one category. We additionally have to consider which sensory systems are affected. In the remainder of the Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder series, we will touch on each system along with red flags and helpful strategies!

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NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!


 

Travel Tips For Kids With SPD

Seat belts, exit doors, floor path lighting, oxygen masks, life vests, preparation for takeoff, and in-flight rules such as no smoking, follow the directions of the crew, and the appropriate use of the lavatory are all included in the flight attendants’ cadence preceding take-off. While these safety speeches vary slightly between airlines, one commonality rings true for many parents: Instructions are not given for how best to support children who have difficulty processing sensory information.  Below are 5 ways to ease your travels the next time you and your family fly on an airplane.

Discuss what to expect

Discuss the trip in detail in the days and weeks preceding your trip. What will the airport look like? Will there be a lot of people? What are the behavioral expectations for your child? What is the process for checking luggage, the security line, and waiting to board the plane? Then, what will the inside of the airplane look and sound like? How long is the flight? Where will your child sit and who will be seated beside them? How will the flight attendants prepare the aircraft for take-off? What will it feel like when the airplane leaves the ground? What might happen in your child’s ears? What are the rules while you are in-flight? Then, what will it feel like to land? What is the process for getting off the airplane and collecting your baggage?  While some of this information may seem trivial to frequent flyers, for children, especially those with difficulty processing sensory information, the more detail you can discuss before the big event occurs, the easier it will be for them to prepare themselves for the experience. One way to discuss the process of flying on an airplane is to write a short book, inserting your own family as the main characters. Parents can write the storyline of the book, including answers to the questions above, while their kids can create personalized illustrations using markers, crayons, stamps and stickers. Read your family’s travel story every night before bedtime to help your child prepare for the big day. You can even bring the book along to the airport to follow along with the storyline as you progress through your trip.

Decrease the amount of extraneous and unfamiliar noise

Use noise cancelling headphones or calming music. Both strategies can help your child to self-regulate and more effectively process auditory sensory information.

Prepare a backpack of “travel essentials”

Many adults pack a small carry-on bag with a few items that will help them pass the time during the flight. Items often include shoulder pillows, eye masks, ear phones and ipods; as well as a favorite book or magazine. For children with various sensory processing disorders, items to include:

      1. Snacks and water. Gum or hard candies (if your child is old enough) may be good options to help your child pop their ears during flight.
      2. Pack a heavy object to help your child regulate. A book or weighted blanket are great options.
      3. Bring a comfort object such as a blanket or favorite stuffed animal.
      4. Include fun activities such as mini board games, coloring pages, books, or playing cards

Call the airline ahead of time

Explain your child’s sensory needs. Certain airlines have special accommodations for children including the opportunity to board the plane early to get situated in your seats before other passengers.

Expect some ornery fellow passengers

While it is unfortunate, you may come across at least one person on your flight who has a lower tolerance for kids being kids. Prepare yourself for an eye-roll or a muttered complaint hidden under your neighbor’s breath. Depending on your comfort level you could write out small note cards explaining that your child has a Sensory Processing Disorder and that they are doing the best they can to get through the flight. You could even offer nearby passengers earplugs to help block out any extraneous noises.

The bottom line is that while traveling with children who have sensory processing disorders can be stressful, with foresight and appropriate preparation it can be done and can even prove to be a fun experience. The most important part of travelling is creating warm and lasting memories with your friends and family. Try your best be prepared for the flight but remember not to sweat the small stuff- after all, you’re on vacation! Safe travels!


 

Bed Time Strategies for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder

Bed time can be a difficult time for any child.  It can be even more of a struggle for a child with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).   

Bed time strategies for child with SPD

Throughout the day, all children engage in various activities that excite them, including interacting with peers, playing on the playground and fighting with siblings.  It can be a challenge to calm kids down from a daytime of activity. This can be even more of a challenge for a child with SPD.

 As adults, we are able to engage in various tasks to relax our bodies after a busy day.  Children with SPD need the same input, but they are not cognitively aware of their body’s needs.  For example, if an adult has a stressful day, he or she may drink a hot cup of tea, read, or place a hot towel on their face as self-calming techniques.  A child that had a rough day may act out or refuse to go to bed because he or she doesn’t understand what his or her body needs. 

The following strategies can help your child with SPD calm down and improve the process of getting to sleep:

  • Have a Strict Nightly Routine– Completing a predictable bedtime routine decreases anxiety, gives your child control and establishes healthy habits.   A visual schedule of the routine can assist the little ones with understanding the steps.
  • Incorporate Rocking- Typically, slow linear (back and forth), vestibular movement creates a calming effect.  Rocking in a rocking chair or swing is a great activity to help your child wind down.
  • Enjoy Bath Time– Warm water is calming.Incorporating a nice, warm bath at night not only provides your child with calming sensory input, it also provides an opportunity for you and your child to bond over bath play time.  This special, nightly, one-on-one time will also ease the minds of children who may worry about separating from their parents.
  • Read a Favorite Book-Reading your child’s book of choice provides your child with some control.  It is also another great way to relax mind and body.
  • Avoid Excitatory ActivitiesAvoid engaging in alerting activities before bedtime, as this might make it difficult for your child to calm his or her system down and go to bed. Spinning and jumping movements are excitatory and alerting.  In regards to proprioceptive input or heavy work, light touch, such as tickling, is excitatory and alerting.  
  • Avoid Screen Time-Create a rule:  1-2 hours before bedtime no electronics or TV.  This will promote a smoother transition into quiet time.

If your child with SPD needs help with bed time, or if you need more information on Sensory Processing Disorder, contact one of our pediatric occupational therapists today, or download our free SPD infographic.

8 Tips for Flying with a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder

Taking a flight with kids is hard enough!  Flying with a child with Sensory Integration takes special planning!  Sensory Processing Disorder/Sensory Integration (SPD) occurs when Child on plane with SPDthe nervous system has difficulty regulating, processing, and interpreting information from one or more of the senses.  Different children perceive and process sensory information differently. Some children find loud noises scary, while others like to bang objects and search for interesting ways to create noise. Similarly, some children may only tolerate certain fabrics or textures for clothing, while others may enjoy rolling around in grass, sand, or on the carpet. All children and adults have different sensory preferences, and while most adults have learned to adapt to their specific needs, some children need guidance in processing sensory information to reach their full potential.

8 Tips for Flying with a Child with SPD:

  1. Bring noise canceling headphones.
  2. Make sure your child has slept and is well fed prior to the flight so he or she is regulated.
  3. Be prepared with food and water during the flight, especially if the flight is long.
  4. Bring a heavy object to help calm your child.  Examples include a book, laptop, or a weighted blanket or vest.
  5. Try to schedule your flight during nap time or at night if your child is able to sleep comfortably on planes.  If the flight is during the day, try and have your child run around and use his or her energy before the flight.
  6. Gum chewing or sucking on a lollipop may be helpful to help regulate your child.
  7. Have activities ready for the plane. It can be a good time to practice fine motor skills.
  8. Create a visual schedule for your child.  Include everything from driving to the airport, waiting in the terminal, taking off, eating snacks to landing and  getting luggage.  This way your child will be prepared and feel less anxious about what to expect.

If you would like more tips  and information on Sensory Processing Disorder, click here

How To Make a Weighted Animal

Here at North Shore Pediatric Therapy, we utilize weighted objects for a countless number of activities. They can be used as a self-regulation strategy, providing deep proprioceptive input to your child’s muscles and joints.  Various weighted materials, including vests, belts, blankets, wrist-weights and ankle-weights, are utilized in the clinic multiple times throughout the sock puppetsday. For all of you crafty parents, as well as those who (like me) are “creatively challenged,” below are some DIY instructions to follow so that you can create your very own, personalized weighted animal.

4 Steps To Create Your Very Own Weighted Animal:

Step 1: Find an old knee-high sock. You can choose a sock that is your child’s favorite color or has their favorite cartoon characters on it.
Step 2: Fill the sock with a grainy material, such as rice or sand. Put enough rice in your sock so it is four-fifths of the way full. Tie the open end of the sock closed. There should be enough rice in the sock so when it is draped across your child’s shoulders, it droops down onto their chest. This activity has the added benefit of incorporating direction-following and tactile play into your daily routine.
Step 3: Finally, decorate the sock with “googley eyes” and markers. The sky is the limit as far as whether your sock animal has polka-dots, stripes, zig-zags or checkers.
Step 4: Kick back and relax with your very own personalized weighted animal.

These strategies can be utilized when your child is feeling frustrated or having a difficult time organizing their thoughts. Your child’s weighted animal can also be used for strengthening. When at home, have your child carry the animal around the house or encourage them to sustain various Yoga poses while holding their animal friend. The added resistance while sustaining these poses will only help build muscle strength and improve motor planning. Whether your weighted animal is used as a self-regulation strategy or a strengthening tool, it is up to you and your child’s interests. In either case, creating the animal is a wonderful craft to save for a rainy day and a great way to get the whole family involved. Make one, make two or make a whole zoo of weighted animals. Your child’s new friend is sure to be a hit and cherished companion for years to come.

Tips For A Child With Sensory Overload | Pediatric Therapy Tv

In today’s webisode, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist gives our viewers practical tips on how to help a child who may experience Sensory Overload. Click here for more resources on Sensory Processing Disorder.

In This Video You Will Learn:

  • Calming options for children with Sensory Overload
  • What type of visuals you can use for a child with Sensory Overload
  • Prepping strategies for children with Sensory Overload

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.

Robyn: Hello and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host, Robyn
Ackerman.

Today I’m standing here with Dana Pais, a pediatric occupational
therapist. Dana, can you give us some tips on how to help a
child who may have sensory overload?

Dana: Sure. When a child is experiencing sensory overload you want to
present them with a variety of calming options so that they can
choose. It could be deep breathing, or you can give them deep
pressure input such as a hug or joint compressions, or remove
them from the situation to a calm, dimly lit or quiet room.

Every child is different so you want to make sure you give them
a choice and see what works for them for a particular situation.
I’ve also suggested to families in the past that they carry a
picture menu card with them with all the different strategies on
there. When the situation happens you can show that to the child
and the child will have an easier time to pick what works for
them.

Additionally, a strategy you can do to prep them for a situation
is to review what the situation may entail. For example, if
you’re going to a water park you can start talking about the
water park trip a week in advance. You can show them pictures of
the water park and you can talk about the sights, the sounds,
and the smells that they may experience when they’re there. You
can also visit the water park from the outside before your
actual trip so that they can know what to expect when they’re in
that situation.

Robyn: Thank you so much, Dana, and thank you to our viewers. And
remember, keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of
mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To
subscribe to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit
our website at LearnMore.me. That’s LearnMore.me.

Take the Battle out of Brushing | 5 Strategies to More Successful Tooth Brushing!

Is tooth-brushing ever a battle in your household? Have you bought every sort of toothbrush and toothpaste out there, and nothing seems to help the process go smoother? Some children may have sensory aversions to brushing their teeth (e.g. scratchy bristles and gritty toothpaste), while some children may have behavioral aversions to brushing their teeth (e.g. fear, anxiety, or control). Either way, try some of the strategies below to help your child be on their way to a brighter, healthier smile!

Tips To Get Your Child To Brush His Teeth:

1. Print off or create a picture of the mouth to use as a visual model/diagram: this will help the child to see what area of the mouth the parent is going to help them to brush (e.g. front teeth, side teeth, back teeth, molars, tongue) while also helping the parent to feel in control of the situation. Similarly, one area can be focused on at a time, rather than taking on the entire mouth in one sitting. Overall, both verbal and visual strategies help a child prepare for what is coming next, as well as to reinforce (e.g. “Now Mommy is going to massage your front teeth! Can you put a sticker on the picture of the front teeth?”).

2. Use a mirror, bite block, or flavored tongue depressor to help explore their mouth: this helps to provide both visual and tactile awareness to the areas the tooth brush will be reaching.

http://www.talktools.com/bite-block-sensory-friendly-purple/

http://www.talktools.com/search.php?search_query=flavored+tongue+depressors

3. Rename the task: rather than calling it tooth-brushing, rename it with something less intimidating such as “tickling” or “massaging” so that your child does not associate pain with “brushing”. Similarly, instead of using more intimidating words such as molars, create new names such as “big back teeth”.

4. Use toothpaste during a non-toothpaste time: instead of only getting the toothpaste out in the morning and before bed, pull it out at random times throughout the day and explore it with your child (e.g. squirt it onto your finger or onto a paper plate, touch it, smear it, lick it, draw a picture with it, rub it between your fingers, brush your teeth using your finger). This will help to lighten the mood and will help them to explore with each of their senses (touch, taste, sight, smell).

5. Try a musical toothbrush: this provides the child with an auditory cue as to how long they need to brush for and when they can stop. It also gives them a time expectation (when the music stops, they are done, and they know it).

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