Monday, December 31, 2012

Z-Vibe


Let me start by saying that I am not a professional therapist so questions about the Z-Vibe need to be addressed by a specialist at Ark Therapy or your own SLP.

The mouth is an exceptionally sensitive area that must be respected for all persons. I am sharing how we use this tool at our house, this may not work for you.




My son, Izaiah, is 3. He is autistic, currently non-verbal, and has many sensory issues including oral-sensory.    

We have toys that vibrate at home and my son loves to have them on his body so when I found the Z-Vibe and researched it, I knew it would be perfect for him.  When I first unpacked it and washed it, I attached a tip to the Z-Vibe and explored it with my son, without it vibrating. 

The Probe/Mini Tip
After a day, I turned it on 'vibrate' and rubbed Izaiah's hand with it. He loved it. I put it on his tummy and his back and tickled him with it and it was such a delight for him!

The next day, he let me put it on his face and his lips and then he let me put it on his tongue.  He liked it, but wanted to bite down on it. I thought it might hurt his teeth, so I taught him how to open his mouth wider so that it doesn't touch his teeth and I've had to teach him not to bite down on it.


The Soft Spoon Tip



We've been using it for about 3 months now. Here are the benefits I've noticed already:
1.) His mouth has awakened in a visible way.
2.) He is able to stick his tongue out.
3.) He is able to make a bowl shape with his tongue.
4.) He can move it from side to side now.
5.) doing it on his lips has encouraged him to make 'mmmm' sounds.
6.) It has also helped to make him more aware of his mouth so that he doesn't drool so much.
7.) (UPDATE!) Izaiah is now able to bite down and bite off a piece of food!! This is after working for about 3 to 4  months with the Z-Vibe. I absolutely credit this new skill to this amazing instrument!

Click here to purchase

This book by the creator of the Z-Vibe is a Must Have! This book is like having your own personal SLP in your home.  Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP, the therapist behind the Z-Vibe, has written this incredible manual that explains the technical in everyday terms. She carefully describes each technique and graciously includes clear diagrams of them too. Truthfully, even after a few months, we really were only using the Z-Vibe for a small fraction of what we could've been, so this book is very important in order to utilize the Z-Vibe to it's fullest extent. 


The beauty of this instrument is that you can use it even if your child does not like the vibration. Just turn it off and you can still stimulate all those areas without vibration just by using the tips!

Remember, the mouth is a very delicate, very personal part of the body.  Izaiah and I have worked through his oral issues since he was an infant so he trusts me immensely to not violate him. Please, take this advice one step further and apply to food too. Never force-feed a child with oral sensory issues.

Be sure to use the tool on yourself so you will know how it might feel for your child. He may even feel it stronger than you do, so keep that in mind. Click here to Contact Ark Specialist. 




Annie Eskeldson writes for parents of young autists.  She is a stay at home mom, homeschooler, and has provided all the therapy for her 2 autistic children. You can find her children's books about autism around this blog and also at Ashi's Gift Website.

No comments:

Post a Comment