How I got my sensory kids to take a medicine syringe

My son had a lot of problems with oral motor and sensory. This made teaching him to take pills impossible. When we began biomed he was only 3 years old and self-limited his food based on smell, taste and texture. Supplementing and preparing for chelation took some work on my part to get him comfortable taking things by mouth.

At this point in time he absolutely refused to take anything from a medicine syringe. Even trying to resulted in a screaming terrified tantrum of fear for him. It is not uncommon for ASD children to have a lot of anxiety and fear, and they may refuse any attempts to give them supplements from a medicine syringe.

However, in order to chelate him I had to find a way to help him overcome this fear. In my desperation to chelate my very metal toxic child, I invented a game to help build trust and dispel his fears about the syringe.

I began by letting him play with them as if they were one of his toys. It squirted air, it was fun to push and pull and he chewed on everything at that age anyway. So some mouthing of the object did occur. All without me suggesting anything. All of which moved him closer to being comfortable with it.

From there we showed him that is was a squirter. It could squirt water into the sink and what fun it was to aim it at a bowl of suds.

Then I began asking him to squirt mommy a drink of water. He thought that was powerful and lots of fun. Eventually he let me give him a squirt of water. All in fun, with smiles and laughs and no stress about the process. I trusted him to guide me on his comfort level.

If he refused to take water or juice, I let him. I’d just have him give me the water instead. It helped that he felt some control over what would happen to his body.

Then our game progressed to putting his favorite juice in the syringe for mommy to taste. We played this game for several weeks until he was comfortably taking juice squirts from the syringe.

Mine did not go quietly those first few rounds with night doses and that led me to make the story. That led me to make him a social story. (you can download it here) It’s a brief story in very simple terms with images to help them understand what is going on and what to expect.

I figured he did not understand why I was putting this in mouth in the middle of the night. Which was probably why he was refusing and upset. Most of us are not used to be woken at 3am to drink anything.  He did learn to sleep through night doses pretty quickly thankfully.  You can also do a few “dry runs” at night with just juice and no chelator to help them adjust.

A method of all three and patience will help your little one on their way to accepting supplements from a medicine dispenser and taking their night doses.

 

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