Tuesday tidbit - the Nuk Brush.
How many of you have used a Nuk brush when working with your pediatric patients? Do you use it just to "wake up" their mouths or do you use it in other ways as well? As I have gained experience in the pediatric area and especially the oral motor/feeding challenges I have found that the Nuk Brush is a very versitile tool. Let me share some of the ways I have used it.
1) As a way to "wake up" the mouth, of course. :-) This is the most common way, I'm sure. We use the brush both inside the mouth (pressing and rolling it along the gum line, inside cheek area, tongue, and palate). We can also use it on the outside of the mouth (rolling, tapping on lips and outer cheek area).
2) As a feeding tool. I have found that many children really enjoy using the Nuk Brush instead of their spoon or fork. They like the way the food stays on it and how they feel successful getting the food into their mouths. Once in their mouth and they get the food off the brush, it works again to "wake up" the mouth. It is a great tool to get the tongue moving as it follows where you place the nuk brush in the mouth (imitating how to follow a piece of food around in the mouth and moving it in order to chew/mush it properly). It is a great way to help a child learn how to get use to self feeding because the handle is long enough that you can hold onto the end and have the child hold onto the middle and guide it to/from their mouth. When using the Nuk Brush as a feeding tool you are actually accomplishing two goals - a). self-feeding successfully and b). "waking up" the mouth in order to be more aware of the placement and movement of food once it is in the mouth.
3) As a sensory tool. Often I will run the Nuk brush along a child's fingers & hands and up their arms. This is a great activity if the child is not interested in having the brush brought near/to their mouth. I will run it along their fingers and put a little pressure on it to give them a strong steady input while singing a song (this little finger went to the market, this little finger stayed home, etc) or counting (1, 2, 3 little fingers, 4, 5, 6 little fingers, etc). As the child gets more use to the brush I will work on either moving it up along their arms during songs and then to the face gently tapping their cheeks, chin and some times giving them a little silly tap on their nose. It's a good way to get them use to the Nuk brush and to be able to eventually work your way up to their mouths.
Some places that offer Nuk brushes for sale:
Super Duper Publications
Are there any other ways that you have found the Nuk Brush to be a useful tool when working with kids? Is there another tool that you have found that works better than the Nuk Brush? Please feel free to share ..
Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again next time.