VOLUME 4; ISSUE 3                                      MARCH 18, 2002


Hi Everyone

Do you feel you have to renew your prescription for Prozac every time your child’s hair starts to get a little shaggy?  Do you need a 5-day spa-vacation after each nail clipping?  Do you avoid car rides, restaurants, malls, in-laws, outlaws, out houses, etc?  Have you tried everything to ease these everyday chores, but to no avail?  Well then, this issue is for YOU!

On the BBB Message Board, we often have people writing in about these subjects, and we keep discovering what a great resource other parents can be.  I thought it might be helpful to have a reference that you can turn to when it comes time to visit the barbershop, or give a little ‘manicure’.

We had such an overwhelming response to this topic that we will present it in three parts.  If you have more tips for us, please email them in and I’ll put them in an upcoming issue.

Some tips may seem unconventional, particularly if you have a fairly recent diagnosis. Please keep in mind we are not endorsing any particular strategy, just passing along some hints from others.  Also remember some contributors are dealing with adolescents, teenagers and adults.  Never try anything that doesn’t sit right with you or interferes with your philosophy or ethics.  Never do anything that could potentially harm your child. If in doubt, contact your physician especially with respect to issues like medications, supplements (herbals included) and sleep. Remember, we are not physicians the following is not to be construed as medical advice. Phew!

Once again, I am in the debt of our wonderful contributors.  Thanks to everyone who helped out! J

Bee Cool,



1.       Haircuts

2.       Family Gatherings

3.       Going to the Movies

4.       Taking Medications

5.       Toileting

Would you prefer a printable version of your subscription? You have a choice between this version, PDF or MSWord (plain text). You can even have more than one subscription in different formats if you wish to print and keep on your computer. Email me with your requests! J

 Please note: Our children our precious to us. We always substitute their real names for an initial (unless otherwise requested).  Additionally, we never include last names of contributors (or any personal information) without permission.

We are not physicians. Real parents sent in these contributions.  If you have any trouble opening graphics or have any other questions, please let me know by email:


1.       Nail Clipping

2.       Car Rides

3.       Eating in Restaurants

4.       Sleep (or lack thereof)

5.       Picky Eaters

6.       Going to the Mall

7.       Oral Hygiene

8.       Mouthing

9.       Safety in and out of the Home

10.   Visiting Doctors and Dentists

11.   Teaching Self Help Skills

12.   Bathing

There’s still time to submit your strategies for upcoming issues. If you have ways of dealing with any of the above issues (or any not mentioned) please email me.


We were all shocked to hear that Floyd Tilton of had recently passed away.  Floyd was a well-known member of our online communities, dedicating his time to providing support and information to children with autism and their parents.

We at the BBB Autism Support Network had an acquaintance with Floyd; he invited us to use his chat room several times per week.  He had also reprinted our “How To Enjoy Disney World with Your Child With ASD” issue of the E-News earlier this year in his newsletter.

FEAT News put out the following announcement on March 14, 2002:

This past Friday morning, Floyd Tilton the editor "guide" of the online publication suffered a massive coronary and passed away. He was only 55.

Floyd was tirelessly dedicated to the Kids and Parents of the Autistic Spectrum community and will be greatly missed.

His mission to create a voice in the Autism Community does not go unnoticed. His mission & dream can be one step closer as the Autism Spectrum Community joins together in sending our thoughts and prayers to his beloved wife Adelle and family.

Floyd was the father of an autistic son Aaron and taught Psychology and Human Development on the community college level for several years before joining Disability Determination Services as a Training Officer and Disability Examiner.

He helped to implement the disability redesign initiatives for Social Security and served as a training supervisor for Federal Disability Claims Managers. He taught English and Psychology/Human Development on the college level for 7 years and was named an Outstanding Instructor by the college. He deals with autism on a daily basis, having a son who is autistic, and has done extensive research into this condition.

He has attended and taught numerous continuing education programs related to disabilities and their evaluation by Social Security.

He is also survived by his wife Adelle and two daughters, Laura and Grace.

Floyd's services and funeral were held Wednesday with a Veterans Honor Guard. For those who would like to send a remembrance, the family has requested donations in lieu of flowers be sent to:

      Chamberlain Funeral Home, W. Highway 20, Chadron NE 69337       308-432-3344

Please keep Floyd and his family in your thoughts and prayers    


 For everything, we use a lot of dialogue, a lot of pictures and a lot of reinforcing for good behaviour.  My husband and I were so nervous about the first time we took D to a Raptors game. We talked, I used a social story using PECS, we planned best case scenario to worst case but we planned the day from the minute we left the driveway from driving, parking, walking to the ACC (Air Canada Centre), giving the person a ticket, having a snack, sitting down - etc.  It was successful because we were totally planned and prepared for.  Don't laugh - but I even brought a picture schedule in my purse to prepare her for a toilet break and snack and when it was time to go.  It went without a hitch.  It's a lot of freaking work just to go to a freaking basketball game but I'm not sure we would have had such success had we not planned so carefully.  We did the same when we went to Marineland, the zoo, Blues Clues and The Wiggles and every time we go to the movie theatre.

 PECS Shorthand Notes:
Communication Made Easy:


Recently, this post appeared on our message board and the response was overwhelming.  I hope you enjoy it! L.

The Haircut by Lynn

Took the boys for haircuts today. My girlfriend who cuts their hair recently moved and bought her own salon so D still is not used to going there yet, only his second visit to the new place. He cried and screamed his way through the haircut, never got the back shaved like he usually does. My husband helped hold D in the chair and it was sensory torture on this day for my D. I noticed a man in the other chair just finished getting his haircut and he was staring at me and gave me a thumbs up and a smile. I didn't think much of it because D was so loud and I was getting stressed just watching him. The man got up from his chair, came over to me and put his arm around me and said, "I know, my son is 24." I asked him if his son still acts out when having a haircut and he said "not that bad." He paid his bill; pat D on the head, greeting him and left. I have thought about this gesture all afternoon and I wonder if he knows how much those few words meant to me. Just to acknowledge me as a parent doing a "normal" thing with my son and saying in his own words "don't worry, it will get better", at least I got the opportunity to say thank you to him before he left.
Thanks for letting me share...

 One word…by Tina

One word can make a world of difference.  I'm glad he was in there and not some "that kid needs a slap" type.

At the place we get R's done one of the hairdressers are that type.  She really urks me...even when i ask for no shave to avoid the tantrum she gives me a look (not nice one) and says "its going to be lopsided" and gives me a snotty finishing look to end the debate.

One day i was feeling nasty and let her. R's tantrums are short so I knew it wouldn't last past the entrance when we left.  He went flippy and bolted from the chair screaming "Oh no!! Don't cut my head off!" and "Get away you killer!".  She didn't look impressed when I was giggling in my chair.

I try to make sure the good one is in there.  She's known R for a long time and only cuts when he lets her and no fights about the shaver either!  Otherwise, R loves cuts.  The scissor noise is bearable to him and he loves to get hair brushed and washed.

How Do You Do It? By Kim

My son's only two years old, so for now, I strap him into his high chair, give him a toy and some food on his tray, and a video on the TV, pray that nobody gets injured, and do that for 3 consecutive afternoons (1-bangs; 2-back; 3-sides)...LOL... So for now, I just trim his golden ringlets (unevenly). Pretty soon, he's going to need a professional "boy" haircut. What will I do then? I've never heard of a stylist who can provide "restraints" on the chair and amusements while cutting. Does anyone have some neat tips on how to get a haircut done, or am I resigned to physically restraining him, while people look on in disbelief? He doesn't have too much of a sensory problem with it - just can't sit still.

Find A Kid’s Barber by Khris

Ask your friends who have young children, especially if they are kids with special needs. I found a kids’ haircutting place by me that is fantastic. It's $10 for a cut and well worth it. This lady is so accommodating, I know 3 families with ASD kids who go there. One mom straps her son's car seat into the barber chair, he screams the whole time but this woman just keeps cutting. Another parent told me she let her son stand at the Lego table and cut his hair there.

Taking a Course… by Tina

…in haircutting could be an alternative too if it seems like it will be an on going problem. Then if the time is right you can do it without the disruption of going to and waiting.  The savings in paying someone else would eventually pay for taking a course yourself.

Kim, you are dealing with a normal 2 year-old’s reaction.  R was like your son.  Haircuts were not a problem when he got older as he has very little sensory stuff with cuts as well.

Curly hair helps mask most messed up cuts.  I have attempted an at home cut when needed and curls hide my screw-ups!

With maturity comes better hair days!

I Chop All of my Kids’ Hair (oops, I mean cut…sort of) by Becca

Luckily, I could let the girls grow their hair out because they were the ones it was truly insane with. Have to admit that fear does get the best of me sometimes which makes for bangs growing out till they look like one of those shaggy dogs.

They were real bad when younger, especially when C was sticking her fingers in the scissors... scary!!! Screaming and struggling; a strong pair of loving restraints (daddy a possible suggestion) is great.

Reward afterwards perhaps for those kids that can understand so they can associate haircuts with something special... for the future. Other than that patience and a good sense of humor worked better for me than the opposite.

Shave and a Haircut…By Ronald

I am assuming he is objecting to the buzz of the trimmers that sets him off. When C had big sensory issues with the trimmers the stylist would let him feel the buzz of it and let him squirm a little bit and make a game of it to make him giggle and know she wasn't going to hurt him. the she would take her time and trim, let him squirm. Trim, let him squirm.

By Robin

With C, he has gotten better and better with time. We always go to the same hairdresser and, over time, he has learned what C will tolerate and what he won't. When he first started using the clippers, he always let C look at them and touch them, but he doesn't have to do that anymore. He also knows never to use scissors around his ears because that will get a really negative response. Time is what really seems to have helped the most. C is almost 7 (his birthday is Feb. 13) and there has been a world of difference between when he was 5 and now.

 By Deb

We use a neighbor who is a professional stylist. We put JR in her youngest son’s highchair and drape the cover over him. I massage his head before we start and apply some deep pressure therapy as well. We put a movie in for him and she goes to town.... we NEVER EVER use clippers. It's a simple manual cut with regular clippers and it seems to work well. She does some other special needs kids so she's very good with our boy and he trusts her cause he "plays" up there with her kids too.

I Didn’t Expect Such a Big Response on This, One Question, Though…by Lynn D.

Remember they had infomercials all the time for the thing it was a vacuum and a haircutting tool all in one for an easy haircut that you could do yourself?  Not that I would invest money in such a thing...just wondering, that’s all.

Flowbee Online: (Thanks for the link, Diana!)

By Lee
I've been going that route of strapping my son down into his high chair. I don't use the tray because he would bang his head onto it repeatedly. I use the clippers for a crew cut, which makes his hair easier to wash I think. He is 4 now and I've been doing it since he was a year old. It's not any easier now than it was then. No matter what I do he gets the hair in his mouth, nose, eyes, etc. He screams so much that his head gets wet with sweat, which makes it harder to work with the clippers. I've tried everything from holding a towel over his face, using a kid's size cape, etc. I think this is something that will always be a problem for him.

By Mary

Haircuts are still a challenge.... Luckily B's hair grows very slowly, he can go almost 3 months without a haircut. The vibrating chair pad helps a little. He uses earplugs because he hates the buzzing of the clippers. A towel pulled tight around the back of his neck, his ears & face keeps the hairs from tickling too much.

Hair Cutting Sensory Tips By Shirley Sutton B.Sc(OT)

Reprinted from “Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration” with permission


v      Use a mirror and verbal warnings to predict touch

v      Try earphones to black out the noise of the clippers

v      Place downward pressure on the head, through the neck and shoulders

v      Use firm strokes with the comb

v      Air blow away all bits of hairs prior to getting dressed

v      Look for a flexible and sensitive hair stylist; it will be worth it

v      Try the Willbarger Protocol to decrease sensitivities (for more information about this method, ask your Occupational Therapist)  

 Family Gatherings by Sonya

 I have all the family gatherings at my house.  That way, the kids know their boundaries and have all their own toys.  The house is childproofed adequately.  The only difference in their environment is that many other people are there.  We don't have luck going to other family members' homes, but it always goes well at our own house.

 Fidget Baskets By Shirley Sutton B.Sc (OT)

Reprinted from “Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration” with permission

 Look for small quiet toys, items that will not disturb the other children. Most commonly used:


Silly Putty

Stress Balls

Flour Balloon

Scrub Brushes


Mouthing toys

Bungee cord bracelets

Stretch toys

Koosh toys

… more ideas can be found on page 177 of “Building Bridges”

Links and an overview of Shirley’s Make ‘n’ Take Workshop can be found here

  AUTISM AND FAMILY GATHERINGS (Thanks to Dana for the link!) 

 Going to movies By Bernie

* This was a tough one for us but so far A has seen 2 movies and he did very well.
* We always try to see a movie a few weeks after it debuts that way the movie theatre isn't so crowded.
 * We always go to the matinee, it's cheaper and it usually emptier then the later shows.
* Our local movie theatre has been very understanding. The first time we took him to see a movie, Monsters, Inc. we approached management and explained our situation. I explained that I wasn't sure if he would sit thru the entire movie due to his autism. They were kind enough to give us a refund if he didn't. But to our surprise he did!
* We also bring in his favorite snacks from home and juice this avoids time spent on line waiting too.
* We also try to sit in a spot in the movie theatre that I know most folks won't sit at like the very top or last row. That way there aren't too many folks around us and I can let Ariel stand and stretch, and not worry about others.

By Liz

If you are bringing a sibling, be sure to have another adult on hand in case you have to leave. Tag-teaming works for us in many instances, especially restaurants, family gatherings, malls etc.  


 Whenever my son has to take a pill, I put it in a spoon of peanut butter and he takes it with no problem. For liquids, he used to take his cod liver oil in a shot glass with a little juice on top to help cut the taste.


This is not my tip, I got it years ago from my friend, Lisa. It’s always stayed with me though.  If you can, grind up pills or open a capsule and mix with sprinkles.  Pour on ice cream and serve!  One word of caution, though, check with your pharmacist or physician to see if the medication remains stable when crushed and mixed. You can also practice by getting your child to swallow M & M Minis – another tip from years gone by. J

A Natural, Holistic Approach – Good Advice from Deb

We use a lot of the Kirkman products for vitamin therapy and chelating purposes (using a more natural holistic approach) and almost everything Kirkman makes comes in three formulas (liquid, powder and pull apart capsules). The liquid has a taste to it and unless we use something stronger to cover it up JR fights us. The powder is tasteless and odorless as are the pull apart capsules (of the things he's taking anyway). Mix in juice, applesauce spaghetti sauce, Alfredo sauce, puddings or yogurts (if the child is casein tolerant of course).

Kirkman Labs

By Cindi

A has always had oral sensitivities and getting him to take medication was a big struggle.  He recently had minor surgery.  Historically we've had to give him Tylenol by suppository, but we had a major breakthrough this time.  I said "either this one goes in your bum, or this one goes in your mouth".  He chose the latter. J

By Cenza

Taking Medicine - I know it sounds cruel - but considering it will take 10 seconds and is necessary I lay D down - cross her hands on her chest - sit on her hands and chest - administer medicine with a dropper - totally praise her for taking it and give her something from a basket of dollar store toys I always keep around.  Since she gets her vitamins daily this way - its not too huge a deal now and I know in my heart she is benefiting from 10 seconds of discomfort.  She actually looks forward to picking a toy from the basket.  Come to think of it - I should open a dollar store myself considering I'm there enough. 


From the Yahoo Group Enzymes and Autism Suggestions

With thanks to Dana for providing the link  

Toilet Training- By Taline

My little guy did not respond well until he reached a point (developmentally) of not liking the feeling of being soiled in his clothes.  After that, it was much easier because he was motivated to keep his clothes clean and all I needed to teach him was that there is an alternative- use the toilet.

              TOILETING AWAY FROM HOME – By Dawn

Toileting in a strange place – always have favorite reinforcer (toy or edible) on hand!

  SENSORY STRATEGIES - By Shirley Sutton B.Sc(OT)

Reprinted from “Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration”  with permission


 If your child doesn’t seem to be aware that they are urinating, let them go naked – they will see when they urinate and connect the sensation with the consequence

If your child wears diapers, draw attention to information from other senses; smell and the added weight of a wet diaper (cloth diapers give more sensory feedback than disposable diapers)

If your child is sensitive to toilet paper; try diaper wipes, or a wet face cloth

If your child cannot tolerate sitting on the toilet, try to make is as safe as possible:

o        Make the hole smaller with an infant toilet seat or try a padded seat
Put a stool under your child’s feet  
Try to wear a weighted vest to encourage sitting for a longer period of time  
A tub rail may be helpful for your child to hang on to  
Use distractions like books, songs, music and pictures on the walls  
Children love the feeling of security when they wear a diaper; if they require this security, allow them to wear a diaper while they are on the toilet  
Try a padded toilet seat as it is softer and warmer

If the visual input is too stimulating, turn off the lights or dim them

If the noise is too much, place sound absorbing towels in the bathroom, or try earplugs, music or running water

With smearing of feces, try your child on a bathroom routine with a caregiver present and start a program of strong smells

Never force; respect your child’s tolerance

Diaper changes may be difficult if your child is uncomfortable with movement; try changing your child in standing position


 Use visual aids and social stories to increase your child’s understanding of the task

Try to make this task as pleasant as possible

 Toileting Links

Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism and Related Disorders – A Comprehensive Guide for Parents and Teachers by Maria Wheeler 

Generic Habit Training

Toilet Training by Gary J. Heffner

Potty Training

Applying Structured Teaching Principles to Toilet Training


 ...Proudly Presented by Autism Society Ontario ~ York Region Chapter and BBB Autism Support Network

Registration Required, Limited Enrolment. Email Location: 11181 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill

1Autism & Sexuality ~ Deanna Pietramala, Leaps & Bounds TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2002

1Social Skills ~ Deanna Pietramala, Leaps & Bounds TUESDAY APRIL 23, 2002

1School Discipline & The Exceptional Student  ~ Lindsay Moir TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2002

1Behavior Management ~ Deanna Pietramala, Leaps & Bounds TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 2002


New Haven Learning Centre is proud to present “Understanding Applied Behaviour Analysis: Practical Applications for Autism” on Friday, April 5, 2002, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at Manulife Financial (200 Bloor Street East, Toronto).

Speakers and topics include:

BILL CAMERON, Canadian Journalist - Opening Address

DR. DAVID CELIBERTI (keynote speaker), Director of Training & Research at Eden II programs in Staten Island, New York - ABA: What it is, what it isn’t, and what it implies for educating children with autism

DR. DAVID CELIBERTI (keynote speaker), Director of Training & Research at Eden II programs in Staten Island, New York – What about me? Understanding and addressing the needs of siblings.

JOANNE GERENSER, Executive Director of Eden II programs in Staten Island, New York - Enhancing language in children with autism

RANDY HOROWITZ, Director of Education Services at Eden II’s Genesis School in Plainview, New York - Doctors, Dentists, and Haircuts: applying behavioural teaching techniques in real life settings

DR. LEN LEVIN (formerly from Alpine Centre, New York) & DR. SYLVIE DONAIS, Kinark Family Services (Central East Preschool Autism Services) - Behaviour management: decreasing challenging behaviour, increasing appropriate behaviour

AUDREY MEISSNER, Program Director at New Haven Learning Centre - The “how to’s” of ABA: top 10 strategies for parents and professionals to use today

DR. BECKY WARD, Clinical Research Coordinator for the Autism Spectrum Disorders – Canadian-American Research Consortium - Unraveling the mystery of autism: from genetics to early detection and prevention

Must pre-register to attend.  PARENTS/STUDENTS: $150.00, PROFESSIONALS: $190.00
Registration deadline: March 22, 2002 (A cancellation fee will apply)
For more information, or to register, contact New Haven at 416.259.4445

Fax: 416.259.2023 or email at  

The Autism Society Ontario York Region Chapter would like to thank IBM Canada Limited for their generous donation of a computer.  IBM is a corporate supporter of the ASO York Region  

ASO  Halton Chapter to present ABA Training Workshop for Home-Based Programs!

April 20th & 21st 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

 This is an intensive 2-day training workshop that will give you the fundamentals of a home-based ABA program.  This workshop emphasizes a positive and systematic approach to teaching communication, play, social and self -help skills using Applied Behaviour

Analysis.  We will attempt to teach you how to implement this approach using creativity and flexibility, capitalizing on the resources available to each individual child and family.

Oakland's Regional Centre, 53 Bond Street, Oakville  - 3rd Floor - Library

Register Early - Limited Enrolment -  The first 30 registrations for each of the above dates will be confirmed by telephone


 $150.00 per person fee, Lunch included  served. Please submit registration Autism Society /Halton Chapter

173 Lakeshore Road, West, Suite 136

Oakville, Ontario L6K 1E7

Fax: 905 689-2474




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(C) 2002 BBB Autism

Past Issues
To request, email and indicate which volume/issue(s) you prefer. You can order in HTML, MSWORD or PDF. Newsletter Archives are also available on our website

Volume 1; Issue 1 WELCOME ISSUE!
Volume 1; Issue 2 SUMMER CRISIS
Volume 1; Issue 3 SPOUSAL CONCERNS

Volume 1; Issue 6 BACK TO SCHOOL

Volume 2; Issue 1 IEP
Volume 3; Issue 4 EVERYDAY HEROES

Permission to reproduce &d hand out is granted, provided the document is displayed in its entirety.  Other permissions may be requested by email:



1.      Halloween

2.      Epsom Salts (expanded version)

3.      Epsom Salts (condensed)

4.      Pros and Cons of telling your ASD child his/her diagnosis

5.      How we advocate for our children

6.      Guide to holidays and large family gatherings

A notice to our readers...

The founders of this newsletter and the BBB Autism support club are not physicians.

This newsletter references books and other web sites that may be of interest to the reader.  The editor makes no presentation or warranty with respect to the 
accuracy or completeness of the information contained on any of these web sites or in the books, and specifically disclaims any liability for any information 
contained on, or omissions from, these books or web sites.  Reference to these web sites or books herein shall not be construed to be an endorsement of 
these web sites or books or of the information contained thereon, by the editor.

The editor reserves the right to make decisions as to whether contributions are appropriate with respect to content, length, etc.  We will not publish offensive material using foul language, or contributions that are inflammatory or disrespectful to decisions by other parents (i.e. therapies). We do not generally accept contributions if they are ads for private service agencies/clinics. We are also unable to accept contributions after an issue has been completed. We reserve the right to edit content, but will inform you in advance if we are going to do this. J

(c) BBB Autism - 2002

This E-News is the intellectual property of BBB Autism Support Network.

Permission to reproduce and hand out is granted, provided the document is displayed in its entirety.  Other permissions may be requested by email: liz@deaknet.comThe purpose of this copyright is to protect your right to make free copies of this paper for your friends and colleagues, to prevent publishers from using it for commercial advantage, and to prevent ill-meaning people from altering the meaning of the document by changing or removing a few paragraphs.