Neck and Above

A Mis-Firing Trigeminal Nerve System

Understanding the Trigeminal Nerve system (Wikipedia) helps to explain sensory battlefields in our children.

Especially when you realize how much sensory activity there is in the neck and above.

Another link to help you understand the body’s wiring.

Until this nerve system is “integrated”, your child will have issues of oral defensiveness.

Building new, stronger neural pathways is the only path to success.

So, expect greater adventures in hair cuts, brushing teeth (flossing—ha!), dental checkups, and eating a variety of foods.

How can you help your child make progress?

Here are some of the ways we are building this sensory peace.

Haircuts:  Does your child hate hair cuts?

For years, I have wrestled John during haircuts, trying any tool and distraction.

It was always never fun.

Then one day, I was forced to take John into the hair salon with me.

He watched what was happening to me.  When I asked him if he “wanted to try this?“, he said “yes”.

Here are two photos of that unexpected gift from the angels (Ms. Monica and Ms. Dell).

Now, he gets to choose a store-bought hair cut or one at home.

Either way, he looks less shaggy.

Loud Noises:  Your child can learn to accept noise terror:



Dental Checkups (this link to growing natural curiosity in the face of sensory overload):

In the blurry photo of John in the blue shirt, you can see what our current pediatric dentistry practice uses:

Sunglasses, headphones, slow and easy approach.

John still comes out of his skin, nearly.

But at least we aren’t holding him down.

I helped hold him down once, age 3, and it took several of us.

We don’t go to that dentistry practice anymore.

Brushing Teeth:   The motor planning can be also be a challenge.

Sometimes it’s a battle to even hold still long enough to check his work.

Or to help him get them brushed when you are running out of time.

Birthday Candles:   Help your child with breath control, learning how to enjoy a birthday cake.

Breathing In and Out:   This process happens automatically when he isn’t aware.

But ask him to do it purposely, and he couldn’t.

Until we trained for it.

Swallowing PillsStarting small.

Working bigger.

New Foods:  Here is John’s first voluntary spoon of oatmeal.

He now really likes it.

But, I made him put it in his mouth for the first few bites.

Of course, he didn’t want to.  So, “we’ll just stand here until you do it.

Maybe these ideas can help in your house.

Peace be with us,


I am a mom of learning differences, an educator and a former corporate warrior. I help you understand what to do to help your children with learning differences prepare for today so that they can be ready for life. I share with you all that I have learned. We always use a team to have fun and learn together.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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