Children with autism may be more sensitive to the nail clippers than the others. To help them overcome this fear, they need a plan that is more thoroughly broken down. We can’t rely on sneaking into their room and clipping their nails only after they fall asleep.
Here is a guide of a long-term solution to build your child’s tolerance to nail clipping!
1. Communicate expectations: gradually expose your child to the expectations of nail-clipping visually, through reading the social story, showing the video model and presenting the First-Then visual.
2. Probe: assess and identify your child’s main challenge. Adapt the desensitization plan according to your child’s exact needs. For example:
a. Place nail clipper at the edge of the table
b. Gradually bring it closer to your child
c. Demonstrate clipping your nails
d. Get your child to touch the nail clipper
a. Read the “Nail Clipping” social story.
b. Show your child the First Then chart, the reward he/she is working towards, then show he/she the video model
c. Begin practice (desensitization plan):
4. The BIG DAY: it’s time to cut your child’s nails! By this time, your child would already be able to tolerate his nails being clipped.
5. Review: Generalization or Troubleshoot?
a. Other carers: caretaker at daycare center, babysitter
b. Toe nail clipping
Prepare the materials for a nail-cutting practice with your child.
Identify the best exclusive reward(s) for your child.