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Avery Powers - Finds the Answers He Needs at PWP:

Avery Powers, a six-year-old from Delaware with Asperger’s Syndrome, never had dental work done before Practice Without Pressure.  The main reason, his dad Joe said, was due to concerns that Avery would not be able to stay still for treatment.

But that situation changed when his dental hygienist recommended that he try Practice Without Pressure.

Joe brought Avery to PWP last September.  Avery only needed two practice sessions – one before completing a cleaning and exam, and the second - before having a cavity filled.

“He’s a very loving child and very open to new people,” Joe said proudly.  When he first met with company CEO and Founder, Deb Jastrebski and Director of Programming Services, Karen Bashkow, “he had a blast.”

But it was fun with a purpose, which clearly gave Avery what he needed.  “They explained the process of practice with him and told him they’d practice with him until he was comfortable with the dental cleaning and exam that he needed to complete.  They gave him the expectation that he wouldn’t have to go into anything blind.”

For Avery, who has a great memory, practice was simple. He enjoyed the interaction with Deb and Karen, but also benefitted greatly from the sequencing cards that helped to reinforce what he practiced.

Rewards helped too.  “His first reward was a Sponge Bob movie, which he watched on their portable DVD player after he had practiced,” Joe said.

“When he completed his first cleaning, everyone around him were supporting and cheering him on.  That made a world of difference for him,” Joe said.

During his second practice session, Deb and Karen went through all the steps of an exam, including practice for the needle, which was his biggest issue.  “It was like working out the kinks,” Joe said.

In the actual exam, Avery needed a little more wiggle room, literally and figuratively.  “At first, he didn’t want to sit still.  So they gave him an opportunity to get his wiggles out,” Joe said.  “It gave him an opportunity to work out his own game plan.  For the most part, he was fine.”

It didn’t stop him from asking questions, though.  But because Avery already knew what to expect, he really just wanted reassurance.  And that’s what the professional staff gave him.

“They were wonderful at explaining what was happening and about all the tools that they were using.  They told him the needle would feel like a little pinch and he grabbed my hand and tensed a little, and then was fine.  I went a lot better than I expected.  Without practicing, he would have had a really tough time,” Joe said.

Instead, everyone including the hygienist and dentist were supportive.  “It was almost like having his own cheering party as he was having his dental care done.”

PWP extends that support outside the dental suite.  After each visit, a client receives a written summary of what happened and what to expect in the next practice session with a request for feedback to incorporate in future sessions.  “They always said that I was a part of the process, but that in actual treatment, their professionals would be in control,” Joe said.

Joe noted that sometimes it’s hard for protective parents to not interfere, but at Practice Without Pressure,” he said, “they make sure you’re okay with it too.”

Making everyone comfortable makes practice and treatment successful.  It may have taken only two practice sessions and two appointments for Avery to receive needed dental care, but Joe left feeling like “I’ve known these ladies for a long time now.”

Not only did Avery learn to trust PWP, but so did Joe.  “They could have made me come back time and again for more money. But they said he was ready.  For them, it wasn’t about the money.”

It wasn’t about the money for Joe, either.  “That somebody else thinks Avery can succeed is a huge plus,” he said.  “To have my son do dental work that needed to be done and to give him a chance to learn something to prepare for it - I’ll never put a price tag on my child, but to know other people out there are just trying to help people is invaluable.”

Joe thinks every kid could use this.  “Any person who has difficulty with dental care could benefit from PWP. Practice makes a huge difference,” he said.

 

This excerpt first appeared in the February 2011 "Access" magazine article written by Nancy T. Brohawn, RDH/BSDH

 

Practice Without Pressure Corporate.
P.O. Box 829
Bear, DE 19701

Main: (302) 419-8131
Fax: (302) 836-3126