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We are fostering an anxious ten year old boy. When he came to us his shirt fronts were soaked and both his sleeves and collars looked like a puppy had got hold of his shirts. If he didn't chew his shirts, he chewed his fingers until they bled, or gouged at his nose. We did not think these behaviors would help him make friends in a brand new school, nor were age appropriate. Social services worked with us at our request and paid for a trial of chewelry. We let our foster son have ownership of the experiment and pick a favorite necklace and bracelet. The school was happy to allow him to use these tools as needed. He loved the bite saber necklace and in a pinch would use the brick bracelet. Within a week all chewing stopped except on chewelry! He did need an occasional reminder to wear it and use it. All was great until like all ten year olds he managed to lose both. Luckily his Coordinated Services Team is happy we have a tool that helps him and will be filling a replacement order. We are expanding our tools to include pencil toppers and ordering enough chewelry that some will go with him as he transitions to a permanent home. He does have one request: camo chewelry. - Anonymous
First off, you guys are way too sweet for sending me the present of the extra chewelry piece (I had gotten a piece of stressful mail along with your package from my health insurance which is gonna be a headache to deal with and the little present helped turn my mood right back around again.) and it is such a cool one too and turns out to be in my most preferred strength (that ghost colored crypto bite is really one of the coolest color/designs, but I'm a geek through and through and had to go with the bite sabors.) I bought one of each strength to see which would work the best for me because I was not sure. I liked the soft a lot but it squeaked when I bit down on it and I didn't really like the sound, however I still will use it for other sensory needs such as bending it (which feels really, really good and satisfying in a way I cannot explain) and sucking on it just maybe not so much biting and I found the xxd a little too hard where it hurt my teeth a little but it feels really nice and firm and heavy against my tongue which is where I need the most sensory input so that will still get sucked on as well even if not bitten as much. I have been wearing the XD black bite sabor for about 24 hours now and only caught myself with my thumb in my mouth once and for only like two seconds before I was able to redirect myself to the bite sabors around my neck (I am a very avid thumb sucker have been since giving up my paci as a baby, it is the way that I self-sooth when anxiety overloads my circuits.) It also really helped me through a high anxiety time this evening when I was home alone for a while and having one of my imaginary mini-crisis'(My brain makes things up just to mess with me.) it didn't take the anxiety away totally, but it really, really helped keep me calm, much calmer than I usually would have been able to keep and I didn't even have to take one of my anxiety pills! I still need my thumb to go to sleep at night because it scares me a little to fall asleep with something else in my mouth afraid of choking despite the size and I already struggle to sleep as part of my disorders, so the thumb at night it is, at least I have a more socially acceptable sensory soother for during the day and while out and it doesn't upset my dad nearly as much seeing the chewey in my mouth as opposed to seeing his adult daughter suck her thumb still (he really really doesn't like seeing my thumb in my mouth and he actually bought these for me as a gift to try and help. He is a special education teacher as well, but my sucking my thumb has caused its fair share of tiffs.) I am diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, OCD and severe general anxiety. I am trained in special ed(I have two masters in education one of them is in special education) even though I am not able to work at the moment so I have been able to put myself on sensory diet(with some tips from dear old dad.) complete with several different spinners and other little toys (I need to get a cube I can't believe I don't have one of those yet.) This has already been a huge help in my sensory diet and calming routine and is by far my favorite sensory input tool to date as I get the most out of the sensory feel of sucking on, chewing on and pushing it down on my tongue. I know, a little long-winded, but I wanted to give you all an idea of what you are helping with. I have huge hills to climb to getting well again (I have been pretty sick for a pretty long time.) and this has helped me take another positive step forward giving me a little extra help where the medication I am on fails to help. My therapist is out for surgery so I could not share with her the find, but I saw my psychologist the day they came and though he had never heard of them before he was impressed and all for whatever helps. So you aren't just helping children with special needs, but this very much adult (33yo) woman with her special needs. I cannot thank you all enough! - Anonymous
Our son Aiden was shaken as a baby. He suffers Global Developmental Delays. I cannot begin to express how excited we are to have found your products! The Brick is our FAVORITE! Aiden does some very serious tooth grinding and previously the only thing that slightly alleviated it was his quarterly botox treatments. With the brick however, we have noticed a significant decrease in his grinding! He reaches happily for his Brick and chews away!! Aiden also loves the textured Grabber which I got in the firmest material you can. He enjoys it immensely and I don’t feel worried he is going to get pieces to come off of it. As he has gotten older we knew the time would come when over the counter baby toys didn’t stimulate him properly or hold up to his strength. ARK Therapeutic has been a huge relief for us all. - Melissa Barnum
As an SLP who focuses on feeding, I love all of your products. Once I had a nearly 4 y/o little boy who’s previous OT had been working on lip closure for the spoon. Once in therapy with me for feeding and speech I gave him the z-vibe with the spoon attachment. After 2 times in the same session he was closing his lips around the spoon and then transitioned the posture to fork presentations! Mom utilized it at home for about 3 months and 2 years later he’s still displaying perfect lip closure when eating! He simply needed that increased input to know where his lips were (he had oral and verbal apraxia). - Tara Koker-Noia
Your website has been so helpful! I think my son falls in several of the areas you mentioned that lead to chewing though I never thought threw all of them until reading the chewing articles on your website. We love your products, they have helped us tremendously and we have recommended them to several friends. - Kelley Murray
Hi, I am blown away by all of the good information on this site! I am a dental hygienist and have a special interest in treating kids and adults with special needs. This information is invaluable to me and I so appreciate this site!!! - Bethany Durden
We were given a Grabber by my son Caleb's therapist for his chewing and PICA issues. He LOVES it! and I love it even more now that I know he can chew on something safe and is easy to clean THANK YOU! - Danielle Westman
We cannot express the gratitude we have for your family and the hard work you guys really put into your products to help our kiddos make their everyday struggles just a little bit easier. We stand by your company and your brand tooth and nail and couldn't be happier that you and your husband were two brilliant minds brought together to save the sanity of parental units and SPD, as well as other special little people all over the world, with the products that your family has brought into our lives. I apologize for writing you a book just to ultimately just praise your company and your family and the brilliance of such an item that could mean nothing to those who aren't blessed with a special child, but mean the world to the children that use them and rely on them, the parents that watch the kids be able to blossom on their own and have moments where all seems right with the world because their kiddo couldn't be happier realizing they can self regulate at least part of this disorder on their own and learn and grow with the therapeutic tools you offer, the teachers that bless that necklace everyday because they too watch our kiddos flourish when they can keep their anxiety about the world around them and all its many many sensory overload it can dole out. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the products that make our days a little easier. You’re a hard working family who cares about our beautiful kiddos enough to put your heart and soul into making a quality product that doesn't drain a life savings. We love, love, love everything about your company and products and hope this rambling message of praise brings a smile to your face and joy to your beautiful hearts to know that you make people's day/life/world a little brighter with your blood, sweat and tears, and it's not just the kiddos whose lives you help and save, but everyone the come in contact with on a daily basis because if there is just one kid suffering it affects everyone and everything around them, it's heartbreaking, but at least we know we finally have one less thing to worry about and can't wait until we can send off and receive our third and definitely not last purchase from your company. Know that you make the days a bit brighter with your company and we truly believe that there are sooo many more familys like ours out there that bless you everyday for everything that you help our kiddos achieve. Bless your company and your beautiful family and heres to hoping this is just the beginning of our long journey on our ride together!! PLEASE, by all means share as much or as little of our review as you see fit and if we could ever do anything to help get the word out about your products even more please, please, please do not hesitate to ask. Our little guy is suppose to start some more occupational therapy soon to work on his SPD that he has been struggling with as of late and I have asked the therapy clinic if I could bring in your catalog and share it with anyone and everyone who could utilize your products to help their kiddos. I have shared on our Facebook page too about how excited we are to have found your products as our friends are quite aware of just how many products we have been through and have even shared on a couple Sensory Processing Facebook pages that we are a member of to make people aware of your products with the understanding that we stress repeatedly how grateful we are to have found them. Also, your more than welcome to put my real name on that review if you would like, I have no problems with that as I stand wholeheartedly by your products and your company and want nothing more than your family and company to have all the success you definitely deserve. You guys are just amazing people, cannot stress that enough, and its big hearts like yours that remind us that we aren't in this struggle alone and there are still some amazing people in this world. - Eva Mailand
I cannot recommend ARK Therapeutic enough! My son is primarily g-tube fed, but he has recently been making wonderful progress with his drinking. He previously would only take a drop at a time from a syringe. He is now able to drink from a straw and has been able to manage progressively larger amounts of liquid with each swallow. I attribute this progress to ARK's innovative products! I will always be grateful for the kindness of John, Debbie, and Rebecca. This is truly a company dedicated to changing lives! - Danielle Reier
I have been a customer since 2001, my son was only 3 years old and he will be 15 years old in August. The Z-Vibe is the one product that has made his life more enjoyable. I have never been able to buy toys for him to play with, he will never play video games, etc, as he is very limited in what he is able to do. But what he does enjoy is stimulation through vibration in his jaw, teeth area and z-vibe is the perfect size for his little hands.
You have no idea how many "things" and how much money I had spent trying to find the "right" tool for Khy'reik. Z-vibe has stood the test of time and I continue to purchase them because they make Khy happy. Anything that will calm him down, or bring a smile to his face, is worth it to me. It's funny, even though his doctors can't remember the name of the Z-vibe, they know that we don't leave home without it, so if we are in the hospital or at an appt and he is fussy, etc. they will say "where is that vibrating thing he loves"? LOL!!!! I think as customers we should let you know when you have created something that has made a difference. The few words I'm saying to you here couldn't possibly express what a Z-vibe means to Khy. With the exception of a rattle ball (that is too noisy), it is literally ALL that I buy him. He only uses one hand and in the hospital the nurses try to do his IV so that it doesn't interfer with him holding his Z-vibe! When he refuses to hold his z-vibe, everyone knows that something is really wrong , as this is a source of comfort for him. This is big for me because my son is non-verbal, so it's these kind of cues that help me determine when things are wrong. So, I wanted to take a minute to express my gratitude... I mean from the heart!!!
I'm thankful I was able to find something that was reasonable and durable. SO, as long as Z-vibes keep my son happy, we will be ordering!!!! Thanks again!!!
Vanessa & Khyreik!
Our triplets were born in February this year at 26 weeks +3 days. It was a very bumpy road for them, and unfortunately, we lost our sweet baby Jacob. However, Emmy and Finn continued to progress and were both home from the NICU before their due date in May. Both have had various eating difficulties, and we have been working with our oral motor occupational therapists since our days in the NICU.
Our OTs recently gave us The Grabber for both Emmy and Finn, and they love them. It went so well, that at this week's appointment, our therapists sent us home with a new tool: The Probe. Well, both babies enjoy chewing on it, but our Finn absolutely LOVES using it with his purée feeds. We dip the tip into his purée and let him go to town with it as he spoon feeds. The attached pictures show his enthusiasm for The Probe with broccoli!
Thank you so much for wonderful safe tools to help our babies with their oral development!
All the best,
Your packet arrived sound and safe. I don't know what to say. I am really overwhelmed and thankful for your interest and care. Christmas has come early this year! All I do is fight with the system to change attitudes and pre-conceived ideas about María. All I hear since she was born is she cannot, she will not... It is people like you that keep my dreams alive. I am continuing with the trunk exercises and I am massaging the gums with my index finger and thumb. I have also started using the Z-Vibe to massage the face and do lip exercises. I have to read the book and select more exercises. Patience and time! I keep hoping that María will chew one day and will be able to eat like everyone else. In the meantime, she is loving the massage and the attention. Her little brother, Raúl, is also very curious about the gadgets...He is used to mummy doing crazy things by now... After playing with jelly and making marks with feet, playing with lentils... there isn't much left for him to be surprised...
Kind regards to everyone,
I recently bought a two pack of your small size maroon spoons, and plan on buying a grabber and probe also. I bought the spoons because my son had used one in his therapy session and it was like a miracle to watch him use a spoon correctly for the first time. He is 4 years old and was born with development delays and he has not been able to do anything but finger foods until we tried a maroon spoon. We have been through countless toddler cutlery and he just couldn't grasp the concept or the food would just slide right off. Now he is eating a an entire bowl of oatmeal by himself for the first time ever! Unless it was solid finger food, we have always had to spoon feed him. Thank you so much for your products and being a family company. It has been so hard finding products that my son can actually use because let's face it local stores do not cater to disabled children at all. Thank you again, you people are a godsend.
Our family appreciates what ARK does for kids with special needs. Thank you! Several therapists we know recommend you all, too, so your company maintains a quality reputation!
We ordered ARK’s customizable Travel Kit. I really like being able to pick the specific probes that meet my son’s needs. It was shipped to us extremely quickly, and the product was exactly as described in the website. Furthermore, the ARK staff has been VERY helpful by answering questions I had after receiving my kit. They stand by their products, and I highly recommend them!!!
As I mentioned on the phone, the Ark Z-Vibe product was referred to us by our daughter’s speech therapist. When she was only an infant, she struggled to nurse and was losing weight. Bottles were also ineffective. With a combination of exercises and the Z-Vibe she has transformed into a new person. The oral stimulation has helped her learn to accept the various textures of foods and utensils she needs to eat from, and is now a pleasure to feed. She is gaining weight nicely, is playful, and is at or above standards in all areas of development. We especially noticed the benefits of the Z-Vibe when we didn’t have it for a few weeks. Although she wasn’t as bad off as when we started the therapy, we did notice a regression. When we resumed the use of the Z-Vibe, she improved almost immediately!
Thank you so much for your wonderful products! It must be so meaningful for you to go to work every day knowing that you are improving the lives of children and helping them develop properly into healthy adults. We are very grateful to be your customers, and have been telling our friends and family all about it!
Have a wonderful weekend,
Thank you for being a company and resource that people like me can turn to for help–that’s so rare to find these days! Your daughter mentioned how proud she was of you; you and your wife are creating quite a legacy, and therapists and caregivers (such as myself) will always be so, so thankful for what you and ARK are doing!
Take care, and thank you so much again!
P.S. I saw that ARK now has a vibe with a Grabber handle! I’m so glad you’ve created that! When I used the vibe with my children, I often thought–“hey, it would be great to have a Grabber-type handle on this!”–so I think its so wonderful that you’ve made one! I can envision it being a very useful new product for so many of your customers! Great job!
My son Landon loves the chews. We have been using the chew tips, grabbers and Y’s to give him oral sensory input and help his chewing motion. He had multiple strokes upon arriving at the hospital that fateful day in early December 2008 when he was just 8 weeks old. He had been shaken, and between the damage the shaking did and the damage the strokes did from the oxygen deprivation at that time, his left side doesn’t work as it should due to severe left brain atrophy. This shaking left him also partially deaf, and almost totally blind, so feeding has been a real challenge. His left side, arm, leg, mouth, and core don’t have the strength to work like they should. He is 3 1/2 yrs old and is just now learning to chew a little. He does, on the other hand, have a problem with biting his cheek and lip on the left side when he does chew because he isn’t aware he is biting himself.
I sincerely thank you folks for all that you do to manufacture items for those of us with loved ones with special needs. Your items have been a blessing to Landon’s progress, and I bought some grabbers for a little guy my sister is caring for that has CP also. He chews his hands and I asked her about grabbers for him. The family struggles financially, so since I have been so blessed, I bought the grabber package for him the last time I was in there. I plan to come out and buy another package of the grabbers so I can “pay it forward” to give them to someone else that needs help. God has blessed us with this little man of ours, (he is legally ours since our adoption in November of 2010), and I have watched him blossom and progress so far in the last three years since he came to us as a foster child.
God Bless you folks. I have never been in a business that everyone involved was so knowledgeable about their products and so helpful as to what we can use to make more progress. Keep up the good work.
I find it refreshing to do business with an American company and support you! Delightful to call and get a person, who speaks English, answers the phone and provides actual customer service and support.
I am so excited! I placed an order last week with Ark Therapeutic and we already received the package. The students are loving the z vibes and the y chew tools. Also thank you so much for the free gifts of the cat and mouse tips and the two carrying cases! Working with your company has been so easy, quick and convenient and the customer service very friendly and helpful. I will definitely be ordering from Ark again! Thank you!!
I want to thank you for the grabbers! They work so well for my son and he has really decreased his pica now that he has a better outlet for his chewing! No other chew tool worked and I think the texture really made the difference. Thank you so much! These are a big hit at our house. We’ll be placing another order after the holidays and I am sending an email to his OT about these.
Anyway thank you for the awesome products and great customer service!
Good to hear from you, thanks…Kudos on your website changes – I know that’s a job unto itself!
Sure you can use this for testimonial, or I can write one specifically (if there’s a point you’d like me to share, just let me know – no problem, that’s easy – for you and your company!
You are a company with heart. It’s so easy referring clients to you because: you, the owners, are hands-on developing your tools made in the USA, you truly care about people/clients/families, your pricing is not excessive and you are generous to help those in need…it is my pleasure to write a testimonial for you and your products, which are high quality, durable and very effective in supporting the oral motor/feeding/speech therapy I do with children.
Thank you Debbie and John – for doing what you do. Also, the (new?) video segment on your website explaining and showing the Ark process, is amazing!
How wonderful to show this–So impressed with your products and how you skillfully, thoughtfully produce them, without latex (and ETC.!!!) in the USA…KUDOS and thank you!
With best regards and prayers!!
In searching the web for tools for my son to use in conjunction with speech therapy for oral motor weakness and reverse swallow, your oral motor products seemed to meet all of my criteria. I not only wanted a tool that his speech therapist recommended but also something that was natural, non-toxic and could withstand a 2 year old mouth full of teeth! It was astonishing to see the differences in the way my 2 year old twins used the XT Grabbers. My son immediately began chewing on it with his back molars while my daughter sucked on it and lost interest fairly quickly. She does not have any oral motor or articulation issues as my son does. It was obvious that he was craving that input from the Grabber by the way he happily chewed on it while sitting in his high chair. We’ve just begun using the tools at home, but I already know the value of incorporating them into therapy and daily activities because I worked in the field of pediatric rehab for seven years and saw what a difference these products made with other children. Thank you for your compassion and dedication to this field and for offering these great products so concerned parents like me have safe, non-toxic, non-food-based tools to use with our children!
Hey John and Debbie!
Did I tell you that you guys are great?! Well, I’m having wonderful results with the therapy tools I’ve used so far. My little gagging boy is accepting the Z-vibe Fine Tip without a fuss…this is a little boy who sometimes gags when you touch his cheek or try to get him to smell something. He calls it “the tickles” or “the wiggles.” I’m trying the spoon tips with him next time. Z-vibe in general is awesome with all the different tips…I also use it to make a dum-dum lollypop vibrate…maybe you could make a tip that you insert a sucker stick into…something that could tighten and hold it kind of like those things you retrieve a golf ball with…just an idea…then you could make special sugar-free suckers that came in different shapes…who knows. He’s not so sure about the grabber yet, but he did nibble it with his front teeth a little before he gagged last time. I have another little one that is liking the grabber. He only wants things on the right side of his mouth…he doesn’t have much awareness of the other side…he allows stimulation on the outside of the left but he rejects attempts to wake up the left inside of his mouth…I’m going slowly and being patient. I don’t have an XT level biter yet…I know I will.
Thanks so much!
Update from ARK: we actually have a tip now just like the lollipop one Elizabeth describes above! It's called the Popette Tip.
Thanks soooooo much for my package!!! I am really excited to try the bite-n-chews and I LOVE the z-vibe!!! (and my new motor, of course….)
You are the best!!!
Thank you for explaining the spare motor assembly. That was thoughtful to be sure that I’m not without a working Z-Vibe! We become so reliant on our favorite products! You absolutely may use my email as a testimonial. I’m glad I can help!
Dear John and Debbie,
I was so happy to have the opportunity to speak with Debbie today. I am such an enthusiastic advocate of your Z Vibe product.
As I mentioned to Debbie, for many years I had conceptualized a similar device. Four years ago, I worked with the Dept of Bioengineering at University of Pennsylvania (my undergrad univ) for one year on the concept of such a product.
My hats off to you for your successful accomplishment. What I love best of all, is the silence of the vibrator.
Today, as I told Debbie, I had a mom whose 11 mo premie (corrected age 8 mos.) has had a life long battle with poor oral motor skills and GI issues. I did her eval one week ago and today was her first session. I tried the Z vibe with her and the mom almost broke down and cried. This implement made it possible (using it like a spoon) to give her the largest feeding she has ever not only eaten but of greater note… the baby ENJOYED EVERY SPOONFUL !!! She did not gag at any point and smiled through the meal for the very first time. This is thanks to your wonderful device that made it possible for me to guide mom as to the proper ways to help her oral motor skills emerge. I think that I was as ecstatic as the mom about this outcome . I “surrendered” my ONE AND ONLY z-vibe base because I couldn’t stand the thought of this child’s father not getting to see for himself the potential that lies ahead. …. Of course, I don’t know what I’ll do on Monday but maybe you can overnight mail me a shipment via US MAIL tomorrow… I just couldn’t break this mom’s heart without letting her take it home and having another HAPPY MEAL. She waited a lot of months to see her daughter enjoy a meal.
Thanks so much to Debbie for spending part of her dinner hour prep time with me.
Cudos to both of you for this sensational and oh so needed product.
Just wanted to thank-you for the quick delivery of the z-vibe. I love it. The babies I am using it with seem to like it to. I showed it to a colleague gave her your website, she wanted to order the z-vibe as well.
Just wanted to let you know that we loved the two probes that you sent for Chelsea….Thank you…..and they are working GREAT!!! Her OT worked with her this morning on oral motor skills and was surprised at how much progress Chelsea has made with chewing on the two probes, one on each side, at the same time!!! We finally think we have found the product that is going to help Chelsea increase her jsaw stability!!! I can’t not Thank you enough. Her speech evaluation had her at age appropriate and above for her language and cognition….now it is the articulation we need to work on!! Again thank you so much for your help.
I’ve had wonderful success using the Z-Vibe with a client of mine who has facial paresis secondary to a DX of Neurofibromatosis Type II. Thanks again for the wonderful and affordable products :)
I have a 5 year old autistic child with developmental delays and is fed by g-tube. Yesterday in therapy, they used one of your vibratory spoons and he actually picked it up and used it to feed himself with. I was totally amazed and I am sincerely hoping that I can get the same results at home. He has a lot of sensory issues and eats very little by mouth and i am hoping your products work wonders for me at home. I thought they were great in therapy. Thank you.
My child uses the Grabber and Grabber XT in Speech Therapy. She is now beginning to bite and chew.
Thank you for designing such wonderful oral motor tools.
Our niece has developmental and communication delays due to seizures from the first week of life. I am a speech therapist. Our niece absolutely loves the ARK Grabber Chewy P’s. Trying to keep her “stocked” with them is quite a challenge! Thanks so much for a wonderful product– the ARK Grabber Chewy P’s! Sincerely, Lauren Notestine, Toledo, Ohio
I bought the ZVibe for my 18 month old. He was not using a spoon and was having problems with hand chewing and grinding his teeth. Day two of having the Z Vibe he was using his spoon attachment independently!!!!!!!
His hand chewing is getting better, and he has stopped grinding his teeth a week after getting the Z Vibe!
We are so excited!
Thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO vvvvvv