Thursday, May 9, 2013

Small Miracles

What a difference!!

Aiden has begun his occupational therapy (OT) after weeks and weeks of being wait-listed. After all the insurance drama and prescription debauchery, it was so worth the wait. Miss Jackie (the OT) will be taking Miss Jo's place since Aiden is done with speech therapy and she is an awesome fit.

We talked for about an hour about the things that bother Aiden and what his teachers see as "problem areas," and she listened and took notes and came back with good, solid answers.

Everything about Aiden tells her that he is a "sensory kid." His issues have to do with his Kinesthetic Sensory System and his Vestibular Senses.

The Kinesthetic System is what "grounds" your body - you know you are standing on the floor, supported by the foundation which sits firmly in the ground. You are aware of the location of your limbs/extremities and you can feel the space around you. For Aiden, these sensory receptors are slow or interrupted (between the shoulders and other major joints, and the brain) so he is unaware of what space his body is in, how much room he has to move or stop moving - thus he plows over and through things without a second thought to get to where he wants to go.

The Vestibular System  is managed by the inner ear and fluid inside of it. This is less of a problem for Aiden, as he often "crashes" on purpose because of the jolt it gives his Kinesthetic receptors - not because he can't balance. However, this particular system explains a lot about this kid. Why the car in the street sounds as loud as the game in his hand, as loud as the dishwasher in the other room, as loud as the thunder outside, etc. It's all loud, all the time. He actually calls it fast - this is intentional. All of the noise input makes his mind race and he gets confused and disoriented. It also explains why he doesn't like showers or getting his head wet - those sensations further exacerbate the input he is getting an overload of.

Once we talked about what's going on with Aiden, we talked about ways to help calm him down. Jackie brought a bag full of sensory objects to touch and feel and we founds somethings that Aiden could wrap around his arms to help reset his Kinesthetic receptors.

We also practiced some things that we can physically do to help him - rhythmic pressure through his arms and legs to the shoulder and hip joints. Randalicious and I took turns practicing and by the time we had it down, Aiden was hypnotized. It was a miracle. And he loved it. He said it felt good, he was smiling. He was calm.

Jackie watched him work with some play-doh and asked about his hobbies and his puzzles and she was truly astonished by what he knows and can do - this leads me to worry a little toward the other end of the spectrum. Clearly he is a smart kid, but if he can't figure out how to literally settle himself he could potentially hate learning and get really frustrated by school.

For now though, I am happy that we are figuring out the little pieces - I think he is too.

He's had a really good week, playing with his kitty - who is dying to go out for walks now that the weather is better.

Going to the Aquarium.

He even found his Game-Boy - which I had given up for lost over a month ago!

And he is hard core sleeping at night.

It's the little things. It really is.

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