Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Speech & Occupational Therapy

A mother knows...

A mother knows when something is not right.  I'm an experienced mom, not the first mom type (no offense if you are) that worries over every little bump and scrape.  No, not me.  When muffin takes a fall I know he's OK, all the other mothers gasp...but I know how tough this kid is.  He usually hops right up and sometimes for my benefit says, "I'm ok!"

Muffin LOVES sand and DIRT!  I can't keep him away from it.  He loves the way it feels beneath his fingers, he loves to bury his toys and doesn't care if he gets absolutely filthy from head to toe.

He loves to jump, he loves the feeling he gets when he body slams superman style from couch cushion to couch cushion.  He likes to stand on his head.  He loves to jump.

He sometimes wants to be so close to me that he smacks my face between his two tiny hands, climbs on my back and pulls my hair...

Losing a toy can literally feel like a broken heart to him...

He knows all his colors, letters, and numbers.  He can spell his name.  He cannot tell you why something is the way it is.  He has been seen by 3 doctors now.  Everytime I get, "He's very smart and needs more discipline.  It's frustrating.  That is not what he needs.  There are pieces missing and I need to help him find a way to fit them together.  Today he finally met someone, his new speech therapist who also believes he needs occupational therapy.  Finally...

Sensory Processing Issues, or some part of that...I wanted to hug the therapist.  He also has oral aversions that cause him to have a VERY limited diet because he won't try new textures.  I'm so glad I feel like we are finally going to get the help we need for Muffin.

If you have been through anything like this I would love to hear from you.  So often when out with Muffin when he is not behaving I feel like everyone is staring at me thinking what a bad mom I am that I can't "control" my son.  He is a sweet boy and he doesn't deserve that.

More to come...

9 comments:

L. Merical said...

I should hook you up with my sister; my nephew also has sensory processing issues (sensory seeker). I see so much of him in Muffin that it's spooky.
xoxoxo, miss you!

Kristiina said...

Hey Brandi. I will ask my sister in law some questions too. My nephew has sensory issues and it took FOREVER for them to get him diagnosed and with the correct doctors. But he is 6 now, and I see improvements every time that I see him. He also has some texture issues, and a very limited diet as well. Although it is hard, keep perservering...you know your child the best. It is an uphill battle, but I think getting my nephew with the right docs/therapists has made a tremendous difference!

*Jess* said...

My son was first diagnosed with a speech delay. Then with Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Then with hypotonia and low oral tone. Then with feeding issues. And finally with High Functioning Autism. After therapy for 3 years, I can help you navigate some OT stuff or feeding stuff if you'd like :) I know this must all be overwhelming to you!
thethreejays@gmail.com

Rebecca said...

Can't wait to hear more...it's amazing how Mother's Intuition works.

Marie said...

My son has SPD as well and it also took absolutely forever for him to be diagnosed. Can I tell you how long we ate dinner with a throw up bucket at the table? A very long time. I can completely relate to the feeling that all the other Mom's are looking and judging. It sucks. Try not to let it get to you though. That's wonderful Muffin will be getting the therapy he needs.

Cara said...

We have definitely been through some similar situations with our kiddos. I know how frustrating it is to not have any answers. The first red flag we had with Maria,3, was the near constant drooling. We had to keep a bib on her constantly beginning around 16 mos. Then we started noticing how clumsy she was...always bumping into things...but also seeking that type of stimulation. Slamming into us or other kids, the couch, the walls...whatever. She had to be RUNNING everywhere...never walking. She jumped off couches, stomped, marched...anything to get that deep pressure feeling in her legs, feet, etc. We began taking her to speech therapy at 22 months. She was in a group setting with 6 other kids...kids with many different abilities ranging from basic speech problems to Down Syndrome. Maria could understand everything, follow directions, etc. But she couldn't express things. Therefore she had an expressive speech delay. The therapists noticed some of her other unusual behaviors and started using a weighted vest for her during circle time or times when they were doing fine motor activities (crafts, bead stringing, puzzles, etc.) This seemed to help her behavior immensely. She loved doing "heavy work": pushing, pulling, tug of war...anything she could get that type of stimulation. They also used the "brushing" technique. Don't know if you've heard of that. They take a small plastic very soft bristled brush and rubbed it on her arms, legs feet and back. We started doing this 3 times a day and it really seemed to help. It was almost as though she craved it...couldn't wait for us to do it again. And it seemed to calm her afterwards. I would do it before going to the grocery store or when we were going to be in a crowded, high stress situation. We borrowed a weighted vest as well and this was a huge help. It kept her from running around like a crazy woman. She loves to be covered up with at least 10 blankets at night so we got a weighted blanket. This helped her sleep. When she started getting out of control, we would do different sensory activities with her such as squishing her between 2 pillows, rolling her up tight in a blanket, swinging her around, giving tight bear hugs and we even got her a small trampoline to jump on. Also, letting her do tactile activities such as play doh, playing in a bowl of uncooked rice, beans or noodles, sand, shaving cream helped a lot. It took us a while to find the appropriate "Sensory Diet" ("diet" meaning a routine of activities that we did daily) but eventually we figured out how to help her. Although her drooling has subsided, we notice it a little when she does these tactile activities, when she is very tired or concentrating on a puzzle or something. She was officially diagnosed with mild hypotonia (low muscle tone) which sometimes goes hand in hand with sensory problems. She eventually did qualify for services through First Steps, so we were able to get an Occupational Therapist come to our home. Now that she is 3, she is going to the Early Childhood/Special Education pre-school that is offered in our district. She doesn't need speech help anymore, but she gets OT twice a week. Oh and she participates in an eating class called "Little Bites" because she is such a picky eater as well. We've had to fight for her and it has taken a while for us and other people to understand her situation. A book that helped us tremendously was "The Out of Sync Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz. Amazing.
I hope this helps. Please email me if you ever want to talk more. My husband and I have been through a lot with her but are finally noticing some positive changes. Good luck!

Shell said...

He is a DOLL! My middle son goes through some of this. Hang in there, mama. Sounds like that therapist is a godsend.

Lindsay said...

Oh my heart goes out to you. I am going through kinda the same thing with Ryan. He went to a speech therapist on Monday to be evaluated and we are waiting to hear the results. Its frustrating because even though he is four I am not sure how much he understands when I talk to him. He then will get frustrated and throw fits and it just breaks my heart. I want him to be able to talk to me and tell me what is going on and I am hoping that the therapist can help us with it. But I know what you mean when you say people look at you like you cant control him. People can be so rude. I will keep you and him in my prayers and please keep up updated...

Julia said...

my friend has a blog...
http://notnowimonsensoryoverload.blogspot.com/

check it out. you might find some awesome info there and connect with her. she's been dealing with this for awhile too!!