Saturday, March 7, 2009

Enforcing Rule #3

Please read the earlier post for details on Rule #3

Causing harm or placing others in harms way is not acceptable even if it is the result of faulty neurology. We had to find a way for Crash to get this type of input in a safe and controlled manner. We also have to teach him to recognize symptoms that mean his body requires this type of input and how to APPROPRIATELY seek it out.

But Crash is 3. This would be like taming the "Tasmanian Devil"?

It is POSSIBLE. Here is what we did...

1. We give Crash opportunities for appropriate jumping and crashing throughout his day. We have a huge bean bag chair in our living room that is very comfortable to sit in, but purchased for the specific purpose of running into and crashing.

2. We have a jumping pit in the basement. Crash can go down there at any time and jump until his heart is content.

3. We have been increasing Crash's awareness of his body and teaching him to request "deep pressure". This actually happened naturally and we later turned it into a technique for Crash. When we saw him out of control as a toddler we would go over to him and give him a huge long hug. His body would relax during the hug and he would be more in control afterward. Crash now comes to us throughout the day and asks for hugs. It is important to note that these hugs last 30-60 second and I hug his entire body with one arm squeezing his legs and another arm providing pressure around his shoulders and back. Little hugs do not work.

4. We have tried several ideas from an Occupational therapist as well including
--weighted vest
This is a simple vest with 1-2 lbs of weights sewn into it. It provides a calming effect for the short period of time that it is worn. Crash enjoyed this vest last year. These can be very expensive to purchase. If you know anyone that can sew, they are pretty simple to make.
--neoprene vest
This is made out of wetsuit material and provides a constant squeeze. It works wonders with Crash, but can be very challenging to get on because of some of his tactile concerns.
--weighted blanket
This is similar to the weighted vest. Crash will sleep with it or keep it on his legs while watching a movie.

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