Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Do you think you are over the hump?

We had a wonderful conference with Crash's preschool teacher last night.  He seems to be doing very well in class.  She is well aware of our concerns, but he is holding it together while in school 2  1/2 hours a day three times a week.  He is doing so well in fact she asked us if we felt we were over the hump in regards to his sensory concerns.   I wish we were.  My answer was simply no.  We have it more under control, but it is still a daily struggle in our house. 

Then it happened...
Today wouldn't ya know it, right after his glowing review...he had his first meltdown at school.  You see, it snowed last night for the first time all season.  The wicked first snow fall means all kinds of wicked firsts in our house as well...
  • first day for boots
  • first day for snow pants
  • first day for mandatory mittens and hats
  • first day for required coat zipping
For a child who barely tolerates jogging pants a t-shirt and shoes this is a huge shock to the sensory system.  It took 20 minutes before school to get ready and we compromised with the snow pants (they could go in the back pack).  But he made it to school.  Very much on edge, but he was present. He made it through the day with out incident, but then his teacher told the kids to put on their snow gear...

Opps...

Granted she was unfairly set up last night at conferences when she was asked to please dress Crash in all of the snow gear his peers would be wearing and not to make exceptions for him.  I had my fingers crossed that he would go along with the routine and follow his friends.

Opps...

A flopping fish on the floor would appropriately describe Crash.  I however remained calm and patiently waited.  I told Crash I would be over on the chair waiting and if he needed anything he could come and get me.  It does no good to engage him.   He is to big for me to struggle with and we would just get into a verbal shouting match.

So I waited...After awhile he would ask for help with a boot...then go back to flopping...and another boot...and again go back to flopping...and so the story went until he was dressed and carrying his backpack to the car.

He did it and every day this winter will hopefully get a little easier.

(I failed to mention...By the time I got the baby in the car...he was already half naked and half asleep.  That poor ordeal wore the boy out!)

So, do you think we are over the hump?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Music Appreciation

I have played an instrument for most of my life...I even minored in music in college.  Our family loves music of almost any kind.  So it was kind of funny tonight to hear Crash say, "ahhh, I love this music!" When we turned on the background noise (the sound of static on the radio when a channel doesn't come in clearly) before he went to bed.  Music can have some amazing effects on the body.  Each individual may appreciate music a little differently and there are all kinds of music to appreciate.  I know I appreciate this "music" as well...just for a different reason than Crash!

We still have not conquered the entire sleep issue, however background noise seems to keep him in his room longer at night.  It's the little steps that we appreciate.  I want to say there is no bed time drama any more, however just tonight he was hummm how should I put it...overly physical with his brother.  But these instances are getting fewer and further between.  He is slowly but surely beginning to wind down on his own and settle himself more appropriately and independently.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Boogery Mess

Oh what to do...

Crash has a cold.  Unfortunately, it is just a cold, no fever.  I know that sounds cruel, but when Crash has a fever he is so calm...when he has a cold he is a beast.  Besides the behavior changes (excessive crashing and other sensory seeking behaviors that are driving his brother nuts)  he has a runny nose.  Doesn't sound too serious...right?

Well, in our house a runny nose is like the worst illness.  I would take bodily fluids coming out any other orifice to boogers.  Gross I know.  You see, Crash HATES Kleenex, especially when he has a cold.  On a typical day he will tolerate it, but in the sensory state that he is in,there is no room for tolerance and everything will send hie over the edge into a meltdown.  There is no room for rationale thought or discussion.

In addition to his detest of Kleenex, he also hates the sensation of a runny nose.  When his brain is focused on this, there is no room for anything else.  And, of course it isn't a pleasant fixation so it results in screaming fits on the floor.  Which of course only adds fuel to the boogery mess which then becomes worse.  However, once he calms down, he comes up with a solution...

I am glad he is independent and trying to solve his problem, but using your tongue as a Kleenex is unacceptable!  Not only is it gross, it eventually makes the entire problem worse and adds a third reason for a meltdown.  You see using a tongue as a Kleeex although moist and soft initially, creates chapped skin..which cracks.  Now we are melting down because Crash's "snout" hurts...there is mucus every where...he hates Kleenex...

Thank goodness colds run their course and for Burt's Bees wax that helps heal skin quickly.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Overload

We have had a busy busy weekend.  In fact I think I need 365 days to recover, but it ended with a pooped out pirate carrying his jack-o-latern with a big o smile.  But, it started like this...




Crash loves dressing up like a pirate.  He is a tropical pirate and was not at all prepared for the artic weather.  Having to layer clothes or wear a jacket sent him into a nose dive.  He was given choices though and was able to work through it.  Mom was able to stay in control of her self and had a plan...Crash could go naked...it would be his birthday suit after all, and if he got cold he could wait in the car and miss out on the candy.  Low and behold he was dressed and was able to stay warm enough to collect a boat load of treats!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I have conquered my nemisis!

Crash on the other hand has not...

A typical school morning usually goes like this:
7:30 Crash get your socks and shoes and get ready to go... (response: ignore or aimless wandering)

7:40 Crash it's almost time to go...get your socks and shoes (response: aimless wandering)

7:45 Crash we need to leave get your socks and shoes (response: crying can't find the "right" socks)
Mom gives in a searches for the socks he wants...tries on 3 pairs...and finally gets shoes on and out the door.

Not any more!

Today our morning looked like this:

7:30 Crash you need to have everything for school by the door.  This means your socks, shoes, backpack and jacket.  I am leaving at 7:45.  (Crash: ignores)  It's not a problem.  You take your time.
7:40 Crash I am leaving out of the drive way in 3 minutes.  I will meet you at the car.

7:45 Crash starts screaming about socks. Not a problem.  I put his socks and shoes in his backpack and head for the car.  Not a problem.

All the way to school I hear sobbing and Crash repeating "I want my shoes."

My response: I know.

When there is a break in the sobs, I ask: "What seems to be the problem?"

Crash: I want my shoes!

Mom: I know you want your shoes, what's the problem?

Crash: Sobbing again..."I don't know!."

Mom: Crash you are a smart guy.  Sit there and think about it for awhile.  Take your time.

Crash: Sobbing again.  I don't know.

After a minute, I ask again what seems to be the problem.

Crash: Holding back tears says I didn't put my shoes on at home when you said.

Mom: You are right.  I told you that you were a smart guy!

Crash: Can I have my shoes?

Mom: When we get to the bench by your class.

Crash: But it's cold outside!

Mom: Probably so.

Crash: I WANT MY SHOES!

Mom: I know.

So we finally get to the bench, and I hand Crash his socks.  He of course is so overloaded right now he can't comprehend socks.  But that is not my problem.  I tell him I would be happy to help him with his shoes after I help him with his socks.  He of course refuses.

Mom: Crash it looks like you have a problem.

Crash: Uhuh.

Mom: What are you going to do about it.

Crash: You are going to put on my shoes.

Mom:  I would be happy to put on your shoes...after I put on your socks.  You know mom's rule.  Take your time.  It's ok.  I will be waiting over here. 

Finally, Crash puts his own shoes on (minus the socks of course) but the smart little guy figured out his own problem and went to class relatively composed.

AND...mom didn't have to stress out one little bit. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Loving On Purpose

We are taking a parenting class through our church called Loving on Purpose.  It is based on the Book Loving Our Kids On Purpose by Danny Silk.  It is making a huge difference for our family.

To sum up what I have learned in one sentence: "I have to be in control of me."  I started this class thinking we would walk away with all kinds of "tricks" to get Crash to do what I want him to do, and instead I am walking away with something much more valuable.

If I can stay in control in situations and keep my brain working instead of getting caught up in the drama he is creating the situation will deescalate.   I bet you don't believe me.  It took a long time to get me to buy in as well.

But, let's consider one of the big reasons meltdowns occur...Crash is trying to take control of the situation be it his socks, pants, loud noises...you name it he feels out of control or overwhelmed.  The screaming and crying and challenging behaviors are his response to the situation in which he feels threatened.  When you feel threatened...you natural response is to control.

If I can stay in control of me, I can guide Crash in some of his decisions and set the stage for learning to occur.  By offering acceptable choices right at the beginning (or better yet before) the meltdown Crash is beginning to learn that he CAN control his life without melting down.

So often I have tried to prevent the meltdown by telling him what to do.  If he spilled milk on his pants, I would tell him to go change.  Which of course resulted in even more screaming.  His sensory system was over loaded and he still feels out of control.

This morning, when he spilled milk and was about to start screaming, Crash's dad acknowledged the problem and then said "I have a couple ideas about your problem.  Let me know if you want to hear them."  Holding back tears, Crash said ok.  Dad said "looks like your pants are wet.  That must be tough.  You could go and change or you could keep them on.  You could go and sit by the fire until they dry. "

That was enough.  Crash ran to change his pants.

Now here comes the amazing part.  When he returned, his dad said you can clean up the milk with water and a wash cloth or a spray bottle and a towel.  Crash made a choice and completed the job!

This would have been a power struggle in the past.  A very LONG power struggle.  But we stayed in control, didn't get caught up in the drama, offered choices, and let Crash take control.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sensational Siblings

Crash has two sensational siblings!  Rarely do his siblings even make an appearance on this blog, so this post is dedicated to them and there sensational-ness!   In our family, we have tried hard never to make one child stand out.  What we have done for one, we have done for all.  Crash can be a demanding child and has needs that sometimes must be delt with right away, but we have tried hard to make this an inclusive rather than exclusive time.  Our family has adapted to a new normal and it works for us.  Not only is Crash learning the tools to manage himself, his siblings are learning tools to adapt and adjust and manage themselves as well. 
     Crash is the luckiest guy around to be the middle child in our family.  He has a awesome older brother (16 months his senior) who is patient and understanding.  He is the best role model/ playmate we could have ever asked for.  He has pushed Crash into developing skills (social skills, speech language etc...)and helped him in dealing with life better than any adult could have.  He is Crash's idol.  He tolerates Crash following him around and copying him, and puts up with Crash's demanding ways.  He is usually willing to join in on Crash's activities and works ever so carefully to turn activities in a direction of interest to him.  He has attended therapy with Crash every step of the way.  He will play games with him and use many of the techniques learned in therapy as part of every day life.  He knows all about crashing and swinging and jumping and happily plays those games right along side Crash.  But even more important he has a true relationship and connection with Crash.  They are the best of friends (worst of enemies as well).  BT or Brother Therapy has been so beneficial. 
Crash also has a sensational little sister.  She has got to be the most tolerant laid back easy going child I have ever met.  She laughs when he "squishes" her and giggles as he rolls around with her.  She has given Crash time to come into his own and become more independent as I have had to tend to her needs instead of focusing on Crash all the time.  Crash has surprised me in his attentiveness to her needs and his willingness to take care of her. I feel so blessed to have all of them in my life.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Notice anything different?

Notice anything different?








How about now?



Here's one last clue...





Crash has socks on...and he isn't going outside.  In fact, he has had them on all day!  He says they give his feet hugs and are easy to put on.  Thank you SOFT Clothing!  We will see how long this lasts, but he has already asked for more.  Coming from a guy that HATES socks, that is a huge compliment.  I was hesitant to order them at first.  Who pays six dollars for a pair of socks?  What if they end up in the sock grave yard never to be worn again?  But, what if he likes them?  What if I never have to battle the sock wars again?  I was sold!  I just couldn't resist that last argument.   So, for today I have won a small victory.  It is yet to be seen if I have won the war. 

The Last First Day of Preschool

Crash wants to go to Kindergarten.  He is rather ambivalent about preschool.  It's more of a been there, done that sort of thing, but I will take that over screaming about not wanting to go.  (I have been there, and done that  and do not care to go back).

We have been talking about school briefly for the past week or so.  Last night, he picked out his clothes and we talked about what we would do the next day.   Begrudgingly he set out an acceptable pair of pants with a favorite t-shirt and the "shortest" socks.

It's not fair that the first day of school is also the coldest day of the summer thus far...I knew even though Crash had completed the process of picking out his clothes that it wouldn't really be that simple.

I was right, but we made it out the door and to school on time.  Only a minor melt down with the pants.  I told him he could go naked, and his teacher would have to deal with him.  Surprise surprise...Crash came out of his room a few minutes later with pants on.  His brother took his socks by mistake, so there was a small meltdown with the socks (but after realizing the sock basket is filled with the "shortest socks" he quickly recovered.)  Finally, horror of horrors a jacket was placed before him.

Crash hasn't seen a jacket since late spring so you can imagine the insult...especially since it wasn't part of HIS plan.  Thank goodness for some Daddy diversion.   As I was about to pull my hair out, Daddy came to the rescue.  We were finally out the door and on our way to school.

Now, I think I need a nap!

Someone mistakenly thought he could carry the jacket.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wasabi What???

Everyone knows Crash is on a gluten free diet, so everyone is always on the look out for new and interesting gluten free products for him to try.  The other day, Crash's grandmother found Wasabi rice crackers.  I know what you are all thinking...Wasabi what???

Crash LOVES them.  He says they kind of taste like onions.  Hummm interesting.  Only if onions hurt so bad you want to cry as soon as you put them in your mouth.  Just for giggles, Crash and I went around and asked everyone if they wanted to try his new favorite cracker (we neglected to mention the wasabi part).  Wanting to help Crash feel good about his new favorite food, everyone said yes (we made sure not to ask  more then one person at a time).  The reactions were priceless.  People were spitting out the cracker faster than anything I had ever seen and almost crying their mouth hurt so bad.  Crash and I had a blast.  It was even funnier watching their reaction as they watched Crash down a few of the crackers with out flinching.

That my friends is the definition of a sensory processing disorder.

When Crash was younger he would gag on all sorts of food.  His mouth was undersensitive and he couldn't tell what or where food was in his mouth unless it was jam packed with food.  I remember as a small toddler we would be dipping food in salsa and ranch dressing helping to provide more sensation in his mouth so he would be able to handle smaller amounts of food in his mouth.  It isn't uncommon today to find him eating a jar of salsa with a spoon or using some other inappropriate spicy dressing on something.  I just have to thank one of Crash's first speech therapists for introducing him to the spicy delights of the world and making meal times a whole lot easier.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When It Rains, It Pours!

Crash cut his toe...no big deal.  A little water and antibiotic ontioment and he should be good to go...

Ha...When it rains...it pours.

First step...convince Crash to let me look at it.  He only gets upset when he sees blood...not really from the pain.  So it is an ordeal to look at something with blood coming out.

Step two...Convince Crash that antibiotic ointment doesn't hurt.

Step three...Convince Crash to keep the antibiotic ointment on his foot.

Step four...Convince Crash to keep a band-aid on

Step four and a half...Convince Crash to wear socks to keep the toe clean

"But my socks will get all dirty"

Yup.  Sorry buddy...it's either the socks or the band-aid you choose.

Crash chooses the socks.  But of course...in his already worked up state, this isn't the end of it.  Now we are screaming because the socks are to tall, then too short, then too rough. 

So, I cut a deal, if he wears socks...then I will put them on his feet just right so the seams won't bother him.

Inbetween the sobs I get an ok.  Then he stands up still sobbing and gives me a great big hug and says "I love you mom."  and in the next breath begins to sob about the shoes.

But there is a happy ending.  A few minutes later he is out the door to play with his brother.   I am glad there was a rainbow at the end of this storm.

Friday, August 13, 2010

All in the Family

After living with a sensory seeker for awhile, I have gotten used to jumping, crashing and all sorts of heart stopping actions that usually leave Crash squealing in delight.  The harder the crash, the farther the jump, the bigger the impact all create an ultimate high for Crash and usually result in a few more gray hairs for mom.

But, where does this behavior come from.  I most certainly do not enjoy spinning and crashing.  I may even be classified as a sensory avoider when compared to Crash, but I don't have to look far...  Sensory seeking runs in the family...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

False Security

Today was meltdown city at the library.  Our typical Thursday routine involves heading out tot he library about 10am.  We are usually one of the first families to arrive at the library and the kids have plenty of time to look for books, videos and talk to the librarian.  The usually help in the set up of the story time area and know a little about what will happen before everyone arrives.  Then Crash participates independently in all the activities.  A pretty fun Thursday for all. 

Today, we were running late.  So late in fact that story time had already begun.  I sent Crash and his brother ahead while I returned books.  All of a sudden I hear a loud scream and tears coming from Crash who is hysterically screaming for mom (who happens to be 50 ft. away at the book return).

Because the library has been going so smoothly for so long, I assumed he was hurt or something bad had happened.  Why else would Crash be screaming minutes after we arrived??  After looking quickly around, I noticed the children sitting on the floor instead of the usual risers.  Crash, unfamiliar with this set up, had no idea what to do to join the group, and lacks the skills to ask.  It took about 10 minutes, but he had finally calmed down enough to rejoin the group after the assistant helped him with the new seating arrangement. 

After a couple stories, we went outside for a game. Again, I hear a loud scream and Crash reduced to tears.  His anxiety level was still high from the previous incident (so it doesn't take much to set him off), come to find out he didn't know how to play the game.  The librarian explained it, but when Crash gets worked up, he tends to tune out the rest of the world or retreat within himself.  When he was younger, he would actually fall asleep in the middle of any stress provoking situation.  So, we just sat on the side and watched and worked on using some deep calming pressure. 

I was just amazed at how I get myself into routines that I don't even realize.  Things are so much easier for Crash when they are predictable and he has time to adjust.  I am sure they are easier for me as well, which makes it hard to purposely shake things up.  But,  I need to do a little more shaking and keep rocking his boat to help him learn to adjust to the things life throws at you.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mom:1 Underwear: 0

We have a small victory!

If you are going out in public then you wear underwear.

I am happy with this compromise.  Crash on the other hand still wishes underwear did not exist.   For the past few days  if he wanted to go out with everyone, he wore underwear.  Granted there was still rolling on the ground, screaming, and an entire grave yard of unacceptable underwear.  But, he did it.

And my stress level has dramatically decreased.  No more arguing.  I just say you have a choice.  You can wear it or not.  It doesn't matter to me.  Then I walk away.  He is completely capable of dressing himself and he knows better than I which is acceptable underwear and which is not.  He doesn't need me to watch the minor meltdown that it takes to get dressed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Check out the Soft Give away!

Soft Clothing is doing a back to school give away.  Check it out here.  If you have someone in your life with some sensory issues like the tactile issues we deal with on a daily basis with Crash, then Sot clothing may bring a little relief each day.  No more seams in socks or tags in t-shirts that drive someone nuts.  If you want to get in on the action here's what's being given away:

Here it is:

3 pack of Soft Sensory Tees in color/size of your choice
6 pairs of Soft Seamless Socks
"This is Gabriel Making Sense of School" by Hartley Steiner
Lands End Uniform Backpack
Classpack of Crayola Colored Pencils
Tactile Fidget
Desk Buddy Sensory Bar
6-Pack of Mead Spiral Wide Ruled Notebooks
4-BG Flash Drive
12-Pack of Crayola Washable Fine-Tip Markers
Peltor Junior Noise Protector Headphones
Classic Pencil Grip Pencil Sharpener
4-Pack of Sharpie Highlighter Pens
3-Pack of Pink Paper-Mate Rubber Erasers
2 Mead Classic Composition Books
Plastic Hinged School Tool Box
Max's Mud-Natural Sculpting Dough
Pocket Stixx Oral Motor Tubes

Now check out the official entry form and ways to enter!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Conversations with a 4-year-old

Mom: Crash, are you wearing underwear?

Crash: No.

Mom: Go put some on.

Crash: I don't wear underwear.

Mom: Remember, we went to the store and you found the perfect underwear?

Crash:  I only wear underwear every other day.

Mom: Well, Crash, you didn't wear underwear yesterday, so todays' the day.

Crash: I wore underwear the day before.  I only do it in a pattern.  Underwear, no underwear, underwear, no underwear. 

Mom:  Exactly.  No underwear yesterday, underwear today.

Crash: Oh.  I still won't wear underwear.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh what to do...

Oh how far you have come...

A year ago at this time, Crash was having a very difficult time regulating himself when unexpected events occurred.  Especially unexpected sensory challenging events.  He usually ended up in a heap in my arms crying and completely missing out on the activity.

This past week we were vacationing on a lake up north.  We had finished a day full of swimming and boating and were relaxing by the fire.  Crash, the dare devil that he is, ignored warnings not to balance on the rocks surrounding the lake.  And guess what happened...

Yup, he fell in.  Even I could tell that from the window seat I was perched in inside.  Thoroughly expecting a meltdown, I quickly place the baby down and go running out.  But, for some reason, I pause on the deck and just watch instead.  Kind of evil, but I wanted to see what would happen.

Much to my surprise, I do not hear the blood curdling scream that I had expected.  What I do see is a little boy pacing back and forth.  Then around in a circle.  Then back and forth again.  By this time he is shivering, but is still saying nothing, and continues to pace.

His father walks over to him and asks if he wants to go inside to change.  Holding back tears he says no, and continues to pace.  His father asks him to come sit down, and again he says no and continues to pace, and is on the verge of crying.

His dad asks him what he wants, and crying now, Crash says I want to have a smore.  So his dad invites him to come sit down.  Crash says no, my clothes are too wet.  So Dad says to go change, and again Crash says he wants a smore.

At this point he is stuck.  He thinks if he goes inside he can't have a smore.  But he can't sit down in wet clothes, so he has no clue what to do.  BUT, we aren't in a complete meltdown, more of a brain freeze and he is trying to get out of the situation.

Me being the awesome mom that I am, come walking out with a pair of soft fuzzy dry pj's and save the day.  Meltdown averted.

Sensory Fun Photos

A Summer of Sensory Fun...
The theme for this month's Blog Carnival for the SPD Blogger Network  is SPD Photos.  This is the first summer where we have had a TON of FUN.  Granted I now know activities that help to regulate Crash, and fill his day with them, but they are activities that all kids can enjoy, and Crash was right there with them enjoying away!

Crashing in the water (Not only does Crash get to crash into the water he gets awesome input in his joints while being thrown around)


Rolling in the grass (He is getting the input he craves and tollerating the tactile input of the grass...how awesome!)














Frolicking in the sand (Getting input from the waves crashing on him as well as by bear walking, and again tollerating the tactile input of wet sand!)














Feeling Fishy Fish (Crash found the rocking of the boat to be very calming, and I have to say held way more fish than his Mama)



















Spinning yourself silly (Vestibular input is very exciting at the park)


















Swinging upside down












Climbing higher and higher (Crash has really increased his core strength and can get his legs over his head and scare his mama half to death climbing on top of the equipment).












Munching blackberries (the yummy taste was too much to resist)












Calming Lavender baths












Body pressure in his sock


















Chilling in his box












We have EXPERIENCED Summer this year, and had a lot of fun!  For more Fun ideas visit Hartley's Life with 3 Boys to visit the SPD Blog Carnival full of links to photos of sensory fun.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Celebrating Summer!

It's time to celebrate!  Yeah, I know bed time still isn't going well and we have are fair share of other issues, but I have to face it...Crash has done some wonderful things this summer.  Things that make me jump for joy...
Crash is doing a fantastic job playing with his new friends.  He loves riding bikes and swimming with his classmates, and even plays over at one of their houses for short periods of time.  A huge accomplishment!

Crash is picking out his own clothes and completely putting an end to long drawn out tantrums over itchy, scratchy, tight, and who knows what else objections to all articles of clothing.  (Granted this may be a temporary improvement seeing as though he is going commando and sockless these days, but it is time to celebrate at this moment.)  Another huge accomplishment for Crash and a welcome relief for everyone else in the house.

Since getting his hair trimmed, Crash has been independent in the bathroom combing his hair without any objections!

Crash is tolerating sand in his shoes!  We no longer are flinging them off at the first sign of a disturbance.  Granted where we live is so sandy he would be spending so much time taking his shoes off that he wouldn't get anything else done.   For whatever reason, he has also discovered that socks add extra negative input and sand is much more tolerable in shoes when socks are not worn.  Go figure...

Crash is hanging on to the playground equipment even with dirty hands!  I no longer have heart failure when he climbs on top of something!

Crash went to the nursing home for the Every Monday Matters Service Project and read a story to the residents!  (With the help of some very unique social stories).

I am so excited by these little changes.  They allow him to enjoy the experiences around him just a little bit more instead of being so wrapped up in himself that he misses everything around him.  I guess it helps knowing where he came from and how much of a struggle many of these things were for him and our entire family, that I am rejoicing for him to have over come some of it.  Way to go Crash!  I am so proud of you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"My Toes Can't Move!"

This is why I dread summer...
I have spent years acclimating Crash to socks.  We have an entire graveyard of socks that are too itchy, scratchy, bumpy, etc...Then summer rolls around, and Crash has to adjust his sensory system once again to tolerate sandals on his naked feet.  This summer, it only took a couple weeks to adjust.  Granted it would take him forever to get out the door because no sooner would he have a pair on, he would be kicking them off and screaming about them.  I would encourage him to try another pair or wear a different pair of shoes, but he really wanted the sandals.  I think he has a secret desire to be sockless, or it's the simple fact you don't have to tie sandals.  Regardless, after a couple weeks, he was wearing sandals. 

Now being the super caring sensory mom that I am...I would never consider going an entire summer without socks.  I would be in for it when fall came around.  However, I dread these moments during the summer.  If we only had one season, we would not have any need for socks, but we don't and that's life and Crash has to deal with it.

So the saga continues.  Instead of screaming about the sandals, we scream about the socks.  " My Toes Can't Move" Crash would scream.  I wish something so simple did not have to be so hard for Crash.  I imagine my self trying to tolerate itchy scratchy wool socks (especially in 90 degree weather), and I think I can feel his pain.  But, it is getting easier.   I just dread being the bad guy.  I am tempted to try the SOFT socks, but I have never seen them in person and am a little hesitant to order something I haven't seen.   Does anyone have any reviews to share? 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mindless Wonderings...

I wonder...what does a sensory processing disorder look like in an infant?  Kids are born with the neurological differences that manifest as a sensory processing disorder later in life, so what are the clues?  Now that Crash has a little sister, I do find myself thinking about how they are the same and how they are different.  And even more so why those differences occur. 

Is it the difference between boys and girls?

Did Crash's gluten issues make things worse?  OR, was the reflux contributing? Or, was it the initial clues of a sensory processing disorder?  I bet I will never know...but I will always wonder.

So what are the similarities between Crash and his little sister...
They look EXACTLY alike
They were both difficult to burp
Thye both spit up ALOT

How are the different
It seemed like Crash spent his entire first year screaming
We thought Crash was deaf for the first few months of life because he didn't have a startle reflex
Crash began rolling over at 2 weeks
His body was always so stiff
His left side of his body was stiffer than his right
He was very difficult to nurse
He constantly had drool or spit up coming out of his mouth
Crash never babbled or made the cute baby sounds
Crash was always cold and had trouble regulating his body temperature
Many nights the only way to get Crash to sleep was strapped into his car seat.

...I probably could go on and on...Just some mindless wonderings for tonight.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crash Dancing

We went to a concert in the park the other night.  Crash and his brother were happy to sit next to us and watch everything going on.  When the lead singer invited children to come up on stage, I nonchalantly mentioned it to the boys thinking no one was interested.  
To my surprise, Crash's brother got up and headed for the stage.  And, to my utter amazement, Crash followed.  All I could think, was that poor band, they better watch out...
Well, Crash kind of did his own thing slightly glued to his brother, and his brother keep busy asking a bizillion questions to the band.  They stayed up there the entire time!!!  Way to go Crash. 

Afterward, the band invited all the kids to stay up front and dance.  I don't know what happened to my children, but they stayed up there!  I could tell it was taking a lot out of Crash when he started "crash-dancing."  Crashing into the ground, doing somersaults, you name and he was doing it.  I was just about to get up and pull him back from the situation when the other children starting imitating him.  Everyone was "crash-dancing."

A few short minutes later we had to go and rescue Crash, he was over stimulated and began "crash-dancing" into his brother.  Time to go when that happens.

We all had a fun night and it was great to see Crash trying new things.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sensory Seeking Fun!

Imagine getting out of the car and throwing your body down as fast as your feet can carry you down a huge sand dune, and then repeatedly climbing up it to do it all over again. 

Listen...all you can hear is the crashing of the waves drowning out the noise from every day life.

Grab a bucket and head for the water.  Carry bucket load after bucket load of water back to the sand castle.

Head for the water.  Jump over the waves as they roll in.  Wade in a little rather and let the waves crash against your body.  Imagine how your body feels with that kind of input!

Someone was as close to heaven as he can get here on earth tonight.



Friday, June 25, 2010

Thinking Inside the Box

Crash is a bundle of energy.  He is always moving, jumping, spinning, rocking, swinging...you name it and he has probably done it within the last hour.  Even when he is calm and watching a movie, or looking at books he is moving.  His favorite position on the couch is upside down crashing his feet into the back of the sofa. 

There is nothing wrong with movement.  We try to incorporate as much of it as possible into our day.  However, Crash also loves small confined spaces.  He will crawl inside a box, shut out the light and be totally calm and relaxed.  He even says he LOVES boxes because they are so cozy. 

I am wondering if this cozy calm feeling would transfer to a directed activity, or if it only works when it is Crash's idea.  What would happen if we read books in the box?  A part of me wants to try to sleep in the box, but I dislike creating routines that I know I will have to break.  I can't imagine a college kid bringing his box into the dorm room.  But, it does give me some ideas.  How can I make his bed more like a box?  How can I give him that safe "cozy" feeling in his own bed?  He shares a bedroom with his brother and is on the bottom bunk.  Maybe that could become the box?




Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Hair Rasing Tale

...or not.

Crash has never been a big fan of hair cuts.  He has about a million reasons why he refuses to get it cut, hence the bushy out of control curly (kind of cute and adorable) mop a top his head.  Lately he has been convinced that the ONLY place he can have his hair cut is a little shop 4 hours away from our house that lets you watch Thomas the Train movies while they cut your hair.  We have tried some places closer to home and meltdowns have resulted.  Too noisy, too smelly...you name it. 

I am not about to let a 4 yr old dictate where he will get his hair cut, so you have probably guessed it...this is the only place he will NOT be getting his hair cut.

This past week were were visiting family, and there is this wonderful barbershop in downtown Beloit, WI called Austin's Barber Shop.  We used to take our oldest son there when we lived in the area.  Rod, the barber is amazing!  Not only does he do a fantastic job with hair, but he is wonderful with children.

Crash was a little hesistant at first, so he played with some of the Thomas trains and watched someone else get their hair cut.  Then, Rod invited him to sit in the airplane seat.  He allowed him to climb up all by himself and never once touched him.  He then snuggly fastened him in with a seat belt, only after asking him if it was ok to do so.

This airplane seat became a sensory seekers dream seat.  There were pedals to push (great proprioceptive input), tailspins to complete (vestibular input), and a steering wheel to figit with (tactile input).  You would think with so much going on, it would be impossible for someone to cut your hair.

But, Rod is amazing.  He lets the kids wiggle and squirm and have fun.  He jokes with them, and completely distracts them from what is going on.  He only has one rule.  When he says freeze...you have to freeze so he can do a tricky part of the hair cut. 

I know I couldn't cut someone's hair and have it look even half way like it should with some much fun going on.  Like I said Rod is amazing.  It's just to bad he lives so far away.  At least I was able to find a different spot to get Crash's hair cut.  Now to find someone closer to home.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Swimming Pool Etiquette

Crash rarely has the opportunity to go to the park or swimming with out his older brother, but today visiting Grandpa was the exception.  His security blanket and model was off visiting other people and Crash was flying solo.  Although he was still very happy to be at the park, he struggled without having his brother around to imitate.


Today, Crash had no idea what to do at the pool.  He bounced in circles and was willing to go near other children, but never interacted with them.  He desperately wanted to go on the slides.  He would walk in circles around the slide and even get in line to go down the slide, but he couldn't figure out the social etiquette to actually wait in the line and take a turn.

Lucky for Crash, grandpa came in to the rescue.  He held his hand in line and waited with him to take a turn.  Then we talked about how to wait in line and when it would be his turn.  A quick little social story, and Crash was able to go up to the slide a couple more times that afternoon.  He was just having too much fun playing with his new found playmate...grandpa.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 2

Baby Steps...

So we have begun to focus on the bedtime routine as our first step in transitioning into a summer routine in hopes that a well rested child will make changing the rest of the daily routine easier. 

What changes have we made?

I was not willing to give up the early bedtime.  Crash goes to bed between 6 and 6:30.  I need him to go to bed then because I need a break and he is an early riser no matter what time he goes to bed.  I however was willing to give up 15 minutes so, his new bedtime is 6:45 (not that he is aware of that..that would lead to some battles over the clock that I am not willing to get into).

So, what else has changed?

We begin the bedtime routine after dinner (about 5:15).  We close all the shades to the house and dim the lights.  We are trying to talk in a very quiet tone.  Crash is the first to take a bath.  The lights in the bathroom are dimmed and the fan turned off.  (The fan, for Crash is a very alerting sound, and is not productive in a bedtime routine.  I have put lavender into his bath (no idea if this actually does anything, but I feel like I am making an effort).   I leave Crash in the bathroom as long as he likes to wind down.

We added "brown noise" (seems a little more soothing than white) in his room, so when he finishes his bath routine, we read stories quietly in a low lit room until 6:45.

Finally, we added an incentive chart for staying in his room and playing or reading quietly until he falls asleep. 

After 2 days, this part of the routine is working wonderfully.  However, he is still not staying in his room all night...so I think that will be the next area to address.  This has always been a constant issue for Crash.  We will not let him sleep in our bed, but he can sleep on the floor in our room as a compromise.  I think this summer we will try to extinguish that behavior.  Any ideas on a replacement behavior??  Or way to go about changing this?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hide and Go... Tackle

I think it is time to review the rules to this beloved children's game.  As I am sitting in the front yard watching Crash a couple houses down playing with the neighbors, I start to get a little nervous.  I hear someone announce let's play Hide and Go Seek.  I refrain from getting up to go supervise a little closer to the action.  It's about time for Crash to work things out on his own....I hope.

Someone counts and everyone else goes to hide.  Pretty typical...and then I see Crash. He is laughing and having the time of his life tackling everyone that goes by.

They are playing on the grass and remarkably no one even says a word and no one gets hurt.  After a couple minutes though I couldn't stand it any longer.  I had to go down and ruin the fun.  It was that or let Crash escalate so much that the tackles would start getting a bit more physical. 

I announce that his help is needed at home and he has one minute to finish up before coming home.  Luckily, this advance notice worked, and he happily came home.  Now, it's time for a little story about Hide and Go Seek.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Seasons Change

Seasons change, it's a fact.  And, living in the midwest, it happens quite frequently.   I think right now,  I may be one of a small group of people that is not happy to see winter go and summer arrive.  Although in a few more months, I will be one of millions that is not happy for summer to leave as winter approaches once again.

I always talk about Crash being resistant to change and thriving with a predictable routine, but I never mention how much  I enjoy it as well.  Once we have established a good thing, I have no problem sticking with it, and rather like the predictability it adds into our family routine. 

But, there is only one more day of school and the dreaded change in routine will be upon us.  We had a small glimpse into this unhappy occurrence over the holiday weekend.  Many of you are way ahead of me on this one.  I have read many blogs recently on how everyone is adapting to the summer routine, and I guess I have just burried my head in the sand.  If I do not think about it...it won't come...right??

Well, after surviving Memorial Day weekend, my head is no longer in the sand.  I have come to many conclusions, but not a lot of answers...yet...

What I do know is...

Crash can not play outside all day long.  He needs downtime through out the day.   Deep pressure, calm activities, etc to help him stay regulated. 

Crash would benifit from some white noise or something similar in his room to help drown out the environmental sounds at night. 

Crash would also benefit from some room darkening shades or a tent on his bed to block out some of the light. 

Crash needs a better bed time routine.  We need to begin to wind down earlier.  we have been relying on melatonin way too much.  There has to be a better routine to get ready for bed.  A bath and stories isn't enough right now. 

So it's off to the drawing board.  I think if we can get the nighttime stuff in place everything else will come easier.  Crash is always more regulated when he sleeps well...as am I.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Every Monday Matters

For awhile now, our family has been participating in a program at our church on Mondays.  Each week we participate in a special project designed to show God's love in simple ways.  We have gone to visit shut-ins, made cards for the military, participated in give-aways, and so forth.  For more information on Every Monday Matters check out the link here.

Because Crash thrives on consistency, some of these projects can be a bit daunting for both of us.  Nothing is ever the same week to week except his mom and brother are also present.  Add to this, some of the social skills that are taxed while participating and if I am not careful, we could end up with a complete meltdown.

I have to say however, most of the time Crash has done VERY well.  We use social stories, scripts, and rehearsal the week leading up to the project.  I set very clear expectations for behavior as well as for what to say.  Crash always has the option to sit and watch or participate and either choice is perfectly acceptable.

This past Monday was a little different. We went to a local nursing home to share some of our favorite children's books with the residents.   We spent the week talking about expectations as well as some of the sights and sounds we would encounter.  We talked about different disabilities.  We talked about loving people regardless of the disability.  We also talked about the medical equipment and how it may seem scary at first but it was just there to help. 

Crash was excited to go.  But as soon as we got in the gathering room, I could tell things were about to go down hill.  He hid behind me and refused to come out.  Not that this is a problem, because he always has the option to watch.  After a couple minutes, he started crying.  I gave him the option to sit next to me or in a chair at the outside of the group while I read a book to one of the residents.  In the middle of the story I hear "I DON"T LIKE THEM!,"followed by very loud crying.  

Uh Oh...

Crash and I excuse ourselves from the room and head outside.  We reviewed our social stories, and then I asked him what was wrong.  He repeated, "I don't like them."  I asked why, but he couldn't answer.

I find humor a good way to help Crash recover quickly from a meltdown, so I asked...

"Did someone bite you?"

Crash: NO!

"Did someone hit you?"

Crash: No.

"Did someone spill their food all over you.?

Crash: No (small smile)

"I know, someone must have eaten your book?"

Crash: laughing No.

"Then what's wrong?

Crash: It stinks in there.

Ahhh...we had prepared for the sights, sounds, behavior, etc...but the smell...opps.  Missed one.

So I reviewed the social story about differences only I added in, some people may smell.  Even if they are smelly, we can still read books to them.  We are here to show God's love and God loves smelly people too.

Crash didn't buy into this 100%, but he was able to come back in the room and sit on my lap while we read one more book before leaving. 

Even though we had a small meltdown, this was a wonderful experience.  Crash was able to recover from a meltdown with only a little deep pressure hugs and social stories.  We will be going back to read again in a few weeks.  We will have to wait and see how that one goes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Introductions

Crash would like to introduce his new baby sister...

The social story I never posted was all about the day the baby would be born.  I am happy to report that it worked wonderfully.  Crash knew what to expect and what was expected out of him.  He knew he had to stay with someone else and he did a beautiful job.  Too bad I didn't write a social story for the day after the baby is born.  Today was a little rougher, but he made it through.  Now off to re-establishing some type of routine and getting back to "normal".

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book Review- Sensitive Sam


Sensitive Sam by Marla Roth-Fisch

I found this book the other day in the Children's Department of our local library.  I was so excited to find out that a book all about sensory processing disorder  had made it to a small town library and was simple enough for even a child to read.

Sensitive Sam is a story about a young boy dealing with the sensory challenges of everyday life.  It was the winner of Creative Child Magazine's Book of the year in 2009, and does a nice job simply explaining a variety of sensory challenges and providing a brief look into strategies such as a sensory diet and occupational therapy.   

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pressure Washer High

The neurological system is strange and mysterious thing...

Some days Crash's sensory system can be all over the place in unpredictable ways.  Today was no exception.  A child that usually doesn't care for loud noises and tries to avoid them was just the opposite today. 

We had to pressure wash the deck.  It was in the 50's and sunny, so why not...I figured Crash would play out front to avoid the situation, but instead he was so overstimulated by the noise that he was literally bouncing off the trees.  Now add in the freezing cold water and he is just laughing hysterically and running around like a crazy man oblivious to the wet clothing, mud, and freezing cold.  I think the sensory system is on overload.  Granted there is no meltdown, screaming and crying....

However, what do you think the afternoon looked like following this little adventure into hyper alerting the senses?  You guessed it....It wasn't pretty.  Crash was seeking deep pressure and driving his brother nuts as he really couldn't control his body. 

We worked hard this afternoon at providing calming activities.  After dinner we followed our typical routine of bath and stories.  I was pretty confident we were returning to a more even neurological state. 

Then came the tears...I was in the other room and I though Crash had seriously gotten hurt (like needing to go to the emergency room).  Come to find out, while playing outside with his brother this afternoon, he feel off his scooter and cut his hand (hours ago).  Nothing new happened to re-injure the hand, I think his brain had just registered the pain.  Poor guy was hysterical (again). 

Not that I want to see Crash upset, but he worked himself up so much he feel asleep.  And that was the end of our adventure through the strange and mysterious neurological system for the day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Social Story...

Well, this isn't the social story I planned to write today, but it was successful and resulted in a very positive family experience...

I realized this am that we have church directory pictures today (short notice I know), and  I have two choices.  Let Crash wear whatever he wants and know that he will be happy, or push the clothing issue. 

I was feeling brave.  Knowing that this picture will be around in everyone's homes for the next few years also served as a little bit of motivation. 

So, I used some  should you say quick thinking...

Our conversation went a little like this:
Mommy: Crash today after your brother gets home we are going to go to church to have our picture taken.

Crash: Ok.

Mommy: Everyone is going to wear brown pants.

Crash: Soft pants?

Mommy: No, brown pants (shows Crash the pants)

Crash: Screaming, crying, and flopping around on the floor.

Mommy: What's wrong?

Crash: I don't like the pants (screaming and crying continue).

Mommy: Did I say you had to put them on right now?

Crash: (still screaming) Nooooo!.

Mommy:  Then why are you screaming?

Crash:  I don't like the pants.

Mommy: Do you have to put them on right now?

Crash: (screaming stops) No.

Mommy: Ok, so listen to this,  IF you wear your brown pants for the picture, then you can get french fries when you are done.

Crash: (starts to get upset)

Mommy:  It's your choice.  You can wear soft pants to church and change at church if you like.    All I am asking is for the few minutes we take the picture you wear brown pants.  Then you can change again.  And we will leave right away for fries. 

Crash: Ok. 

So, we review this story through out the day and Crash can tell it perfectly.  We get to church and he changes without hassle.  FIRST TIME EVER IN KHAKIS!! 

What I neglected to say was how long he had to wait to take his pants off at the end.  The photographer said we were done, and there went the pants...

I asked Crash how the pants felt and he said bumpy.  I said is bumpy ok?  His response, maybe for a picture, but I need soft pants. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Aghhhh...I can't find Boardmaker!

If you haven't heard of Boardmaker, it has been a lifesaver, or at least a time saver around our house these past few years.  Bookmaker is a software program (shhh...that I picked up on ebay) that uses simple picture drawings (black and white or color) to represent words.  I am sure there are a variety of programs out there that do this, so I am not recommending one over another, this is just the one I am used to.

We first began using Boardmaker when Crash was less than a year old.  He was screaming constantly and I could never figure out what he wanted.  Even a baby knows what he wants....We started by using a few pictures of his favorite things.  We taught him to give us the picture and we would give him the item.  This was the first real type of communication we were able to have with Crash and it really did reduce the screaming and taught Crash how to be an intentional communicator.

Although we no longer use the picture symbols for communication, we do use them frequently in social stories now.  We have been telling Crash a specific social story for a week now, and this am I wanted to put it on paper.  But...

I have looked every where.  I remember kicking the cd under my bed so it would get stepped on...but after that I have no clue.  Serves me right for thinking i could kick something under my bed to keep it safe.

Stay tuned...I will post the story as soon as I find the cd.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

SPD Blogger Network

Recently I have discovered the SPD Blogger Network.  This network was created by Hartley Steiner who blogs at Hartley's Life With 3 Boys and you can read more about this amazing mom and advocate for children with special needs here

The SPD Blogger Network was created to link people blogging about Sensory Processing Disorder in an effort to increase awareness and bring help to families and children with SPD. 

There is a wealth of information about sensory processing disorder as well as personal experiences, stories, and other resources available.  If you have time, check it out.  If you are currently blogging about sensory processing, these is also a link on the network to become a member

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Advantages of an hypersensitive sensory system

All to often, I find myself trying to help Crash adjust to the environment around him, and neglect to take time to appreciate some of the very special gifts he possesses just being Crash.

Did you know he can tell a train is coming before anyone else?  For a little boy who loves trains, this is an awesome gift.  Those hypersensitive ears sure come in handy.

Did you know he can spot a hawk in a tree so far away it shouldn't be humanly possible to see it?  Sure comes in handy when playing "I spy" on long car rides.

Did you know he can smell specific ingredients as I am beginning to cook that not even I am aware of and comes running to help?

Did you know he notices all the details?  He notices right away if you are wearing something new and will compliment you on it.  Even if it is something small like a pair of earrings. 


These little things make him so special.  It's easy to see how a sensory system on high alert can easily get overwhelmed.  But it sure makes you step back in awe for a few moments, when it has not reached that over-aroused state, to think how amazing it must be to see, feel, smell, taste and touch with such intensity.

And then back to reality...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A one minute dinner conversation...

I wish I could figure out how his mind works and how it gets from point A to point X in 2 seconds...

Crash: I am glad I am not salt or I would itch all the time.


A few seconds later...

Crash: When I grow up I want to be a fawn so no one can recognize me.

A few seconds later...

Crash: You know mom a pteranodon is the smartest dinosaur.  I am glad I didn't know a pteranodon. 

Wow, my head is spinning...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interesting Web-site

The website for The Child Behavior Guide provides some interesting information and tools for parents as well as professionals working with children who exhibit behaviors as a result of difficulties with sensory processing (autism, ADHD, etc...).  Here is a quote from the website:
Dealing with child behavior is a constant battle with consistency, creativity, and keeping your sanity.

The following website is a FREE online resource for parents and professionals.

Learn ways to make your day run more smoothly and your life with children even more enjoyable than it already is.

I found the information to be easy to understand and clearly laid out.  It serves as a great introduction and allows the reader to build a foundation of knowledge from which to continue his or her own research.

The author of this website is a  Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with more than 15 years of experience working with children at many different levels of need, with many different child behavioral callenges as well as a mother just beginning to explore a sensory processing disorder with her own son. 

Check out the Child Behavior Guide here

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Never-Ending Cycyle of Laundry

I never thought it was humanly possible for one little creature to create an entire load of laundry in one day.  A pair of pajamas, 2 pairs of under wear, a shirt, pants, and socks most certainly will not fill up even the smallest of washing machines. 

Since we are talking about Crash here, I am even willing to concede an extra shirt (on the off chance that a drop of water may fall on it requiring him to change), an extra pair of underwear, and 3 pairs of socks.  This would seem perfectly normal and acceptable.

Crash has become quite independent at dressing himself.  To the point that I don't even realize he has changed his outfit.  He has learned that if he doesn't like how something feels, then he has to do something about it.  I am so thankful he can do something about it, so this isn't to complain.  I was just astonished when I actually counted the items in the hamper. 

4 pairs of underwear
5 shirts
3 pants
4 pairs of socks
3 pairs of pajamas

Although I could not tell what the problem was with some of them items, very clearly a number of them were completely filthy.  Wow, for one human to create so much laundry and so much dirty laundry at that, I was amazed.   Crashing, spilling, falling, rolling, jumping, wiping...sure does take its toll on clothing. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ah Ha Moment


Why didn't I think of this sooner....

Crash loves his shoes tied exceptionally tight.  Seeing that
     a.  He can not tie his shoes independently
     b. I never seem to get them tight enough

I have come to dread putting on shoes.  We have tired velcro shoes and it result in a child flopping on the floor like a dead fish because he cannot possibly walk with shoes as loose as that.  Then, I discovered
Carter's shoes with bungie laces.  This was wonderful!  Crash can pull the bungie as tight as his heart desires, as often  as he likes.

Unfortunately, shoes wear out and I have been searching for a couple weeks for a replacement shoe with bungie laces.  And, wouldn't you know it, not a single store in town has a pair.  Seriously, I looked every where.  Here comes the ah ha moment...

Buy the bungie laces and put them in a regular pair of shoes.  Duhhh.  4.99 at Target solves the entire problem.  They didn't have an online link, but here is a similar lace from amazon

Crash can give his own feet hugs again!



Friday, April 16, 2010

Enforcing Rule #11

Please refer to the earlier post on details for rule #11

We all know Crash has tactile sensitivities and craves movement as a way to organize.  A wet shirt to Crash is like wearing a shirt made out of pins and needles, so I totally get his desire not to get his clothing wet.  But what may be a cute behind at age 3, will not be a cute behind at age 30.  So, how can we modify his drying routine to be a tad bit more modest and socially acceptable.

1. Someone else can dry Crash.
Well, this does not promote independence, and I would hate for him to have to bring his mommy to college to help him out.  And, if this isn't enough reason, Crash will drive you crazy attempting to direct you on where every drop of water is located.

2. Use a hair dryer.
I thought this was a brilliant idea.
What noise does a hair dryer make....
Some days he loves it, some days he hates it, and it usually sends him running wildly through the house.  Not to mention I created a monster who thinks every drop of water requires a hair dryer.  Do you love it, or hate it?  Some days I can't tell.

3. Rationalization.
I asked Crash where he was wet and why he couldn't get dressed.  He already gave me the answer.  His hair was wet.  So, we talked about getting dressed and what goes over your head and could get wet and what does not.  Come to find out he knows his pants go on his legs!  A big ahh ha moment.  As soon as we talked about this, he was able to put his underwear and pants on.

I am willing to compromise to avoid nakedness streaking through my house.  If Crash dries off on his own, and puts his pants and underwear on, I can wait until his hair is at an acceptable state of dryness before putting on a shirt.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rule #11

Rule #11
imgres.jpgYou must be completely dry before getting dressed.                  
Not a drop of water can remain anywhere.   And, until that point of dryness is reached, nakedness is preferred.  Streaking through the  house is the acceptable mode of air drying.  Using a towel...that would be too easy.  When asked, "Crash, why don't you have any clothes on?  The response is always..."My hair is wet."

Hummm...So wet hair prevents you from putting on your pants?  I really want to see how you get dressed!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Things About Autism Virtual Conference

It's not often that you find something for free.  It's even more unlikely that it will be of quality, but check out this free virtual conference and look at who is speaking.  Looks to be very informative.  Check out more information and registration information here at Moms Fighting Autism

Things about Autism Conference MomsFightingAutism.com
April 10-11, 2010
Saturday – April 10, 2010
Event Page 8:00 – 8:50am - Temple Grandin, Ph.D .- Keynote: Teaching Through Specific Examples
Event Page 9:00 – 9:50amDr. Joshua Feder – DIR/Floortime
Event Page 10:00 – 10:50amValerie Paradiz, PhD – Supporting the Emerging Self Advocate with Autism Spectrum and Related Conditions
Event Page 11:00 – 11:50amMark Woodsmall – Special Education / Advocating for your Child / IEP
12:00pmLunch Break
Event Page 1:00 – 1:50pmAndrea Macken, M.A., B.C.B.A. – Title: Proactive Tools to Manage Challenging Behaviors of Children with Autism
Event Page 2:00 - 2:50pmplug in a pre-recorded  (BIOMED Rebecca Estepp) How To Start Biomedical Intervention
Event Page 3:00 – 3:50pmLisa LiebermanFinding Quality One-to-One Providers for a Child or Young Adult with ASD: Important Ingredients for Success in Hiring
Event Page 4:00 – 4:50pm Donna Williams, Dip Ed, BA HonsMeaning Deafness, Meaning Blindness, Body Disconnectedness; Agnosias in the Context of Autism

Sunday – April 11, 2010
Event Page 8:00 – 8:50amChantal and Jeremy Sicile-Kira – Keynote: Learning With Autism:  A Personal Viewpoint
Event Page 9:00 – 9:50amJonathan Alderson – Too Many Choices! How to Design a Multi-Treatment Approach to Educating and Supporting Children with Autism
Event Page 10:00 – 10:50amPeggy Schaefer – Neurologic Music Therapy: Rhythmic Applications for Autism
Event Page 11:00 – 11:50amDebbie Bialer – Absolutely Your Child Can Be Toilet Trained! A Revolutionary Approach for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Special Needs
12:00pmLunch Break
Event Page 1:00 – 1:50pm - Darlene Hanson – Augmenting Communication… Expanding Communication
Event Page 2:00 – 2:50pmStephanie Madrigal -
Event Page 3:003:50pmShannon Schlotman – The role of Occupational Therapy in improving learning and behaviour
Event Page 4:00 – 4:50pmMoira Giammatteo – Starting the Gluten Free Casein Free Diet

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A New Normal

Here is a link to the Cookville Times with a very interesting article about one parent's journey with sensory processing disorder. 

A New Normal

Anything sound familiar??

Sensory Seeks Dream Game

Who wants to sit in a chair and learn boring numbers or math facts.  Not me and certainly not Crash.  If its not moving or shaking, it's not very fun.  If math can not be fun...why learn it.  But check out this game.  You get to stomp on numbers and spin around.


"Pre-K and up. Get kids to think on their feet! Interactive talking floor mat with fast and crazy quiz games make learning math fun! Kids listen to the equation, do the math, and then step on the right answer. The game gets faster as their scores get higher! Features three games with two skill levels that reinforce numbers, counting, addition, and subtraction up to the number 20."                                       

Sensory Room

We had been spoiled for the past week with summer like weather. Crash has been able to play outside and jump and swing and crash till his heart is content. Gross motor activities help to regulate his system and keep him on a more even keel so to say.

Since it is only April, and no where near summer, the harsh weather has returned. So has my appreciation for the sensory room in our basement. I tend to take it for granted at times, because it is always there and Crash uses it independently for the most part. But I sure do love having it around this week.

The kids are on spring break, and it has been raining and is to cold to play outside. With Crash just itching for movement, I have rediscovered my appreciation for this room. Here are some pictures of our favorite things:
 A big crash mat
(A duvet cover 1.00 clearance at IKEA) filled with pillows
or cushion remnants)

Swing
(Good from spinning and all around swinging.  Great vestibular input)
Rings
(Great proprioceptive input.  Helps increase core strength)

Rope Ladder
Great for climbing, swinging, and crashing (into crash mat)
Homemade hammock swing

Home made fabric tunnel
(Great resistance work pushing a therapy ball through.  Lots of tactile input 
from fabric clinging to body as you go through)

The floor is lined with EVA foam exercise gym flooring and there are gym mats under the swings as well.