Jack's first meeting with his occupational therapist, Katherine, went very well. From what she saw of him today, he craves proprioceptive input. Activities such as tug-of-war, deep pressure (like big bear hugs), and carrying bags of groceries would help him. Who would've thought that a 2-year-old could be calmed by carrying groceries? Interesting.
A person's proprioceptive sense is what tells you where your body is in relation to your environment. Spinning without getting dizzy (something he hasn't done in quite a while) was actually calming
to Jack. That's why he'd never get dizzy; it organized him. All the activities my Brother sets up for him
(the sand, the mulch, the pebbles, etc.) are very good for him. Apparently, this is how Jack learns best. He's a very active little guy and these activities calm him.
He loves anything involving balance because he's testing his body and its limits. It's the same thing when he pounds his feet on the ground while walking backwards and falls on his butt, laughing; he's testing his body. Humming also calms him down, which is what he and I do before he goes to sleep. I ask him what song he wants to hear and he hums the first measure to it; I finish it for him. Sometimes it's only one song; sometimes it's many songs and then he's ready for bed.
When Jack has a major meltdown, the only thing that sets him straight and calms him down is me holding him and singing to him. After a few minutes, he's back to being Jack, instead of "Dr. Jack-yll." Yelling has never
worked and spanks are reserved only
for when he's endangering himself or others. That's just the way it is.
Katherine says that Jack will outgrow many of his behaviors, just like I outgrew banging my head (which I did for twelve years, so it doesn't surprise me that my own son has sensory issues
). To this day, if I start banging my head or rocking, it is so calming to me that it's like I never stopped doing it. I can't explain it. I just know that I stopped because everyone around didn't do it, so I felt odd. I hope Jack never feels that way.
All in all, Jack's OT went swimmingly well. I'm pleased with Katherine and Jack is, too. That's very important. It's crucial to me that he and his therapists form a bond from the get-go.
I went to several sensory processing disorder websites and found some very cool information that is useful to me. This one
is great! This one
is, too. And this one had a petition that I signed
to help encourage Sensory Processing Disorder to be recognized as a real condition by the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). If you or anyone you know has a child with Sensory Processing Disorder, I urge you to pass the link to the petition along so that this condition can get recognized as a valid medical disorder. Maybe then more kids (and adults) will be able to get the help they need.
Okay. Carry on as you were.