Tomorrow,Oct.7th,2005 we will be doing a sensory profile on Dominick. We are hoping to see what has improved with these issues and what if any are still causing problems. He has settled down some about seeing the world in focus with his glasses, so that is a relief, but he has started some other little things that worry me. It is so hard sometimes, because I never know if I am just worrying too much about nothing or if it is something that will lead to bigger issues later. I try really hard to say just let him be a baby and develope the way he is going too, but I always think that if it is something that could cause a problem then I should jump on it so no milestones are missed. It's a never ending cycle,lol. Oh, well I guess that's just being a mom. We have noticed that Dominick is doing some things that he did when he was very young, like kicking both legs down on the mattress when trying to go to sleep. Going to sleep is an ordeal for him, or maybe I should say settling down to go to sleep is. If I try to rock him, he flops all over my lap, from back to belly and belly to back, he hangs his head upside down or bangs it on the arm of the chair, it is very hard to hold him. If I try to hold him still and rock, he gets upset, but that's what I have to do some nights. He must be rocked fast and he likes any singing or music to be very loud. We discovered one night that if I almost yell the words he settles down faster, so odd. I am afraid that I will end up rocking the boy until he's three if I don't figure this out. I have been putting him in his crib when it's too hard to hold him and letting him cry it ou, but you can hear him throwing his body all over and I worry that he will get hurt. He does eventually go to sleep, but I'm sure I'll be doctoring the bloody lip on occasion. I know that it is best to let him go and do it himself so that's what I am going to keep trying. Wish me strength!!
Dominick has several areas of concern to us right now, som are getting better and some are just stable. His speech is doing ok, I would feel better if he added a few words to his vocabulary of Mamma, Dad, and Nah(No). Oh wait I almost forgot he does try to say "Anthony Get Up!",lol, that is what he hears every morning over and over when I'm yelling at my 15 year old. He basically mimics the sound and pattern of what he hears so I am hoping that the words will follow soon. We play lots of sound games with him and make funny faces to help him along. Speaking of sounds, he is a one man sound effects machine all day long. Any sounds he hears he immitates, it is funny, but sometimes you just don't want to hear the sound your body made coming back in an echo,LOL. We go through the day without even realizing anymore how we have adapted to his needs. There must be a special feeling blanket available at all times, the really soft, thick, fuzzy ones . He will not calm down if he doesn't have that for sleeping or when upset. He has also taken to this big pink, soft ,shaggy pillow that my 5 year old got for her birthday, so we went out in search of a blue one, but could only find orange at JC Penney so that is what he has now. His clothes are mostly all cotton and he takes them off when ever he can, so we now put size two training pants over the diaper so he can't get his diaper off anymore. You can see how happy it makes him to strip down in the photo album called"Dominick,Where's Your Diaper",lol. His newest issue is biting. This one makes me crazy. He is just not biting me, he bites everything and really, really hard. I keep waiting for him to break teeth. He will bite the table, the highchair tray, me, toys, blankets, tried the cat, but that didn't go over well. He also grinds his teeth. Talk about making your skin crawl. I have noticed a couple times over the last few days that he wants to bang his head again, boy I hope that doesn't start again. No band to save him this time. Maybe it's just getting used to not having his band again and it will pass quickly. Hopefully tomorrow we will know a little more.
Well we had our sensory evaluation on the 7th, it was done by Dominick's OT, Elizabeth. I love Elizabeth, she has been so good through all of this with us and never makes me feel like Im just being too worrisome. Dominick also likes her a whole lot, which is very important. We discussed all the concerns I have previously written about and talked in deatil about how they affect daily life. We talked about ways that we have come up with to help Dominick deal with these issues and what we need more help with. At the end of the evaluation we spoke about some things to try and some things Elizabeth might bring with her next visit. When it was all said and done, it was bittersweet. It was so good to know that I wasn't imagining things, but at the same time it is always hard to know you have more work ahead to help your child strive for a more normal life. Elizabeth feels it will help to see Dominick more often, about every two weeks or so. She will take the paperwork I filled out and score it to help give her a better outline of Dominick's issues and be back to see us on the 21st. While we wait, we are starting Wilbarger Deep Pressure Protocol as per her request. This is a brushing technique followed by joint compressions. You use a soft nylon brush like a surgical scrub brush and do the palms of the hands, soles of feet,arms,legs,and back using a back and forth motion while applying firm pressure. This is followed with joint compressions to the elbow joint, wrist joint, metacarpal joint, knee joint, ankle joint and three compressions to the chest. We also do compressions to his upper and lower molars and palette because of his oral sensory issues. I was a bit skeptical at first but became a firm believer quickly. When Elizabeth did it to Dominick, I watched his whole demeanor change. He became more organized if that makes sense and was better able to focus on the things he wanted to do. He liked it so much that when he was done he took the brush and rubbed his own little foot with it. We may be experimenting with some weighted blankets and vests and possibly a compression vest to help his need for deep pressure stimuli. All these things will eventually help with his overly high pain tolerance and his inability to soothe himself in certain situations. I am confident that we are on the right track and with Elizabeths help we will make great progress. Just to let you all know how well the brushing seems to help Dominick, listen to this. I have talked about the bedtime routine and how hard it is on him, well the first night we tried it, I did the routine and then gave him his night time bottle. When he was done with his bottle I picked him up still wide awake and took him to his crib. I layed him down expecting the usual, kicking and throwing himself around trying to settle, but to my surprise he laid down snuggled with his blanket and never made another sound till morning. Thank you Elizabeth, Thank You!!!
We had been doing the deep pressure protocol with out a problem for several days and then all of a sudden he didn't want it done anymore. He likes the pressure, but hates the fact that to do it I have to hold onto an arm or a leg. I am continuing to work on a way to do it that he accepts so I can try to complete the protocol. His settling to sleep is still better than before, but not as good, so we will keep working on it. I will see what Elizabeth has to say when she comes again. We have also been working on learning sign language with Dominick as per Elizabeths' tip. She was thinking since he is more visual, he may respond better to the sign language in combination with verbal cues. Well it has been hard to teach myself, but Dominick picks up quickly. He can already sign Daddy, and More, and tries I Love You. What a smarty pants! I love the idea of him learning signs because it gives him another way to communicate when he cannot verbalize something. I am thinking if we can stick with it, it might really help with the terrible twos. He pays better attention when I sign along with what I am asking or telling him, so hopefully it will be a good tool. I am not sure how much work we will get done next visit because we will have to go over the profile and now we will be also setting up new IFSPs(individual family service plans)from EI for Dominick.