His sensory intergration issues are all over the map, and once I can get my life in order here I have to call his regular OT today for another appointment. We are finding different ways to help him cope with his issues and he is doing good. He is learning sign language and now signs "eat" when he wants food. He is really pushing the limits with sensory seeking issues....falling backwards in his playpen, banging his head or hitting it with something,you name it, if it gives him input he's doing it,lol. We bought him a stuffed animal vibrator bear from Walmart which has been a wonderful tool. He likes to stand on it and vibrate,lol. Music has proven to be his favorite thing. He loves all music, but especially went crazy when BB King played the blues. He was bobbing and swiveling...looked like a mini Stevie Wonder,LOL. I am glad he has found something he likes so much, up till now nothing has held his attention. He has finally found something he will watch for more than a second...the Elmo's World videos......Yippie. He mostly just repeats the sounds and dances when they sing, doesn't really watch it long, but that's ok. We will see what happens when his OT can get out here.
We had Dominick's OT visit from Early Intervention yesterday and it went great. I am so relieved because I was getting so discouraged. I finally had gotten the OT's email address and was able to write out everything I needed to tell her or that I was concerned about. This helped alot and will be something I will do from now on. I talked about how hard it is because they don't see him day to day and when we are out and about. Well Dominick decided to be fully cooperative yesterday and showed off his many sensory issues. He is what is called a sensory seeker. Fast movement, loud, obnoxious, rough playing, can't relax, hitting themselves, banging heads, anything that gives them big sensory input. He also has mixed in some social and emotional sensory issues. Takes a long time to adjust to new surroundings, people, objects, toys. Also does not tolerate changes in routine well at all. And just to top it off he has some proprioceptive sensory issues. This is when their brain doesn't recieve the proper signals from thier joints and muscles. They tend to touch things too hard or too soft, they have trouble walking and balancing well, they have an unusually high pain tolerance(not good), that sort of thing. So that's my kid a mess,lol.
A typical episode with Dominick goes like this. I set him down in his playen and he is ok, then for some reason, not wet, not hungry, not hurt,not tired, he will start throwing himself around the playpen, slamming his head into the sides and the floor, screaming, flailing arms and legs. I go to calm him and nothing works, it just gets worse. Now armed with the info. I have from my research I grab his stuffed animal massager. A bear that has a vibrating massager inside it. I literally pin him down with it. He continues fighting for a bit but slowly begins to calm down. I move the bear up and down his back and legs until he is still and then I take about ten minutes to do his whole body, head to toe. Finally he grabs the bear and stuffs it under his belly and lays down. He stays like that for a few minutes and then sits up to watch Elmo. He now plays quietly for at least an hour. He needed input to his body and the massager provided it and when that need is met he can go on normally.
The OT has given me some great new ideas and ways to reinforce what we are doing already. While she was there Dominick was playing with his bear massager and somehow ended up falling right on his forehead, no hands out, on the wood floor. Man, the sound was awful! I grabbed him and his glasses were all crooked, so I took them off. He got mad at me and took them back ,rubbed his head and turned to go play. No tears, no crying, nothing other than a quick rub of the head. I hat to say it, butI was kind of glad that it happened when she was there, so she could see his indifference to pain. She immeadiately started writting,lol. Today he has a bruise where he hit, it was nasty.
She is calling the PT to have her come and see what's going on physically with his walking. He is kind of leading with his left and the right is slow to come along and at times he slaps his feet so hard. This has been his weaker side throughout his life. The OT says that the I will really like my new case worker at EI so I'm glad. It will be nice if I can keep things moving for him now. Every time the OT seems to start moving forward we have a meeting with the caseworker and everything is backed off because the caseworker sees the problem as no big deal. I did ask if she thought we continued with the therapy if he would get better as he grew or if this is something he will deal with for a lifetime and we will just adapt therapies as he changes. My answer is a little of both. I know that he has come so far already and I am so proud of him so I am confident that he will be ok. He is my little man and that will never change no matter what happens.
So this what we have been doing. Still teaching and using sign language with great results so far. We have ordered a wonderful set of DVD's(reccomended by his OT) for him called Signing Time for babies. They are designed to appeal to and teach babies under 36 months old and have babies using sign language on the DVD's so they want to watch and immitate. They also have a full series for ages 1-8 if you have older kids who want to learn too. We'll be getting these too, but they are a bit pricey so a little at a time. I hope to get the entire series eventually. If anyone wants info on them I will be adding a link to thier site. I was getting a bit discouraged at first but Dominick now signs to me when he is hungry and when he wants a bottle and when he wants more. It has been great to know what he actually wants when he is fussing sometimes. On top of that he is working really hard on thank you, who could ask for more,lol. I have put together a bunch of stuff to help with his tactile issues. Like when he falls down outside he can't get up because he won't touch the ground, it's sounds funny but it's really sad to watch him panick. I have three bins and I have one full of dried rice, one full of dried beans and one I am going to fill with sand. I have also bought a ton of playdough. He will start to learn to put his hands in each thing to try and desensitize him to the textures. We have special times during the day to give him extra input to his senses. He needs and craves this. Because he has proprioceptive(wires are not sending signals to the brain from muscles, skin,& joints properly) we do jumping,stomping, pushing, and pulling. Because he craves senosry input and will do things like bang his head or hit himself just to get it, we dance to loud music, we jump off the couch into pillows, we spin in circles, and we have brisk rub downs with towels. We are even getting one of the big trampolines with tax money. For the times I know he needs to organize his senses I play different music, he is very fond of the blues and loves Pachelbel's Canon in D major. His sense of rhythm is amazing, he truly feels the music. We are still waiting for the new PT evaluation for his left sided weakness. His social issues are a bit more challenging but we mainly work on getting him to feel comfortable when not at home. He has also started having huge issues with having any straps on him, not good considering the highchair and carseat. I think we are on the right track here, but I know there is so much more I could be doing and that is the hard part. If I only knew more on how to help him.