Austin saw Miss Dinah today for his OT evaluation! He did really good, and actually told her several things that he had never mentioned to me before (like his clothes "hurt" him, and when he is walking around in circles all the time in the house, he likes it because he "can think"). She told him more than once that it was so smart of him to find the things that work to help him feel good! But she also added that we want to help him find things that will do the job and have longer lasting results, so that he doesn't HAVE to walk around all the time. Also, she believes that his hypersensitivity to touch has really impacted the emotional area of his behavior and triggers not only the over-the-top reactions, but also this need to control everything about his world. This stuff is all very, very fascinating to me, but I'll spare you all the details! If you're interested, email me! ;)
So our plan of attack for Austin is two-fold: we're going to implement a heavy work/deep pressure sensory diet for him, like we do for Reece. The reason I didn't see results from just including him in Reece's activities is that he is older and bigger, and the things that work for her just aren't intense enough for him! So I have a few ideas to start trying to implement. He will need a 3x a day regimen. I am hoping that once we get a good plan worked for him, that he will be able to implement at least some of it himself. The 2nd part of the plan involves brushing and joint compression. I am somewhat familiar with this because a friend of mine locally did this with her son when he was younger. For the next several weeks, I have to do this brushing/compression regimen with Austin every 2.5 hours while he is awake. This is called The Wilbarger Method and, again, is fascinating! When my friend was doing it with her son, I remember thinking "I could never do that!" but I've already done it twice today, not counting the time at the appt where she was training me to do it! Austin LOVES it! He purrs like a kitten! Miss Dinah told him to tell me when it wasn't enough pressure, and he sure did! He even told me it wasn't enough pressure and which direction I wasn't applying the correct amount of pressure on! OT sure is fun with a child who can tell you if it's working! LOL
Anyway, Austin will not need weekly OT visits... YAY! Miss Dinah feels that I have enough experience with sensory diets to provide him one at home, and just touch base with her periodically to monitor his progress! We know what we're trying to accomplish (fewer emotional outbursts, less walking around in circles, ability to fall asleep easier) so if those things come to pass, then we're on the right track! I know from Reece's experience to expect it to take a few months... she's been doing OT for 7 months now and she is sleeping through the night finally, and is about halfway potty trained! Her frustration tolerance is also increasing! This stuff really works! It just takes time.
I'm a bit overwhelmed about the amount of time these therapies take, and how to still manage to get school done, and keep the house clean, and meals cooked. OK, not a bit overwhelmed! LOL But as I've learned on this journey, I have to take it one step at a time and not get too far ahead of myself!