St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brushing: part of a sensory diet

This week marked the first of the addition of occupational therapy to Mark's regular schedule of language therapy.  Last week, Mark was evaluated for OT, and there are three areas the therapist is working on with him.  Interestingly though, we learned to "brush" Mark, a special technique that improves his faculties in many ways and helps him perform better and feel better.  It is a form of deep compression and is followed by joint compression (in his case, some pressing against the other person with his hands trying to move them....rather isometric in nature).  All this can be read about at several sites, but here is one I found that details it pretty well.

Sensory Deep Pressure Brushing Program

While Mark hasn't had much of a problem with touch overall, being touched just normally, teeth brushing, hugging, play,  like many children on the spectrum do, the brushing in his case helps stimulate the calm receptors which are also important to helping his overall sense of well being.  I know another child in my house that could benefit from brushing also!....the one that asks for his back to be scratched even when it isn't itchy. I've no doubt his sensory disorder is the main reason.  So brushing helps children who have defensive physical sensory difficulties set up.
This is the little special brush; at our therapy facility is cost $1.59!

The OT therapist had Mark doing a few things, such as climbing up the rock wall to a platform and jumping into the crash pad; climbing through a tube and attempting to push a ball through the stocking part of it at the end (he didn't like being in that stocking part...put up a fuss, and backed out of the tube -- uh, I don't blame him! lol) ...playing rebound with  a small ball and trampoline slanted, modeling with some kind of plastic play-doh like well as putting on his own socks and shoes..She used a picture schedule to help him see a visual of how his time would be navigated.  

So, we keep working at Mark's functional language and physical capabilities that he can interact more normally and smoothly amongst his peers and people in general.

And as a closing note, one of the best things we did a year and half+ ago, was have Mark evaluated - just knowing there was a hint of something going on, that tipped us off, and pulling ourselves out of denial of it.  I am so glad we did.  I am very grateful for the fine specialists and therapists that have helped him (and us) so much.  If you think your son or daughter may have anything akin to sensory disorders or autism spectrum disorder, including Aspergers, which is a very high end autism...but does have some tell-tale should have them evaluated/screened through pediatric neurology if at all possible.  It will begin you on a path of help for them that will be so necessary to their achieving the highest and best quality of life in spite of any disorder that may get in their way. It's best to know -- knowing is your path to betterment for them.

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