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Old 11-18-2008, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just have time for a quick drop-in, but I had a question for you more experienced mamas. DS is an interesting combination of sensory seeking, and sensory avoiding. He hates deep pressure but he craves it too. He screams for hours every night while I hold him down, and that's the ONLY way he can fall asleep. He needs it to calm down, but at the same time he freaks out if we constrict him. Does that make sense? The therapist was really puzzled and said she doesn't really see it too often. On his profile he was on both extreme ends of the spectrum of avoiding and seeking, and she was unsure of how to proceed and had to consult her team.

OK, rambling aside, yesterday DS had a weighted belt around him. He is 25 lbs in all and I think the total weight in the belt was 7-8 lbs. So a pretty hefty chunk for him, and he didn't even notice it or slow down. In fact, he kept trying to climb up things, and carry more weights, and push heavy things around. The therapist said she's going to have to think about making him a weighted hoodie or vest, but since he hates having his shoulders touched, it might not work. And she said she already ordered us a weighted blanket, which I hope WILL work at night, because the only way he can sleep is SMOOSHED against the crib sides until there are welts on him all over.

That is AFTER I have to hold his screaming body down in the evenings. And I'm just starting to realize that I just can't do that anymore - I'm not strong enough. It's pathetic that I'm not strong enough to hold down a 19 month old, but it's really hard, because I have to grab both his hands and his feet as he pinches when he's tired. He can do that for hours, I think it's something like stimming, but it just works him up more and more and he won't fall asleep unless I "mitten" his hands with my own. And grab his feet to stop him from kicking, so that takes care of both my hands at that point. And then he tries to bite me and arches his back, and oh boy it's fun. It can go on for hours every night, all the while he's screaming in my face. If I try to just let him be, he will not fall asleep, period, he'll be a crumpled mess of sobbing in the middle of the ground but he can't fall asleep without me constricting him.

So uh yeah. Does anyone have any experiences with weighted stuff? How much weight is used? Do you not have to use them when they're older or is it like a permanent thing? Do weighted blankets work?

And here's another question. What IS the deal with sensory issues? I tried asking the therapist and looking it up, but I just get the same "it's a nervous system thing" or "it originates in the left brain" reply, which just isn't good enough for me. WHAT is is, exactly? Is it like, brain damage? I'm usually pretty good at figuring out what I read, medical-wise, but I can't wrap my head around it. I know it's altering the perception and baseline of "normal" but can someone dumb it down for me even more? Regarding what causes it, maybe? Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AlpineMama View Post
And here's another question. What IS the deal with sensory issues? I tried asking the therapist and looking it up, but I just get the same "it's a nervous system thing" or "it originates in the left brain" reply, which just isn't good enough for me. WHAT is is, exactly? Is it like, brain damage? I'm usually pretty good at figuring out what I read, medical-wise, but I can't wrap my head around it. I know it's altering the perception and baseline of "normal" but can someone dumb it down for me even more? Regarding what causes it, maybe? Thanks.
:

wondering the same thing here.....I wrote a post a little while back about DS's (possible) stimming....... wish I knew what it is, what he's feeling.

Mom to A 11/06: Researching : to grow our family
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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My DS is very similar to your son. He's very much a sensory seeker but only on his own terms. We're currently borrowing a weighted blanket from our OT and he loves it only if he is the one to pull it on. If I try, he screams.

For night time what has really helped my son is showing him he can sleep on his belly. For some reason he just never figured it out. Then I put a comforter on him which is somewhat heavy. He's not in a crib though.

Good luck!

Mama of three.
 
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Old 11-19-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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I really think we are just learning about the sensory stuff. I think many kids are both seeking and avoiding. DD loved running into things, wrestling, falling, spinning and heavy lifting (still does). But she freaked out if she was hugged and light touch was like torture to her.

She loved pushing a play shopping cart full of my textbooks while running.

She also had a great time at gymnastics. At our gym they have open gym time where the kids can just kinda play. She loves the pit. It is a pit full of foam block where they get stuck and have toreally work to get their way out. It also is great frorunning and hurling yourself into.

When she really needed that heavy weight input i would load a toddler backpack with weights/a bag of dry beans/bag of rice and she would march through the house with it.

We also installed a chin up bar in her doorway for her to hang from. WE got a mini tramp and also installed a stretchy sling like swing for her.
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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My seeking son won't tolerate weighted objects on his shoulders either, so the vest is out. He sleeps with a weighted blanketandloves to carry heave things though.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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you may want to go in another direction (than the holding down - i understand a kid who will not go down - he needs help to self-regulate in this area but i'm sure there are things to try that may be less taxing on everyone) and try a body sock type of thing. a lycra envelope that your kiddo can enclose himself in, stretch out if he wants, etc...he will feel compressed but not panicked as he can stretch out.
the other thing you might try is wrapping your ds in a soft blanket - we use one of those plush really soft (fuzzy microfiber, kwim?) blankets and just roll him up in it like a little pig in a blanket we do it at our ds's request ("wrap up me") after his epsom salt bath at night, while he is still unclothed. he squirms to his hearts' content in the blanket. then we dress for nighttime and do what we call "rolling game". he lays on me (i'm on my back) and bear hugs me and i him while i roll him from side to side over and over with quite a bit of momentum. we need to be careful not to overstimulate him - it is a fine line and takes learning - for us it is usually the time it takes to sing "row row row your boat" 4-5 times slowly in rhythm with the rocking. this has really really helped get him regualted at bedtime. when things were really bad we gave him melatonin before his bath. he no longer needs it.

and the screaming - maybe he would do well with something to chew on, like a straw or something with more bite, like chewelry. maybe guide him in some primal screaming to get some of it out and then move on to a chewing activity.

my ds is also a seeker AND avoider depending on circumstances and he is severe. the more correct sensory input he gets throughout the day the better he is, particularly at bedtime. we have to make sure his sensory "diet" is really adhered to or we all suffer. we do sensory stuff all day long. and brushing 6-7 times a day.
we have also been doing a salicylate free diet and we have noticed a huge change. our flapping, screaming, unable to play, hitting himself in the head, stimming son has turned pretty mellow (lol, well - for him) and can follow instructions and actually stay on topic for 2 minutes. his therapists have noticed a huge difference. today one said to me "what is up, he seems sooooo different!" ds has been able to vocalize his feelings more and the other day in a rare quiet give and take, ds told me that his ears feel better. when asked more questions, he was able to tell me that the noise in his ears has decreased. "mommy, lion roar in ears all gone"... interesting that it has gotten better since we changed his diet. and his screaming and yelling have decreased markedly. he is "hearing" me better, too.

ds also vocalizes a lot at night/at bedtime (well, all the time but most at bedtime). we've started him on using chewing gum a few times a day for an hour or so each time and it has helped overall. took a few days to get him to realize he shouldn't swallow it.


sorry if this is tmi. i just know how nuts and out of control it can all feel. things can get better. i hope this helps even a little. best book ever: Building Bridges.

take care.
-dove
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Not TMI at all - I loved all that stuff! We'll definitely have to try some tomorrow. I'll let ya know how it works out.

Two quick questions - what form do you give melatonin in? Our EI therapist mentioned it this morning, but only in passing. Is it by scripts or OTC? Or, how does that work?

And second, I've never heard of the diet you mentioned. How did you figure out to try it? Can you give a quick example of foods he can and cannot eat? I'll Google it tomorrow (or whenever I get the chance) but right now I'm exhausted and need sleep.
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