Hello! I haven't posted in a while but things have been rough for my sweet DS lately so I was hoping some of the experienced parents here could help us out with suggestions, etc.
Some background first: DS, 5.5, is autistic and has some pretty major SPD. Sensory seeking in a lot of ways, but auditory hypersensitive, dyspraxic, and he's extremely echolalic so while he's very verbal, he's not so good with communicating his needs beyond the basic, concrete ones. He can tell us when he's hungry, thirsty, tired, etc. but can't share emotions or more abstract things-- especially if he hasn't been taught the script. He is in a 6:1:1 inclusion K classroom, receives ST 30 min 4x/week, OT 3x/week, PT 2x/week and adaptive PE 2x/week.
For the past few weeks he has significantly increased his verbal stimming, and his anxiety is up and focus has gone way down. Something is clearly bothering him, but we don't know what. His teachers and therapists have seen it, too, but don't have any suggestions. I feel like we're really losing touch with him lately and I don't know how to reach out. His friend has been stealing his lunch so there has been a lot of discipline that he's involved in- he's being told not to share his lunch, and his friend is being disciplined for taking it. He repeats a lot of what is going on, so we know it's bugging him.
Some stimming we know he needs and let it go, but a lot of his recent behaviors are "undesirable" as the teacher put it and are alienating his friends. Another thing he's doing is rubbing his lips furiously, so they're cracking and bleeding. So obviously, we would like to redirect this. And of course I want to make him feel better!
Today he was quite twitchy, full of noises when we were out shopping and then when we were at home, too. I finally got him outside to play when DD went down for her nap. I grabbed my rake and shovel and decided to do some gardening. He played by himself for a few minutes, then came to join me. He got a little shovel and started digging in the dirt and pulling away the weeds. That settled him down enough to stop stimming, and start talking to me.
So, I know he needs the sensory input. Heavy work is great, I need to pull out my trusty OOSC Has Fun and other books.
But I was wondering if people had similar experiences they could share-- what worked? The big bunny is bringing a swingset this weekend and we're REALLY hoping that will help-- he LOVES to swing! He gets quite verbal the more he moves, too.
And brushing had helped him last year, but they gradually tapered and he doesn't get it at all this year at school. He's off from school the next 1.5 weeks so I'm thinking of starting it up again. If I can do it several times a day while he's home, maybe we can transition to before and after school and evenings once school starts up again?
Another thing that has helped him sleep better lately was getting him a comforter, instead of the regular sheet and blanket. He loves it-- it's not even a weighted blanket but is heavier. It helps that Optimus Prime is on it.
What about pressure vests? Is this something we should look into as well?
Any and all advice is appreciated. TIA.