Proprioceptive sensory seeking ideas? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-10-2010, 03:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can anyone give me ideas or links for (doable and not expensive) ideas proprioceptive work for my son.
He's a mess. He's constantly intentionally tackling people and running into stuff, asking his brother to pull his hair, asking me to "squeeze" him (no, mommy, hard squeezy--ouchy hug, harder mommy ), etc. He's emotionally dysregulated to put it mildly. I can't afford OT and I think he's worse than he ever was. I feel at a loss and I'm too overwhelmed with all his "stuff" right now to sort through websites I found when I googled. Help?

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Old 07-10-2010, 04:07 AM
 
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Tons of stuff - my music therapist just told me she will have my son lay backwards over a therapy ball and roll him on it while they're singing. Seems to really help get him regulated and focused. Our OT and PT use a swing for him - it's sort of a 'cocoon' swing -don't remember what it's called, but if you google 'therapy swing' you can find one. It's sort of a lycra type thing that he can get in and swing while being 'squeezed'.

We bought a 'body sox' for him - it's a bag that is also made out of lycra -cost about $40 or so. He can get in completely head to toe or keep his head out and he gets resistance - he'll ask for his 'bag' if he needs it and will sometimes go to sleep wearing it if he's having a hard time settling down. We also have a pair of footie flannel jammies for him - they are about a size too small, but he will request them - I'm guessing it's also b/c of the calming effect of the squeeze.

If he wants the squeeze, he needs it. A weighted blanket or vest might also help. It's a great thing he's able to ask you for what he needs.

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Old 07-10-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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You can build in lots of little exercises into his day that might help. Wall push up, elephant stomping on the ground, chair push up can all help.

What about trying a weighted vest or small ankle weights? Add more input throughout his day.

Have you looked into any programs like Brain Gym? They give lots of ideas as well.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:58 AM
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This is my son's biggest area of dysregulation (along with language).
This is what works for him:
JUMPING - this is what he craves - on a trampoline (we bought one for him and it was by far the best investment we have made as far as his SPD), or even on a bed or couch or a bunch of pillows on the floor, jump rope, or obstacle courses that involve a lot of jumping. Do you have one of those places nearby like Pump it UP or Sport Bounce that have indoor moonbounces? We often go to their open gym times.
jumping jacks
tug of war
wheelbarrow walking
pushing/pulling - vacuuming, mopping, dusting, wagon filled with something heavy, carry in groceries, carry laundry basket, etc
hopping ball
weighted vest
roll him up like a hotdog in a quilt and ask him "What do you want on your hot dog" and pretend to put condiments on by pushing down on him
SWIMMING - helps a lot, my son spends a lot of time at the bottom of the pool getting input from the weight of the water
bike/scooter riding'
running/long walk
wrestling with dad (or mom!)
gymnastics class - this was great for my son and is cheaper than OT

Our OT emphasizes "heavy work" constantly - I have found activities with a repetitive motion to them like running, scooter riding, and especially jumping are what work best for my son - probably b/c he does them longer than something like vacuuming or carrying the laundry basket.
We used to do a lot of obstacle courses with wheelbarrow walking, jumping, going up/down stairs, jumping jacks,etc. Now he pretty much self regulates on the trampoline and/or the swing. Swinging and jumping are essential for him.

Good luck!
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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sorry to hear about all the dysregulation . i hear ya, and it sucks... my dd (3, asd) has real issues with vestibular stuff and proprioception. some of the things that do or have worked include:

-swimming (by far the best activity in the world for her). she recently discovered that with a kick board and flippers, she can glide quickly and smoothly through the water. i really think she sometimes feels safer in the water than she does on land.

-tight clothes. she wears unitards a lot, and recently started asking to wear onesies! lol. i found her one from old navy (size 24 mos.) that i squeezed her into, and she loves it.

-weighted blanket. she won't always tolerate it, but i think it is really helpful for her at times. my sister made a really well-constructed one, and it's like eight pounds! you can always just take an old men's tube sock, fill it with rice, and tie it up. you can microwave it, if you want a warm sack.

-some kind of swing that cocoons him. i took a yard or two of lycra from joanne's, and tied it up like a hammock. she loves to get in there and just hang. the body sock, however, was a disaster for her. anything that is what i would consider "light touch" really wigs her out.

-squeezes. frequently before bed, i start at her head, and using both hands, do long, firm strokes down her body, down each limb, down her back, etc. i do it as hard as she likes, and give small squeezes along the way.

best of luck. it seems like what works changes ALL the time, and that makes it so tricky. i know you're in indiana, and we're in cincy. we have a weighted blanket and a proprioceptive vest (very cool, from our ot). if you ever want to borrow either, i'm happy to meet you half way. and i really mean that .

-
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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i skimmed really fast...did anyone mention joint compression?

as far as affording OT, i used the BPO Elks. they have programs in more than one state. maybe you can find a similar free service?

Bring back the old MDC
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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So many good suggestions! My DD seeks a lot of proprioceptive input. I made her a weighted blanket and she sleeps under it every night- it has made a HUGE difference for her. Also, we bought a BIG beanbag that she throws herself into throughout the day. And swimming is really great too. Also, she carries a backpack around with weight in it. We also have a heavy babydoll for her that she loves and a weighted shoulder pillow that looks like a cat that she puts on her shoulders or lap sometimes. A great activity that she loves is hammering nails into stuff. She loves swinging the heavy hammer and the satisfaction of driving the nails into the board. She also helps her dad with the barn chores- moving hay, scooping poop, carrying grain and stuff like that. Another thing she loves is riding horses- it's not particularly proprioceptive, but it seems to really organize her. We are going to get her into hippotherapy soon.
Good luck

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Old 07-11-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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We have a trampoline and a toddler slide/climbing play equipment in our backyard. That has been so helpful. She goes to play there daily.

Other things that help..

-Wilbarger brushing
-joint compressions
-squishing her by putting two to three pillows on top then putting some of my weight on her
-rocking chair
-tug of war with anything that could be pulled by two people
-swings and jungle gym at the park
-allowing her to carry heavy things
-running, skipping, wheelbarrow walks
-taking long baths or going to the beach once or twice a week
-Body Sox
-weighted blanket although she's not a huge fan of it. She can go weeks without wanting it.

I've found that putting her hair into a ponytail helps too. I never thought she'd tolerate having her hair in a ponytail all day, but she does.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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weighted blanket. she won't always tolerate it, but i think it is really helpful for her at times. my sister made a really well-constructed one, and it's like eight pounds!
I believe they're not supposed to be more than 10% of body weight, unless your 3yo is 80lbs an 8lb blanket is too heavy & probably why she doesn't always tolerate it.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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carriemf, thanks for your concern. the reason i chose that weight is because i've read a lot by adults with spd who say the "10% of body weight" thing just doesn't cut it for them. i'm not even sure who came up with that figure, or what it's based on. if anyone knows, i'm very curious. i consulted her pt before choosing this weight, and she seemed fine with it. also, the blanket is large - she and i *both* sleep under it - so i think she generally is just resistant to covers -lol.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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Has anyone read "Out of Sync Child has fun"? I've heard it has great suggestions (still muddling through "your out of sync child").

Great suggestions everyone. I also made my son a weighted lap pillow that we use in the car. We put it on him as soon as we get into the car and by the time we arrive at our destination, he's usually pretty settled.

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Old 07-13-2010, 04:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nayma View Post
-swimming (by far the best activity in the world for her). she recently discovered that with a kick board and flippers, she can glide quickly and smoothly through the water. i really think she sometimes feels safer in the water than she does on land.

-
Another vote for swimming! Ds doesn't have a dx but he loves to swim and is clumsy in everything else. It just dawned me on during lessons last week that swimming would be great for his proprioception. Also, the Brain Gym exercises and neurodevlopmental movement stuff has been awesome.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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My 8.5 year old sleeps in a hammock. In fact, she no longer has a normal bed in her room... her hammock is where she sleeps, where she sits and swings to hang out when she is reading or if she watches a movie.. It is her 'safe' spot because it squeezes her, it moves with her, and it cocoons her. This was the best $30 or so I ever spent for her.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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Someone else mentioned "heavy work". That is really helpful for DS1. He LOVES helping DH or Grandpa stack and carry firewood for the winter. I wish I would have known that BIL was clearing the pine stand next to my parents' house-I would've sent DS1 out there to help him stack the logs!

I'm not sure why, but tickling really helps him calm down too. He's incredibly ticklish, and asks to be tickled!

I've never used weighted stuff like blankets, but DS1 is always one of those constantly hot kids and kicks the covers off. He always sleeps with his pillow on top of his head, and he's done this ever since he was a baby. If I take the pillow off of him he grabs it and puts it right back on his head.

Swimming and being in the water is another huge help. In fact, DS1 is never calmer than when we've spent a day at the lake. Even just laying in the bathtub helps.

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Old 07-14-2010, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SpottedFoxx View Post
Has anyone read "Out of Sync Child has fun"? I've heard it has great suggestions (still muddling through "your out of sync child").
"The Out of Sync Child Has Fun" actually has an introductory chapter that summarizes the first book nicely. This book is much easier to read & use than the first book. The activities in it are terrific!

We also have one of the BodySox, but you can go to JoAnn and buy a tube of knit fabric that functions the same way at the BodySox for a much lower price.

Brain Gym exercises (most of them are simplified yoga poses, but a few of them are targeted at specific neurological conditions) are good for proprioceptive awareness, too.

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Old 07-15-2010, 12:57 AM
 
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There are some great ideas in this old post:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...7&postcount=18

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Old 07-16-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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My son also likes the rolling up in a blanket, but then we get a big ball, and give him a massage, before rolling him back out of it by pulling on the edge (my sister (8) and daughter(5) also like it, so it's doable with a slightly older child than my son(2). Also, he loves the heavy work, like a lot of the other kids. Also, we talked with his OT about getting a backpack, and putting weights in it, if you can't afford the vests and such, it's a good alternative (although it puts more weight on the back, I know).

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Old 07-19-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
Can anyone give me ideas or links for (doable and not expensive) ideas proprioceptive work for my son.
He's a mess. He's constantly intentionally tackling people and running into stuff, asking his brother to pull his hair, asking me to "squeeze" him (no, mommy, hard squeezy--ouchy hug, harder mommy ), etc. He's emotionally dysregulated to put it mildly. I can't afford OT and I think he's worse than he ever was. I feel at a loss and I'm too overwhelmed with all his "stuff" right now to sort through websites I found when I googled. Help?
I think everyone has listed great things--but I wanted to second (third?) heavy work. DD loves emptying water from one container to another. Maybe you could have him move bricks around or something like that.

Read about the Wilbarger Protocol--"brushing"--I don't know if it works, but it does mention to avoid light touches, especially the face/head/stomach.

Finally, the weighted blanket or lap pad is a good place to start. Your DS could put it on his lap at dinner/playing games, in the car, whenever. I made one for DD this week for <20, and I'm an amateur sewer. You can use bags of plastic pellets from the hobby shop to weight it so that you can still wash it. They are made for filling dolls and cost ~$3.99/lb.

The other thing you can do--like the "hot dog" someone suggested earlier--is roll on the floor with your DS (if you're able). Just hug tight and barrel roll.

A simple hammock might work well for the swing. You would need to hang it so that the ends were together and your son would lay sandwiched in it. Remember linear swinging is organizing.

Good luck!

PM me if you want more info on making a weighted blanket.

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Old 07-19-2010, 09:39 PM
 
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another vote for swimming!!!! Swim lessons are far cheaper than therapy, and swimming is a GREAT sport for ASD. My DD is 13 now and swam competitively for years. It is the only competitive sport that she has ever been able to participate in, and since it is FUN and something neuro typical kids do, she never thought of it as "therapy." (The need for these kinds of activities isn't going to go away in a year or two, so a long term plan for the kind of activities he'll need makes sense to me.)

Gymnastics is also great -- rolling around and going upside down and such is perfect.

Your library should have the Out of Sync Child or be able to get it for you.

The playground is also good -- swings and slides etc., but weren't as powerful for my DD as swimming.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 07-20-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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Ds is constantly pushing kids down, pulling hair, etc. He has low sensory input and his OT used to brush him and then compress his joints. I did this before he went to "preschool" today, and his teacher said he was a lot better this week, what with touching kids, lying on top of them etc. I wonder if I need to be doing more of these things with him now that we stopped OT. I have a SPIO shirt for him and I stopped having him wear it cos it was getting small, but I think I am going to start having him wear it again. Thanks for this thread!
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