My DS is a different boy after his OT therapy. What am I doing wrong? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-11-2012, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering if anyone has this happen?

 

Yesterday was his second OT visit. DH and I noticed that he is a totally different boy all night after the therapy - in a good way. He is kind, bright and a pleasure to be around. He talks about his feelings, he can concentrate and he goes to bed rather nicely - without the usual 2 hour battle.

 

But the next morning, the effects usually wear off. I don't understand what I am doing to distress him or his senses. Or why the OT works so well, but when I try to do the same things at home it seems he just winds up stressed.

 

It makes me feel like maybe I am the one causing his problems.

 

Anyone else have this experience and or advice?


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Old 07-11-2012, 09:44 AM
 
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I have little experience here, but I just want to add that I know what you mean, and I can only suggest that you talk to his OT about this.  There might be concurrent parent 'training' available for this.  And if not, there should be! 


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Old 07-11-2012, 10:02 AM
 
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You are still very early in the process.  Talk to the OT about what you should be doing at home.  What is she working with him during the session.  What you want to do for your son is create a toolbox.  First, you need to establish what works for him (and please understand - it will change, what works one day may set him off the next - that's why you need several tools in this toolbox).  Then, like any good carpenter/electrician/plumber, etc. he needs to know when and how to use those tools.  So when he's feeling like he wants to run into a wall, he'll go and get the brush and ask you to brush him instead.  If he feels like pounding on his desk/table/wall he'll get a squeeze ball and go to town with it.  When he feels like he's going in a hundred directions at once, he'll go get his compression or weighted vest and put it on.  

 

Let the OT know that that you expect to be a team.  That you want him successful at her office, home, school, playground, store, etc.  How can you help?

 

{{hugs}}  Be patient Mama - it's a process. 


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Old 07-11-2012, 12:16 PM
 
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpottedFoxx View PostSo when he's feeling like he wants to run into a wall, he'll go and get the brush and ask you to brush him instead.  If he feels like pounding on his desk/table/wall he'll get a squeeze ball and go to town with it.  When he feels like he's going in a hundred directions at once, he'll go get his compression or weighted vest and put it on.  

 

Let the OT know that that you expect to be a team.  That you want him successful at her office, home, school, playground, store, etc.  How can you help?

 

{{hugs}}  Be patient Mama - it's a process. 

Ok I'll try to be patient here. Even though I worry about him, deep down I know he is going to be ok.

 

One good thing is that DH has finally agreed to let me quit my part time evening job. We need the money, so he will now be working a second job at night. This will help DS so much, since DH (admittedly) does not understand him or know how to handle him. DS has regressed alot since I started the job, so I think it will be good for him to have me with him all the time.

 

Spotted Foxx, Im interested in what you mentioned about DS (at some point) being able to figure out what he needs. He's only 4 years, but old I think he's getting to that place, but needs solid direction. And Im not sure how to direct him, since I'm pretty sure I have undiagnosed Aspergers as well and have a hard time explaining things like this.

 

Specifically, he does use an illustration of a "dinosaur". When his senses get overloaded, he says that he feels like he is turning into a dinosaur. Now, I'm not sure that it's good to let him think he is turning into something, but I also know it helps him express to himself what is going on inside of him.

 

So when he asked me about why we go to OT, I said that it was to help his dinosaur to feel better. And that we need to learn to do things that will help him not feel like a dinosaur. So today he told me that his dinosaur needed roughhousing on the bed. Wondering if it's such a good idea to let him keep using the illustration of a dinosaur, or if I can get him to use other terms to express himself.

 

I don't want him to think that his "dinosaur" is something we don't want around, or that we want to suppress by using OT. But I also don't know how to explain what is going on or to help him understand what is going on.

 

I will also talk to the OT next time. Im a little scatterbrained at these visits and forget what I wanted to ask- but the first visit was with a therapist who was really talkative and helpful. She advised us to pick DS up and spin him around and then give him a big hug - and that should calm him down when he is in overload. DS enjoys the spinning, but he says the hug hurts him, which is usually the case with him - so I know I want to ask about that.  This past visit was with her subsitute, who was equally as knowledgeable, but she is not as talkative so I kind of had to ask more questions to get the help. She will be helping us for the next 3 weeks. Wish it was the same person every time.

 

Thanks again for the great advice Spotted Foxx!


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Old 07-11-2012, 09:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Thing1Thing2 View Post
I'm not sure that it's good to let him think he is turning into something
 

 

 

Can you describe what your objection is to this?   At his age it's really normal to have a strong sense of fantasy, and this dinosaur-theme already seems like a great way for him to express himself. 


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Old 07-12-2012, 06:52 AM
 
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Sounds like he is able to somewhat verbalize what is going on - Get yourself the book "How Does Your Engine Run?"  Your library may have it.  Basically the concept is to teach your child that he is like a car engine.  There are times where he needs his engine to be high/green (running around, playing, etc.), sometimes he needs his engine to be low/red (sleep, nap, rest) and sometimes he needs it to be in the middle/yellow (school, study, movies, etc.).  So.... when his engine is high but you need him to be middle you simply ask him how his engine is running (green) and that right now we are going to learn about science and we really need it to be yellow and what can we do to bring it to yellow? 

 

Our OT recommended it and it works well.


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Old 07-12-2012, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

 

 

Can you describe what your objection is to this?   At his age it's really normal to have a strong sense of fantasy, and this dinosaur-theme already seems like a great way for him to express himself. 

 

Well, I just was concerned about him believing that his stimming means he is turning into another creature. I guess I just want him to realize that the stimming, meltdowns and overload are all a part of who he is - and that we love him just the way he is. He doesnt have to blame it on another creature. Does that make sense? Or maybe I'm being too serious about it? lol!

 

Spotted Foxx, thanks for the recommendation. He loves trains, so that will be perfect!!


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Old 07-12-2012, 08:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Thing1Thing2 View Post

 

Well, I just was concerned about him believing that his stimming means he is turning into another creature. I guess I just want him to realize that the stimming, meltdowns and overload are all a part of who he is - and that we love him just the way he is. He doesnt have to blame it on another creature. Does that make sense? Or maybe I'm being too serious about it? lol!

 

Spotted Foxx, thanks for the recommendation. He loves trains, so that will be perfect!!

 

I get what you're saying, I'm not sure it's harmful though. I think trying "how does your engine run" is a good idea, it probably give you more descriptive options than the dinosaur.


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Old 07-12-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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Thing - there is a study being done for kids with sensory issues.  If you are interested, I can post the information but you get free resources if you participate.


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Old 07-12-2012, 10:17 AM
 
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Found it - hope it's okay for me to post in case other parents want to participate...

 

 

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Old 07-12-2012, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info Spotted Foxx, I signed up. It looks like a great program - sure hope we can get in! Anything that can give us some structure and some direction will surely be a big help to DS.


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Old 07-13-2012, 09:17 PM
 
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I think the description of turning into a dinosaur is a great one! And I think it's great for him to verbalize how he feels in that way.

I do the the Engine book is clearer but kudos to your son for coming up with a great analogy on his own!

It's great that he's responding well to OT. What I generally see with successful therapy is that the effects start out short-term and then last longer and longer until you can see them throughout the child's day. It's not at all that you are doing something wrong. It's just that the work he's doing in OT is helping him to regulate his sensory systems so that it's easier for him to communicate, participate in daily tasks, play, etc.

Keep it up, and definitely make sure to ask the OT to teach you things you can do at home, and spend some time observing the session if possible.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Pikkumyy - will do!


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Old 07-26-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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I loved reading your post because it reminded me of me.  My daughter has seen an OT for five years now--she is 10.  I used to notice how fantastic she would behave for the OT, and after and wondered why I could never coax that behavior out of her.  You're not doing anything wrong--you just don't have all the knowledge your OT has about how to make your child feel good in their skin.  I suggest working with the OT to create a daily sensory diet--things you can do to help him feel good.  We also use how's your engine running--it takes a while to train them, but its a great concept. I also like The Out of Sync Child has Fun on ideas for the sensory diet.  We have a swing in the backyard that calms my daughter and often make her take breaks when her "engine" is going too fast and go swing. We now have multiple tools in her toolbox of ways to calm her down, and she is starting to be able to select which activity she wants to do when we need to calm her.  Our house is now filled with fidgets, chew tubes, putty, yoga balls and other things that work for her--and she can access when she needs it.  She always needs help relaxing before bed, so we have her take a shower (which helps for her--may not for everyone), read, and chew on a wet washcloth while she reads to get her engine calm.  Don't give up--it is a long road but a great OT can change his life (and yours).  Good luck. 

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