Being Sheep

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep."John 10:14-15

Monday, June 11, 2012

Crash and Bump!

We are continually working to figure out new ways to help our little guy regulate, to get through his days, to heal. This is no easy feat! When so many days are filled with violent tantrums and rages, it is hard to think about adding anything to the 'to-do' list.

Why not set him in his room, or in time-out, or somewhere safe until he calms down while I go about my business? Because in the long run that does more damage than good. N has very little (if any) ability to self-regulate or self-soothe, which means he needs us right there with him to talk him through the process.

"You're ok. You're safe. Mama loves you. You may not hit your brother, you need to sit with Mama until you calm down. Ok, take a deep breath. Good job! Now another."

Etc. We're getting to the point where most of his fits don't last hours anymore, but we have frequent days where he will calm down only to start again a few minutes later. And that will go through the entire day.

In addition to him not being able to self-soothe/self-regulate, because of his attachment disorder we work very hard to not "banish" him anywhere away from the family. If we do have to separate him from us, it's where he can still see and hear us, not off in another room altogether. The problem of course, is that he's too big to stay in a crib, playpen, high chair, etc. He can easily get himself out of all of those things. The best way to keep everyone in the family safe (including N), is to physically restrain him. Now, of course I don't mean hurting him at all. I mean holding him in a way that he can't hurt himself or anyone else. Trust me, it's for his own safety as much as for anyone else's!

This week our occupational therapist is going to teach me how to do a brushing technique on N. Here is a brief explanation on it. Do not try this without being trained by a professional though; doing it incorrectly could cause harm. I'm really excited to see if this will help N. I've heard many good things about it, and I'm really hoping it works! It may be difficult to fit in the required 5-6 sessions every day, but if it helps I'll do just about anything!

We just ordered a weighted blanket for N to sleep with. It sounds like this could really help him with sleep issues, being calmer through the day, etc. Once it arrives and we try it out, I'll report exactly what we bought and how it's worked for N.

The big project I'm working on right now is a "crash and bump room".  While watching one of Karyn Purvis' lectures on sensory integration disorder (she's awesome, by the way!), she spoke of doing this for some of the kids she worked with. She basically set up an obstacle course involving climbing up slides, jumping on a miniature trampoline, crawling through a tunnel, etc, and had the kids go through it a few times throughout the day.

We've been blessed with a large house, and have some space in our basement that's really not being used for anything right now. S and I plan to do a "crash and bump room" on a budget. I've been searching Craigslist and just tonight he went to purchase two used climbers from someone in our area. One will go outside for N to play on whenever he wants, the other will be used in our CBR. ;)

I still need to buy a miniature trampoline, preferably one with a bar to hold onto, and if I can get it I would like one of those tiny seesaws. I think all 3 of my boys would really enjoy doing this obstacle course, and I can't wait to get it all set up! It should really help N stay regulated throughout the day, and I think my middle son will be helped by it also. Once we have some things set up I will post pictures!

The other big purchase coming up will be a tricycle for him; the hard work of pedaling himself along will be very good for him. Last year I had thought he might be ready for the tiny little two-wheeler with training wheels that we already have, but there's just no way he's ready for that yet--and I don't think he'll be ready any time soon. So we'd like to get a tricycle that has a parent handle on the back so we can push him a bit if needed, and also help him steer. Since his method of steering is to let the trike go wherever it wants. ;)

Thanks everyone for all your prayers and support. It means more than you know.


1 comment:

  1. We have a mini trampoline set up in our basement, and both of our boys love it. When I can sense that G (our older son with sensory issues) needs some movement, I send him to do some jumping. We've only had it for a week, but I can already tell that it helps him to regulate better. Good luck! We've only been home with our boys for two months, so I know we have a long road ahead of us. Also, pedaling on the bike works wonders, too. :)