Monday, 11 July 2011
Last week we visited our OT (Occupational Therapist) to discuss Annie’s experience with tracksuit pants and stockings. Additionally I hoped to find some calming strategies to help my anxious girl.
It was a fascinating visit in which I learned all over again how Autism truly is a spectrum and each child on the spectrum is so very different.
We now have a program of Brushing therapy 3 times a day (first thing in the morning, after school and before bed). Follow the brushing with joint compressions– but Annie dislikes physical contact, so we do her joint compressions using a scarf. Which is where I wrap a scarf around the muscle just below the joint and pull it tight*, then do the same to the muscle just above the joint – thus eliminating physical contact.
I find this so intriguing because joint compressions were a key feature of Heidi’s sensory diet and at once stage we were doing them up to every 90 minutes. Heidi just loves joint compressions and still asks for her ‘squishes’ and finds them very soothing, yet to Annie they are painful and unpleasant.
So we do the brushing therapy which stimulate the nerve endings then squish with the scarf to calm them. Which helps her body be more aware of where it is in space. This article rotheche linked to in the comments of the Tracksuit Vs Stockings post to explains so much about why Annie falls over often and struggles with her motor skills.
Annie has certainly noticed a difference in the week we’ve been doing the brushing and scarf squishes and has been asking for them, particularly first thing in the morning to help her wake up.
*you know I contemplated making an instructional YouTube video for the scarf squishes as I couldn’t find one … then I thought about it and my husband mentioned that it rather resembled b o n d a g e and really making the video seemed like a very bad idea, no matter how instructional it may have been.