Monday, July 18, 2011

The Sensory Side of Rhombencephalosynapsis

It took us a while after Abby's diagnosis to realize how many of her needs were sensory. We could minimize the flapping and head rolling by making sure she got plenty of input. Her tantrums were significantly better on days where she spent LOT'S of time outside. Outside time for Abby equals "input". All that "input" really means is information being put into her sensory system... taste, smell, sound, feelings, sights and the less known about sixth sense (not psychic powers but...) which is the proprioceptive sense. Simply put it is monitoring our bodies internal and external structures.

Since beginning a sensory diet for Abby things have improved for her. Her sensory diet includes plenty of heavy work, brushing, joint compressions, squishes and squeezes and rough play. Recently I was talking to a fellow RS Momma, Heidi about her son Ethan. She was explaining how her was having regular tantrums when being cared for by his new caregiver. She also mentioned that on weekends when Ethan is getting more "rough play" his tantrums were less prevalent. I pointed out that perhaps Ethan was more of a "sensory child" than was initially thought.

Here's how I see it. We have this idea that "boys will be boys" and that all boys like to play wild and rough. Here's the problem; because we hold this ideal it's easy to overlook the fact that some of those rough and tumble boys (or girls for that matter) may be more sensory seeking than just playing rough.

Heidi did what we RS parents have to do, she took the less traveled route. Instead of consulting with specialists and doctors she did what was right for her child. She instructed Ethan's caregiver to play rough. (Imagine that moment... Mom tells caregiver to play rougher with her kid. ;D Sometimes being a Mom of a special needs child requires a whole lot of creativity and ingenuity.) In the two weeks since this conversation happened Ethan has had NO tantrums with his caregiver. Incredible! It amazes me that something as simply as wrestling on the floor or climbing on a jungle gym can make such a big difference.

The brain truly is an amazing thing!

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