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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Starting a sensory diet

If you have a kid with SPD, you probably have heard the term sensory diet

Amazingly enough, to those not in the know, it doesn't necessarily involve food -- at least not at the core of the thing.  What it does involve, varies by child and symptoms/issues and should be created with the help of a occupational therapist. 

Here are just a few of the entries on our daily sensory diet suggested by our OT: 

8 am - Wake up - Jump and crash on bed (who wouldn't want to do this one).

11 am & 2 pm - Heavy Work - Playground, swimming, pushing a shopping cart. 
8 pm - Bath - Deep pressure when assisting with toweling off, assisting with dressing - joint compressions. 

10 pm - Bedtime - Hotdog game (roll in blanket) or other deep pressure. 

We have sensory activities scheduled at 8, 8:30, 9, 10, 11, 12, 2, 4, 6, 7, 7:30, 8 and 10 pm! 

And every 2 hours we are supposed to be doing the Wilbarger Brushing Technique.

And 2x per day 1/2 hour of therapeutic listening

Today was my first day attempting this and I utterly failed. We kept our emotional cool by running errands and having adventures out and about but only after dinner did I remember the diet... so we managed to do 1/2 hour of listening, a few core strength exercises, some work with putty and he'll be headed into a bath, brushing and bedtime routine in just a little bit. Phew! 

I'm pooped and a bit overwhelmed and we didn't even do half what we were supposed to. I feel as though I should quit my job for the next few weeks to keep up with it... but of course that isn't an option... so Dad is learning what to do and next the other caregiver. 

And when school starts, everything will change. For anyone thinking of getting started on a sensory diet, I would advise getting your OT involved to make sure you have the "right" diet activities for your particular child's needs. I would also say that even though it looks a bit intimidating, every little bit helps and if it is gonna help my kids... I'm all for it! 

Happy Dieting!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Words for the week

When a parent has a child with special needs such as sensory processing disorder (and other issues), it is an on-going opportunity to learn all sorts of new words and terms. This week alone, we've discovered or clarified the following terms: 

Crowding of teeth  - is recognized as an affliction that stems in part from a modern western lifestyle. It is unknown whether it is due to the consistency of western diets, a result of mouthbreathing; or the result of an early loss of deciduous (milk, baby) teeth due to decay. 
Otolaryngology - (pronounced oh/toe/lair/in/goll/oh/jee) is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), and related structures of the head and neck. They are commonly referred to as ENT physicians. 
Tympanic membrane - or eardrum, is a thin membrane that separates the external ear from the middle ear. Its function is to transmit sound from the air to the ossicles inside the middle ear. The malleus bone bridges the gap between the eardrum and the other ossicles. Rupture or perforation of the eardrum can lead to conductive hearing loss. 
Tympanoplasty - is the surgical operation performed for the reconstruction of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and/or the small bones of the middle ear (ossicles). The term 'myringoplasty' refers to repair of the tympanic membrane alone[1]. There are several options for treating a perforated eardrum. If the perforation is from recent trauma, many ear, nose and throat specialists will elect to watch and see if it heals on its own. After that, surgery may be considered.
 Should be interesting to see what words we learn next week! 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Appointments, appointments, appointments

I usually attempt to spread out my boy's medical appointments because I want him to feel like a regular kid and not get too frustrated but sometimes things just don't work out that way. 

No doubt the boy is still emotionally recovering from the MRI last week -- transitioning if you will. Unfortunately this week is fairly well packed with appointments AND his best friend is out of the country for 2 weeks - not a great mix. 

Today we have the ENT (ear, nose and throat) appointment. Looking at new potential hearing loss which could have been due to a cold or could be a small hole in his ear that may or may not heal on it's own (More possible procedures! Oh goody. *note the sarcasm here.).

After that we go to the orthodontist for an estimate of how the  oral structure might develop with time. Then comes decisions regarding more speech therapy or some other directions (such as braces or another way to change the palate structure)... add in more maternal sarcasm here.

Tomorrow is the more fun appointment -- OT (occupational therapy for those who don't know that one). 

Wednesday back to dread. Both kids have appointments to have their teeth cleaned and "looked at." Here's hoping that goes alright. I almost said WELL but I think that is too much to ask for.

After that, we are done for the week. Give the boy a couple of play dates and days to begin to recover. The boy is already complaining about being bored other than on days with play dates and this is NOT going to help any.

What must it be like to go to the doctor and the dentist just once or twice a year? Interesting concept. While we are so very lucky that we don't have long stints in the hospital or emergency surgeries like some kids no doubt do, the idea of one or two regular checkups and nothing more in a year... to an SPD (and something else) parents sounds like music to my ears -- an impossible dream. How often do you take your kiddo/s to the doctors?