Monday, October 26, 2009

Sensory stuff

So I just wrote a long, rambling post (in draft mode) trying to sort out my thoughts about the sensory challenges we've been having lately, mostly with Bearhug. When it comes to classic autism, his is the mildest of my three boys (with Bitty the most affected and Cuddlebug somewhere in the middle), but Bearhug's sensory challenges are the most severe of my three. He is really struggling lately - at home, school, even church. It seems to be a combination of overstimulation, various changes in the routine, difficulty focusing, and somehow just general out-of-sync-ness (to borrow the term from this book).

There are a few possible "triggers" but it's hard to tell if those are actual causes, effects, or just exacerbating what would still be there regardless. I don't think it is just one thing, it seems more like one thing after another after another... and when he's overwhelmed his ability to effectively communicate is impacted, so we're trying to piece together what clues he is able to give us. We're doing our best to help, and to be patient in the process, but I have to admit to feeling a bit at a loss.

Today was a rough day.

I was in this frustrated state of mind (and recovering from a migraine which I think is probably directly related to today's misadventures) when I read this post from Patty at Pancakes Gone Awry... if you have a child with sensory issues it's an encouraging read. I can so relate to what she describes with her son, and she's right, it does get better. Reading her post reminded me of just how far each of the boys has come so far. And not only that, if they've made that much progress up to this point, I have to believe that although we may be at a bit of a rough patch right now, more progress is yet to come and we will find a way to help them work through their current challenges.

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Beverly on October 26, 2009 at 6:51 PM said...

sorry you had a rough day. Praying all is better tomorrow.

Brochures on October 26, 2009 at 11:36 PM said...

I know that you can get through all these challenges. It's admirable how you came up with this blog with such courage and conviction. I wish you and your boys all the best. More progress to come! Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go check out the link you shared, but first HANG IN THERE!! I've noticed so many times with Daniel that he goes through a particularly rough patch before he makes some great progress in an area. Sometimes it gets discouraging because some rough times last longer than others...but it helps me to stay positive and so far it's always been true. I wish all the best for both of you. =)


Patty O. on October 29, 2009 at 8:09 PM said...

I'm so sorry things have been rough. I think I may know how you are feeling, at least I know what it is like to have these issues pop up. And it sure doesn't help when you have a migraine! I hope things get better.

One piece of hope that my therapist always tells me is this: often when a kid seems to regress in terms of sensory or development, etc. it could be that they are about to have a burst in development and this is how their body is coping with the coming change. This has proven to be true often in our case and it helps me when I remember this because I realize that it won't last forever. Keep your chin up. You are doing a fabulous job! And thanks for what you said about my post. Glad it made you feel a bit better!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I haven't lent my support sooner. I agree that you are courageous and generous in sharing your challenges with 3 young boys with autism.

Let me know if I have this wrong....but I perceive some of the stress is trying to decide whether to give the sensory comfort or restrict it. And if the sensory need is frequent and strong, those decisions are also = stress for the parent.

I believe all behavior has a neural origin, and most behavior can be modified to some extent.

Is it reasonable to rule-out a medical issue? Hungry? Dehydrated? Sleeping poorly or little? Pain - teeth, ears, digestive? Hormonal - I know they are only 8, but a physician can guide you there, too.

I'm glad you found some hope and comfort in someone else's post. (Blogging is wonderful.) I know the pain of migraines and I am most sympathetic. Hope you feel better and can continue to be comforted in the moment by remembering it will not always be this way. Barbara

K on November 5, 2009 at 7:52 AM said...

I miss you
where are you !!!

Anonymous said...

So sorry for the rough patch - I know well that feeling of being at a loss, trying to figure out what's going on. Truly, though, more progress is yet to come and I know you'll hold on to that truth.

The Metz Family on November 8, 2009 at 6:57 AM said...

I feel a little foolish leaving this for you given that you parent 3 autistic kids and probably know every last therapy there is specific to sensory integration, BUT

my son is 3.5 and has had a very difficult time lately with the ineffectiveness of his sensory type "soothing" therapy devices, ie: weight belt, vest, etc.

his ot mentioned a new therapy she's become certified in called Therapeutic Listening, so we've been trying it -- all I have to say is HUGE. His sensory stress has decreased dramatically, I've never seen anything like it.

check with your ot or ped - maybe this might be something you could try if you're not already...


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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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