Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rock Star

We have our difficult days with Ryan but a lot of the time Ryan cracks me up. For Christmas this year Ryan is desperate for a "pedal drum set" and I am desperate for him not to get one. He has been drawn to music since he was around one years old. He got his first play guitar for his second birthday. It was a wiggles guitar, his favorite show. He would play it none stop for hours every day. I thought he would get tired of it and move on to a different toy but he never did.
He got other guitars throughout the years and he still puts on shows in our living room. He will even watch music performances on TV and copy the performers moves. I remember one time I taped the finale of American Idol for him and the band Kiss was playing. He got so upset when they broke a guitar at the end of their song that he cried for awhile.
Ryan will still play with guitars but now he is interested in microphones, headsets, a keyboard, and lastly a drum set. In our house where Excedrin is considered a daily vitamin, I am not too thrilled of the drum set idea. But it is all Ryan can talk about so Santa has one for him under a sheet in our garage. The other day a flier came in for Toys R Us with drum sets in there. Ryan carried it around with him the entire day, petting the pictures of the drums and showing all his friends. Then he even took it to bed with him. He told me he is saving his allowance money for a drum set just in case Santa does not bring it to him.
Ryan's love for all things musical has always amused me. Here is a boy who will cover his ears and cry at the sound of a lawn mower but he will sing on the top of his lungs and play a mean pretend show. One of his therapists laughed one day and told me it would be something if Ryan grow up to be some sort of music star. I know that whatever Ryan chooses to do with his life, I will be there cheering the loudest for him.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Did I hear you right

A lot of the therapies for sensory processing disorder seem very strange. I remember when Ryan's therapist first introduced us to brushing Ryan with a surgical brush every three hours throughout the day. I wish I had a camera that day because I am sure the look on my face was priceless. I think I said something along the lines of, "You want me to brush my child, like his whole body, and this will help him how?" His OT laughed and explained how brushing him would give him sensory input which would allow his sensory system to relax.
Even though it was one of the oddest things I had heard, I was desperate to help Ryan and willing to try anything. So I brushed him. Ryan was not very fond of the brushing at first and I had to chase him through the house and pin him down to brush him. Soon enough he was asking for it though.
I never got use to brushing Ryan. I always felt embarrassed when I brushed him, especially in public. I did not notice if it made any difference to his behavior so we stopped doing it after a few weeks. It just was not working for our family.
Brushing was not the only odd therapy we tried. We tried compression vests, jumping on trampolines (which we purchased for Christmas), and gluten free casein free diets. Most of these therapies did not work for us though we did find some very helpful therapies through our therapists. I do not know if the motivation to try all these therapies comes more from guilt or desperation. It is probably a combination of both. I know that with Ryan I felt an overwhelming urge that it was my responsibility to "fix" him. I felt that the buck stopped at me and if Ryan was not eating healthy or making friends that it was my fault and I needed to fix it.
After living with the diagnoses for a few years I now know that it is not my fault and it is okay if Ryan does not act like the other kids or that he does things just right. I am here to help him on his journey in life but he decides the journey.