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.

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