Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"brushing" techniques described from another parent...

Here is a quick description of "brushing" that I found through a google search. it is described by a parent of a sensory processing disorder child. Very interesting.

p.s. we have done the brushing 3 times today and jackson LOVES it! He got so excited when I pulled out the brush and said "oh mom ms. jill gave you a brush! that's so beautiful! let's go" He was ready to be brushed and we will see if there are any changes in him!!!

Sensory Integration/Occupational Therapy Recommendations


Purpose: to provide deep tactile input to help organize sensory system, increase focus and level of alertness. It is best to provide technique daily every two hours and prior to activities that may facilitate fear, anxiety, or resistance.

Item needed: surgical brush (may substitute by using bath brush (at Dollar Tree) that looks just like the surgical brush or use opened flat palm side of your hand)


1. Using surgical brush, apply firm continuous deep pressure as you brush from the finger tips toward shoulder. Repeat this ten times, ( as tolerated). Always start at the fingers and end at the shoulder. (Avoid brushing face and stomach).

2. After brushing, apply deep joint compression to shoulder, elbow, & wrist. Make sure child remains still, joints are in alignment. Hold joint and apply pressure for the count of ten.

3. Lastly, apply joint compression to both shoulders at the same time, on top of the head, and lastly, firm pressure above lip using finger tip.

4. This technique can also be applied to legs and feet. Apply pressure to hips, knees, ankles & feet.Suggestions:gradually increase tolerance to technique, ie.. apply 3 strokes with brush followed by joint compression. Do not try to force child to except technique. Try to slowly start out then gradually increase the frequency.try to be sneaky in your approach, for example... as child is engaged with play activity apply input to legsallow child to apply his own brushing at times if desired. This is not an effective substitute approach.introduce brush during play time, ie., shaving creamother activities: inside barrel with pillows wedged around child, hot dog game where roll child in blanket tightly and rock rhythmically, quit box with music or textures to regroup self, bean bag chair to rock rhythmically with deep pressure applied, loofah brush in shower.

Now when we do this we see a calming effect in Noah, it's quite amazing actually.Other things he was doing in his therapies were swinging in a blanket (takes two people and a strong blanket) and as we swing we bounce him against the side of the couch. he also likes jumping on his mini trampoline and crashing into a pile of pillows, and we have a swivel rocker and he loves spinning around and around - to the point where it would probably make you or I throw up! Not him!We've also done obstacle courses, crawling through a soft tunnel, balance beam walking, walking on his hands with someone holding his feet up, and lots of swinging in different types of swings (the PT's office has wonderful variety).So we hope we are back in the swing (no pun intended) of therapy again next week and life gets smoother once again in our little household.

copied from site below...

Monday, April 20, 2009

monday, monday.

Sitting down for the first time today at 10:30 p.m. Crazy busy day but worth it. Jackson had his first official appointment with Ms. Jill, his occupational therapist at Abilities and it went GREAT! Jackson loves her and was very willing to please her and try what she asked him to do. I loved all of her activities that she worked into one session and feel that it was very helpful for jackson. My brain is so tired so I won't go into great detail tonight, but I am so thrilled that we are getting settled in to a place that seems to be right where Jackson needs to be. Jackson had a half day of pre-k, then to baton rouge for his therapy, home for a little while, and then a t-ball game. He is one busy little guy and doing so well. The session included playing in dry rice, beans, and corn with his hands (very cautious at first saying it was "yucky" and "gooey"), whistling with 5 or 6 different whistles, "brushing" (will find info to post later), then actual food therapy with new and favorite foods. Jackson was eager to try what I had brought and I was shocked at how well he did. He ate a whole chocolate pudding, half a strawberry yogurt (after several min. of sticking his fingers in it to test it out), tried a raisin (but spit it out after 3 sec), and even ate 1 bite of 1/4 grahm cracker after comparing it to his morning sticks and seeing similarities!
I am very encouraged, although this is going to be a long process. Please pray we get "in-network" benefits approved so we have money to pay for his college one day without going broke on his pre-k therapy. :) I start the insurance requests in the morning!
For now I am going to leave you with a picture of my 5 year old t-ball star!!!!
NOTE: this is my kid who last year couldn't stand still or pay attention longer than 3 seconds. His first game was awesome. Jackson caught the first ground ball hit of the game and scooped it up, threw it to first, and gave ust he biggest thumbs up and smile!! My heart melted and I am so proud of how much he improved

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New foods this week...

Jackson has surprised me this week and asked for some "new" foods to try! I am all for it, although my hubby thinks there is something a little crazy about rewarding a 5 year old for the new foods he is choosing. In any case, we are making some baby steps in the right direction!!

1. Cherry 7-up (3 sips with a smile and puzzled amazement that he ACTUALLY liked it)

2. Blue-Raspberry Icee (drank the WHOLE darn thing!) thanks cousin riley for the gentle peer pressure!!!! :)

3. Mcdonald's french fries-after watching his new t-ball friends enjoy a meal at mickey d's, jackson didn't want to be the odd man out and asked for MY fries instead of the wendy's standby that dad had brought. (I didn't need the calories anyway!)

so there you have it! my heart is all bubbly and giddy that jackson is making these efforts himself. of course, we have a long way to go, but I will take what I can get.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

so far, so good

The last few days have been pretty good with Jackson and his "therapy" at home. For the last three days we have gotten a family meal around the table about 6 times at various meals, either breakfast or dinner. Jackson has already started to warm up to the idea of sitting at the table to eat. I had gotten in the bad habit of letting him eat on the run, in front of the t.v., or carting around snacks in the car to "take the hunger pains away". All of this to try to help avoid the anxiety and near panic attacks and the very mention that it was time to eat. 3 of the 6 meals jackson did eat one of his foods of choice (bacon or morning sticks) and seemed pretty low key about the whole thing. He is really responding to the reward chart and stickers. He has one chart for trying new foods and another for coming to the table and participating with the family (with no pressure to eat). We have decided that t.v. will be one reward for stars earned at the table and a trip to target for a small game or toy for stars on his eating chart.
It is interesting to note that jackson does very well in a busy restaurant environment and not so well at home. I don't know if that is because he knows the expectations we have when going out and he is on his best behavior or if for some sensory reason he does better with food being offered in a busy place.
This morning jackson came to the table for breakfast and said he didn't want to eat. I told him that was fine and he could just sit and visit with us while we planned out our day. I ate cereal and Logan ate pancakes. After 5 min or so jackson asked for bacon. I happily agreed to make him some. He ate one piece and then got upset. "my tummies are not working!" he said, "they feel sick" I told him he was doing a great job and we put a star on his chart for sitting at the table with us. He then said, "mom, I'm having a hard time eating, my tummy is sad". I hugged him and told him he did super and let him get down. He was obviously stressed and we let him remove himself from the table. He recovered nicely later. We went to the pool (yes, the pool, gotta love spring in louisiana!) Jackson saw his cousin riley order a blue raspberry icee and asked for one. I got him one. He cautiously tasted it and was thrilled. He LOVED it! Drank the whole darn thing! He reminded me that he needed a star sticker when we got home!
Tonight at dinner I grilled chicken, made tater tots and green beans and a salad. I set the table and put one tater tot on jackson's plate. (I found some that are letters and thought he would love to play with them). He came to the table and immediately got nervous. I told him I thought he would have fun spelling things with the letter tater tots and they were not to eat. He again asked for bacon, which I made, (baby steps here). John, logan, and I all started eating our grilled chicken and he ate his bacon. Half way through the meal, logan wanted to sit closer to his brother and moved his plate over next to him. Jackson got very upset and anxious about logan's plate full of food next to him and we had to move logan back to his chair. Overall, though, we seem to be making some very good baby steps forward!!!
Sorry for the crazy long rambling post. Just trying to keep up with everything!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

therapy: Day 1

Goal #1- Get Jackson to sit at the table for meals.

baby step goals:
#1 Get Jackson to come to the table and just sit during meal times.(no expectation of eating)
#2 Get Jackson to come to the table and sit and eat his accepted foods.
#3 Get Jackson to come to the table and see new foods with accepted food without fear/panic
#4 Get Jackson to come to the table and experiment/play with new foods, eventually trying it

This is our game plan to start with. It seems pretty straight forward. But the reality of it is so overwhelming and will require patience, structure, and teamwork. It may take a week or 2 and it could take months to get through theses steps that I have laid out.
This morning John was home so we attempted to have a family breakfast. I put cereal, milk, bacon, and nutragrain bars on the table. We all sat down and prayed like we would for dinner. I explained to jackson that we were going to eat now and we would love for him to join us. He willingly came to the table. Logan poured cereal and milk, as did john and I. We didn't offer anything to jackson and he asked for 1 piece of bacon (a regular accepted food). As he ate, he shifted, bounced, layed down on the bench at the table, straddled 2 benches, and hung upside down from his bench. He ate one piece but found it VERY difficult to be at the table. We re-introduced the sticker chart for reward system and he understood that he would be rewarded for sitting at the table for meal. This was very exciting for him. He lasted at the table for 12 minutes and then asked to get down. Overall, a very good first attempt. He seemed stressed the last 2 minutes about the possibility of having to eat something else and it was obvious he wanted to remove himself from the situation.
As he improves, I will encourage him to sit still for longer periods and we will try to master that before moving on to any kind of food therapy.
Lunch was hard because we were at gramma's with cousins and it was hectic. He did eat 5 wendy's nuggets, a few fries, and drank his strawberry kiwi juice. He seems to do better in busy, louder environments when he doesn't have to focus on what he is eating.
Dinner was 7 pieces of bacon and morning sticks. He was starving when we came in from hours of playing ball in the backyard and a long walk and I knew he wouldn't do well with sitting at the table, so I caved. I guess that is ok for the first day, but already feeling guilty about it. He ate in front of the T.V.
He is now full and happy and headed to bed. I'm tired but excited to see what tomorrow brings!

evaluation and therapy

Yesterday was a very long but productive day. We (my mom, jackson, logan, and myself) packed the car and headed to Baton Rouge (hour and a half drive). We stopped at Target, and then half way in Hammond to eat lunch and stretch and then to BR by 1:15 for Jackson's speech and occupational therapy evaluations at Abilities clinic. After months of phone calls, referrals, email and google searching, and with tons of help from a few special people, I discovered this clinic and realized it was something special and knew jackson should go there. I wanted him to get evaluated for his "eating issues" and get follow-up evals for his ongoing speech therapy for his expressive language delay. As some of you know, jackson has already been in speech for more than 2 years to deal with his language delay and has done well. We have been concerned about jackson's "social awkwardness" and his extreme anxiety with food and eating so we decided to seek additional resources to help him in anyway possible.
His evaluation went well and it is so encouraging to know that there is help out there for parents like us who are dealing with a "sensory kid". Right now it seems a good way to describe what we are experiencing with jackson is a sensory processing disorder. I am so happy that we can set goals for jackson and have a workable therapy approach to help him deal with his anxiety and other issues.
As always, we would love your prayers for patience in dealing with the baby steps it will take to make progress in the therapy with jackson. 99 % of it will be at home with me and I will be the main "therapist" following through with the Abilities therapists recommendations.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

not about the bunny...

As I ponder what this weekend means to me, I am humbled and speechless at the pain and suffering that Jesus endured for me. This song says it all, and what a glorious morning to awake on easter and rejoice in the risen savior!! He is risen and I am forever grateful for HIS sacrifice.

I also LOVE this song by Third Day, Thief. Different perspective, powerful song!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Easter...

Today the boys had their easter parties at school. They were lots of fun, complete with easter egg hunts and lots of candy. I love where the boys go to school, First Baptist, and they LOVE going. Logan had a great time looking for the eggs and couldn't wait to see what was inside of them ALL. Jackson, on the other hand, was totally content to leave the eggs in his basket and wait a little while.
When I picked the boys up they sat in the courtyard at school and wanted to dive in to their baskets. Logan was eating the candy as fast as his fat little fingers could open it. On the way down the hall he opened a packet of smarties and they all went flying. Logan dropped to his hands and knees and frantically picked up (and ate) the fallen smarties as fast as he could. Jackson opened and closed, next, open, close, next egg, open, drop, next egg, etc., until he had opened his entire easter basket hoping to find something he wanted to try. Thinking he was missing out (while watching his brother double fist the chocolate and laffy taffy) he finally settled on starbursts. I opened the orange one for him. He took a bite, flashed me this cheesy grin, and I applauded his effort at trying something new!! What you don't see is the immediate next frame where he spits the bite back into the plastic egg and runs to the nearest trash can. He has also discovered, at home now, that the jelly beans work great for his geo trax trains to haul over the rainbow bridge and then dump into his thomas the train freight cars! Oh well, guess that just means more sugar for logan and no increased risk of cavities for jackson. We will keep trying!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Serious.Life Magazine

I wanted you to know about this publication I’m a part of called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published a new issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia (www.riggsfamilyblog.com). The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

Again, the subscription is FREE, and I know you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues. www.seriouslifemagazine.com

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

my idol...

Ok, so he's not my idol, only Jesus is...but Danny is my pick for fav on american idol! You can't help but like the guy. And boy did that song come from way down deep!! He didn't even tell everyone that he had just flown back from his grandfather's sudden funeral. He seems like a genuine guy who has a lot of talent. I am hoping (and voting) this guy makes it all the way!

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