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 Post subject: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:02 pm 
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i know several people have kids with varying degrees of sensory issues so i wonder if people can help me with some ideas of things to do with BabyPunk who has some mild texture and also noise issues.
im more concerned with the texture/touching stuff one.
i'ts weird i cant quite put my finger on exactly what it is she doesnt like to touch becacuse it's not everything it seems random.

seems like manmade things she doesnt have an issue with and wants to TOUCH ALL THE THINGS but some things in nature (but not all) she wont touch.

so for example we were on vacation last week and she got worse as the week went on about sand.
the first day she was kind of ok with it and walked on it with her sandals on and even walked in the water a bit. i think she sat on the beach and was sort of ok. the second day she was more hesitant then the rest of hte week she refused to go anywhere near the sand and if a grain of sand touched her she freaked out.

last year we went to Cape Cod for a week and she loved the beach. she didnt exactly "play" in the sand but liked picking it up and letting it run through her fingers. we had a sand bucket we filled with water and she had liked splashing in that. this year not so much. last year she was even crawling in the sand becuase she wasnt walking yet.

where we were had a lot of coral everywhere and she was ok with that so i was picking up various types of coral of the beach for her to touch.

the only thing i can think of is it was also VERY windy all week and i think her hesitancy with touching things like sand on top of it being very loud and constant wind was too much for her to process but i dont know. im going to talk to the OT who comes to see us but we dont see her for a couple weeks.

she also has big issues touching food type things or getting her hands dirty but she has all sorts of food issues so that isnt a big surprise.

as far as things we do (which is what i need help with) i have three tupperware tubs and one is full of dried beans and she loves this one. anoher is filled with pasta and dependong on the day she might be mildly interested in it. the third is filled with rice and she will not touch that. wants nothing to do with it.
the only tip ive gotten so far is to mix small amounts of rice in with the beans so slowly acclimate her but i havent done that yet.

any other tips or things we can play with?
she doesnt like paint either. like the idea of her finger painting makes me laugh because it would never happen in a million years. she might maybe use a paintbrush but that is pretty short lived

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:11 pm 
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There are bazillions of "sensory" play idea on pinterest - have you looked there? - with paint I have seen of course using different types of brushes, but also sponges and other household objects (matchbox cars rolled through, toy dinosuar footprints) that would get her interacting with the paint without having to touch at first. My kid really enjoyed the one where you put down a peice of wax paper and then blobs of paint and then a layer of saran wrap followed by taping the edges down. They can smoosh the paint all around mess free!

My child really doesn't have sensory avoidance other than what he puts in his mouth so the OT is more working on vestibular/proprioceptice things with him, but have started a brushing protocol which I understand can be super helpful for avoiders. Perhaps you can talk with your OT about if that would benefit BP?

ETA: In addition to brushing you can ask about vibration. We try to use a little massager on Giles which I read can be helpful for both hypo or hypersensitive kids!


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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:11 pm 
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I'm a fully qualified Ayres Sensory Integration Therapist, LP. Please be cautious about starting any brushing protocol without a professional seeing your daughter, as you can activate her limbic system/fight-flight-freeze reaction and make things uncomfortable for her.

I'll PM you with some more information, if you would like - but I'm afraid I'll need to wait until Friday before I'll have more time.

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:57 pm 
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i hadnt thought of pinterest i will check it out.
this is the type of thing i really stink at like i just cant think of really obvious things for htis type of thing.

thanks for the tip about the paint under the plastic wrap! that was great! i just did it with her and at first she was really unsure of it which is totally typical for her but after a bit she was smushing it around with gusto uncharacteristic for her!

heres a picture of her
Image

Ruby Rose, thanks! we have Early Intervention that comes every other week for her feeding issues and i believe the woman is an OT. at our first appt i remember her saying something about potentially trying something about vibrations or brushing or something cause i remember i had no idea what that meant.
we havent done it yet and basically have proceeded really slow in general but ill let her handle any of that stuff since i dont even undetstand what it is :-)

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:24 pm 
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I'm glad she liked the pain under the wrap! So cute!

RubyRose - I would love to hear more ideas and thoughts from you! We are just dipping our toes in the sensory waters.

We have been seeing an OT only for about a month now with once a week sessions and she has been just trying things out to see what he responds to so she can prepare a sensory diet for my 2.5 year old. So far her only home recommendations have been teaching us how to do twice daily joint compressions and once daily brushing which we do while he lays on a beanbag chair - we already had a mini-trampoline in the house which he jumps on ad lib. I was just reading about the Ayres method and it sounds a little different from what our therapist is doing (although it may not be.) Every week she has been running him through different obstacle courses that focus on a different "theme" such as upper extremity weight bearing (trapeze bar, crawling through tunnel, carrrying weighted balls), vestibular (platform swing, airlog swing, scooter board), proprioceptive (trampoline, bungee chair) (I may have these terms all wrong too) and then she does some fine motor skills with him and I think tries to assess if his focus is better after certain activities? He goes right to speech therapy after OT and I know they discuss how he does with that therapy in relation to what he did in OT. She has a weighted vest for him to wear while doing the deskwork stuff but hasn't decided if it is something that would benefit him or not yet. His Speech therapist is also looking at the sensory aspect of things and has been trying to use a vibrating tool in his mouth for months now without success. She has reached the point where he will now allow it on his cheeks and lips but inside is just NOT happening (yet!) She has recommended that I massage his face daily and use a vibrating toothbrush on him....um, yeah...not happening!

I said all that, not really asking a specific question I guess. Just what we are doing at the moment. It is a whole new, fascinating, and quite intimidating world!


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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:31 pm 
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we did joint compressions faithfully for a long time, and i do think they helped a lot. my daughter loved vibrating things (we had a crib vibrator clip on thing that was a constant companion for years). brushing, it is funny you say that because we had an OT who was nuts for brushing and we tried that once and that was that, no frigging way, that did not happen again.

annasrobbie, it is a whole new world, and i remember feeling like i was going down the rabbit hole.

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:39 pm 
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I don't have any specific advice because it sounds like my daughter was the exact opposite of yours. Mine is extremely sensory seeking with respect to tactile input. She does have texture issues with food, but you are already working with people for that. I did want to recommend the book "The Out Of Sync Child." It was erg helpful for me for understanding the underlying issues and it has some concrete suggestions on ways to help.


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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:50 am 
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thanks for the book recommendation. looks like one of the libraries near by has it so ill have to check it out.

we must not have delved very far into sensory type stuff as everything you guys are talking about is super foreign to me.
i actually looked up brushing and i dont think that was ever mentioned now that i actually read about it. i do remember her talking about vibrations or something on her jaw. we havent done it yet though. she has a couple toys and toothbrush type things that vibrate and she has brought them out and we have finally gotten to a point where she will tolerate their existance and might even let us touch her hand with them or hold them herself.
she doesnt want them near her face but again we are going really slow. though we have an electric kids toothbrush sometimes she is interested in and even put it in her mouth once.

our main focus is obviouisly her eating issues but the sensory stuff plays into that. so we work on her tolerating things touching her hands becuase if she isnt going to tolerate it touching her hands she's not going to let it anywhere near her mouth.

im going to talk with the OT next time she comes over about my other sensory concerns and see what she says.

the other thing she does which drives me crazy, and im not sure if it's sensory related but she basically wants us to do everything for her. especially like artsy craftsy stuff.

so for example obviously i get finger painting is out of the question because she doesnt want to touch the paint but if i give her a paintbrush she's still like not taht interested.
i have some stamps and some ink pads and she seems to really like the idea of it but rarely does it herself. she wants us to do it. and it's not that she isnt interested because sometimes she asks to go and do it but then wants me to sit there and stamp them for her.
i just havent found the right thing yet for her i guess. she also likes the idea of play doh and us makign things for her. she did touch it a few times so she's not totally anti touching it. i dunno. it drives me crazy.
even blocks. sometimes she will build but a lot of the times she grabs your hands and pushes them to the block she wants you to pick up then to where she wants it.

we have been calling her Foreman Worm and Director Worm because she is so damn bossy (one of her many nicknames is Baby Worm)

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:43 am 
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My child does the same thing. Typically if he tries something once and it doesn't work exactly perfectly then he wants us to do it for him forever after. An example is stringing beads. He loves playing with the beads (big mellissa and doug beads on a shoelace) but he likes to hand me the bead and let me string it. BORING. His therapist says it is a learned behavior (coupled with his own personality) of us helping him with things so she suggested we really try to take a step back and NOT just do things but rather if he needs or insists on us doing something then we should try our best to just assist like with hand over hand. Also making the activity something he CAN do on his own is important so "scaffolding" basically making the task easier and slowly building on the skills he has until he does the whole thing himself. An example with the stringing beads was the therapist had a jumprope and cut up pool noodle "beads" that she let him use a few times (stringing the pool noodle onto the jumprope), then she brought out large plastic beads with a long plastic "needle", and once he became proficient at that we went back to our own beads, adding tape to the end of the shoelace to make the stiff part longer so he can easily get it. Apparently fine motor activities can be really affected by sensory stuff...seems like everything is affected by the sensory stuff!!!

The book recommendation is a good one. I need to reread it now that we are actually in therapy. There is a companion book about the sensory child at play that apparently has more idea for sensory activities but I haven't read it yet.


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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:48 am 
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torque wrote:
brushing, it is funny you say that because we had an OT who was nuts for brushing and we tried that once and that was that, no frigging way, that did not happen again.

annasrobbie, it is a whole new world, and i remember feeling like i was going down the rabbit hole.


So interesting how different kids needs different input. Giles LOVES the brushing. When I get it out he runs to his bean bag chair, flops down and holds out his arm. Then during the brushing he lays there gazing off into space with his mouth hanging open and a beatific expression on his face.


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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:38 am 
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annasrobbie wrote:
His therapist says it is a learned behavior (coupled with his own personality) of us helping him with things so she suggested we really try to take a step back and NOT just do things but rather if he needs or insists on us doing something then we should try our best to just assist like with hand over hand. .


see that's exactly the part i struggle with! it's like when exactly am i helping in a good way because she has sensory issues and when am i just doing things for her!
she does it alot with puzzles. i know she knows how to do them but sometimes she just wont. and i sit there and im like "can Charlotte do it? show mama how you do the puzzle" etc til she just loses interest. i dont think it's a touching thing either because they are wooden melissa and doug puzzles and she will do it sometimes so she's not against touching them.
it's definitely part of her personality too. she apparently takes after my husband in the sense that she doesnt do things until she is confident she knows how to do them so she doesnt really *try* to do things she just does them one day.
but i think while that was fine with some of the gross motor skills, things like arts and crafts you do actually have to like practice at.

ill try the hand over hand but im not sure it will work with her. she seems to have an issue with people doing that to her. i was trying to teach her how to hold different fingers up for counting and also how to hold 2 fingers up to show she's going to be 2 and she repeatedly bats me away.

i think ill try stepping back more. before i was like "oh she's just xx months old she must need help"but i think some of the things are more in her grasp now and i need to not be a softy ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:23 pm 
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ah, and i wanted to add, that book was also one of the first books i read when we began our whole journey, it was great for giving me an idea of what was out there. it also helped me realize our first pediatrician was completely out of his league.

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:59 pm 
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i think just the season changing is going to be a big help for us sensory wise.
last fall she was just beginning to walk so when we would go to the playground and stuff it was really just sort of toddling a bit and mostly in the swing.
then there was the whole long horrifyingly awful cabin fever inducing winter.

now when we go she can walk around on her own and when we go outside she likes to investigate stuff and poke at stuff and seems a lot more willing to touch things than i would have expected given her general hestitancy.
she pretty much doesnt want to pick up sticks but likes leaves and weird seed pods and other misc things.
she loves being outside so i try to get her out there as much as possible and basically get her to touch random crepe.

also it's just different noises and stuff. i think the wind is a big problem for her. there was the whole issue on vacation with the beach and the wind then one day when we were walking she like wouldnt move when it was windy.
she's pretty bad when other kids come near her on the playground. she pretty much launches herself at me regardless of her own safety but i think she just needs continual exposure.

today i even had her sponge painting (ie dipping sponges in paint and hten onto paper)
i had to keep a cloth nearby for when she freaked out if too much paint got on her hand but i was frankly surprised that she touched it at all.

im eager to speak to the OT this week when she comes

hurray for spring!

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 2:08 pm 
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i just wanted to add to this thread that there is a companion book that goes with that book the Out of Sync Child called the Out of Sync Child Has Fun and has activities to help with each various sensory area that kids have issues with and also with gross motor and fine motor skills.

i got it out of the library and just have quickly skimmed through the tactile chapter because that's what BP has issues with and it looks pretty good.
it has has blurbs with each activity on how to "cope" and i think it's how to cope with the child if they get frustrated or for the parent when they get frustrated because the kid doesnt have the same reaction to a lot of things that most toddlers do and how to work through that


at the very least it's a bunch of stuff to do with a toddler.

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 5:29 pm 
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I have been meaning to get a look at that book - thanks for the reminder!
She did a fun little sensory thing last week in therapy with Giles - bubble wrap taped to the table with finger paint squirted on. He smeared the paint around the bubble wrap and squashed the bubble and practiced say "pop" when each one popped. He loved it. I need to buy bubble wrap because we never get packages with it anymore!


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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 6:37 pm 
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that sounds like fun!

i tried the shaving cream exercise from the book today with small plastic animals.
basically you take a cookie sheet and squirt shaving cream all over it.

she wanted nothing to do with it but she didnt hate it so much that she wanted me to get rid of it. as usually she wanted to watch me play in it.
i kept it out for like 30 mins to see if she would warm up to it the more i played with it but no.
the closest i got is i hid some of the animals in the shave gel and got her a spoon and told her to dig. she dug for like 15 seconds and then was done.

the book says to use plain shaving cream that is scent free and i used some old travel size shave gel that my husband had lying around that smelled kind of strong. i know the EI lady says that kids with sensory issues sometimes have really strong senses of smell so maybe that was bad but it just gets frustrating because i sometimes cant get her to do anything.

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 5:23 am 
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LP, if you want to try it again but not buy shaving cream, you could use whipped up chickpea brine - it should have a similar texture but almost no smell.


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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:12 pm 
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this is kind of random but i thought i would post it here for anyone else struggling with sensory issues in case it helps their kid.

i took BP to a local museum last week we have been to a few times. i love taking her to museums during the school week because they are usually pretty empty, not many kids there and because of that she is much more comfortable and can interact with things rather than clinging to me. for whatever strange reason when we went last week the museum we went to was an absolute madhouse. there was 8000000 kids there. it was very noisy and the museum is in a converted house so the room are kind of small. needless to say BP was displeased with the situation. she was scared and didnt want to go in and wouldnt let me put her down, etc. i thought we were going to have to leave because it was too much for her. we walked through a few rooms and she still wouldnt get down then we got to one that has different things to show about air movement and she let me put her down by a table that had ping pong balls on top of it and then what basically looks like vacuum cleaner hoses blowing air coming out of it. the point is to blow the balls around with the house. so she liked that and there is stuff on the wall that shimmers when you point the hose at it. at some point being silly i pointed the hose at her face and blew the air on her and she thought that was good times. and there was a grate you could stand on with air blowing up and she liked that too.

at the time i didnt think much of it but she noticably calmed down and was less anxious. i asked her if she wanted to go see what was in another room and all by herself she marched into the next room over which was set up like a little kids cafe with fake plastic food and there was a million kids in there playing and grabbing at stuff and she stood at the table with my mom and played for quite a long time with all the other kids running around her. we spent the rest of the time at the museum doing pretty good for her. some things were still too scary for her to do but overall she did good. i really didnt have to pick her up and she handled all the noise and other kids around her well. i was in complete shock.

the more i thought about it the more i realized the air blowing in her face must have been some sort of sensory thing to help her calm down. i dont quite understand why but my hunch was it was more than just a coincidence. (based on her history it would be really unusual for her to all of a sudden calm down randomly)

so today we went to playgroup which has always been a struggle for her. shes doing A LOT better but it's not easy. we get there early before the other kids so she has time to settle in and while she was climbing on a play structure i just blew in her face a few times with my breath and she thought that was silly.

later i was talking with our OT who is part of the group that runs the playgroup and telling her about the museum and the air blowing and she agreed she thought it was some sort of sensory thing that helps her and was telling me ways i can use it to help her and i look around and my little barnacle friend is just GONE. there are other kids around and she is far enough away from me i dont even know where she is. (the place where the playgroup is is totally safe and she cant escape but there are a couple different rooms). she had wandered off with the social worker and were playing with some snow she had brought in. this was after she spent the entire morning telling me she didnt want to go to playgroup and how scary playgroup is. she did UNBELIEVABLY well the rest of playgroup. she actually sat by herself (rather than on me) for circle time and i was able to leave when the other moms did which i havent been able to do for awhile. when group was done the social worker showed me a video of her going to town painting and using a little paint dauber thing during the craft time. i was flabberghasted.

i mean we've been working hard to get here in other ways but i think for whatever reason the blowing of air in the face helps her calm down.

my OT suggested buying a little hand held fan and making a "calm down" spot in our house where she can go to and pet her stuffed dinosaurs and use her fan when she needs becuase she also has a really hard time calming down on her own when she is upset.

i know every kid is different and what works for one would be the worst thing for another but i had to share because it was such a random thing i stumbed upon

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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:21 pm 
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That is so cool and exciting! I really like the fan idea too


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 Post subject: Re: sensory exercises
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:21 pm 
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That is so so so amazing and wonderful, LP! Hopefully this gives a lot more power to the both of you to help manage her sensitivities.

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