Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Acronym

Just wanted to let everyone know that the psychologist told us that Brady has ADHD. Not a huge surprise, but having a professional say it really brings it home.  I'm glad she's not seeing any other issues, though. So, now I'm doing all my research on our next steps. I guess I'll be calling the pediatrician today after giving it some time to sink in. Looks like we're going to be trying some medication. I've read lots of articles about how much it can help, but I'm still scared. Hoping that we'll be able to find the right one for him very quickly.

Oh, and the psychologist, who works in the same office as the OTs, said that SPD isn't a real thing. I kind of expected that, but it still made me mad. I kept my mouth shut, though. Told our OT about it the next day and she was surprised. I told her that I haven't read anywhere in the ADHD research that says that these kids like to smell everything, freak out at loud unexpected noises, or have to touch everything, crash into walls on purpose, etc. Ugh. I feel okay with the ADHD diagnosis, though, since we feel like we have a decent handle on the sensory issues through OT and a sensory diet, but he's still having huge problems with focusing on needed tasks and still gets out of control hyper at times.

So, if anyone has any words of wisdom dealing with an SPD/ADHD kid, I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Psychologist Appointment Tomorrow

We have another appointment in the morning, and I'm nervous. We've had our inital appointment where we discussed our concerns, and then we had one where it was just the doctor and Brady playing and talking. We've filled out tons of forms, had his teacher fill out a couple, and kept a journal of his difficulties. Tomorrow, we're supposed to go over her findings and discuss a plan. She wants Brady to come, and he will, hopefully, sit out in the hallway and play by himself while we discuss the grown-up stuff. I'm thinking we'll have to come up with a bribe to get him to do that. He seriously hates being left out of conversations. But she wants him there for part of the conversation, so he has to come along.

So, I really have no idea what to expect tomorrow. Will she give us a diagnosis? Will she say we need to see another type of doctor? Will she suggest medication? Will she tell us he's just a normal kid and we need some parenting classes?

Seriously, I don't even know what to hope for. A formal diagnosis of some sort would help us understand more what he's dealing with and possibly get us more help at school. I'm also scared of a diagnosis because I don't like the idea of him being labeled, especially in the school system. I'm scared about the possibility of medication. I also know that, depending on her findings, medication could help. I'm scared that she'll say he's a normal kid in need of some discipline because that means we're at least partially to blame. I'm worried that she'll just have us try yet another reward system. Trust me, we've tried and I don't need to spend tons of money on coming up with another one. But maybe she has some magic system that'll work for him and he'll actually internalize some of the lessons it's meant to teach. Who knows?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cooking with a sensory seeker

I meant to write a post about this back when we baked Christmas cookies, but never got around to it. I was reminded of it the other day when school was closed due to ice and I decided baking brownies would be something fun to do to entertain the boys for a little bit. Plus, stirring the batter is good proprioceptive work for Brady.

So, I pour the mix into the bowl, and it starts. And I rememer why my patience was seriously tested back when we were baking for Christmas, for other people, who didn't want all of Brady's germs.

"Mom, can I smell it?" "Mom, can I feel it?" "Mom, can I taste it?". Constantly, after every addition of an ingredient. This time, since the end product was just for us, my answer was yes to most of his questions. Really, I'm super glad that he asks before doing it, but, really? Why does he just HAVE to scoop up a fingerful of brownie mix (just the powder) to smell and taste it? I did stop him from trying to immerse himself up to his elbows in it, though. Then, we add the oil, and have to re-smell the mixture (basically putting his nose INTO the mixture), stick fingers in it, and then lick the fingers. Luckily, there are only a few ingredients that go into a box mix of brownies because I'm remembering the constant no's I had to tell him when trying to bake cookies from scratch, with loads of ingredients, for other people. He begged to touch, smell, and taste EVERYTHING. He'd probably stick his ear in the bowl if he thought it would talk to him. I just couldn't, in good conscience, let him get all up into the dough that was going to be cookies for other people.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

An SPD Christmas

I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this, am I? When picking out Brady's gifts for Christmas, the first thought is what would be helpful for his sensory diet. And most of the things he got were to help me help him. Like games with pieces that he can carry through his tunnel or take across the room on his scooter board. And "What's in Ned's Head?" to help him with tactile discrimination. And of course, his new crash mat!!

The best present of the year needs a little background....

Brady is obsessed with Spiderman now, and the top of his Christmas list was a web shooter. He's been trying to figure out how to climb the walls and shoot a web to swing on for awhile now. Less than a week before Christmas, he was talking about how he wished he'd asked Santa for sticky hands and feet to go along with his web so that he could really be like Spiderman. This is when we realized that he thought the "web shooter" was actually going to let him swing from the rafters. So, Daddy goes googling to find him something, anything, that he could safely swing from. We looked at zip lines, but it's a bit cold outside for that and I really needed something active that he could do in the house. Then, we came across the perfect thing for our little guy - The Twizzler II. Not only can he pretend to be Spiderman, he can swing and crash into his mat.  So now we've basically turned our "formal living room" into a gymnasium, and he LOVES it.

Monday, December 13, 2010


We had our first appointment this morning, and it went pretty well. Brady played nicely while we talked about some of the things we're concerned about. We all knew he was listening even though he acted like he wasn't, so she pulled him into the conversation every so often to ask him what he thought about what we were talking about and to get confirmation that he had a hard time with those things. Then, Brady and Daddy went out into the hall while the doctor and I talked privately and I could go into more detail with examples of his behavior, and explaining what type of reward systems we've used, etc. We left with lots of questionnaires to fill out, and a couple sheets for his teacher to fill out. After we get all those back to her, we'll set up another appointment for her to play with Brady. Brady said he liked her and seemed okay with the idea of meeting with her more. I'm really hoping all of this is worth it in the end and we'll figure out how to help him. Never thought we'd have to go to a professional to get help with parenting our kid. Sometimes I wonder if we're overreacting or trying to find something to blame our kid's behavior on. Or, that he's a normal little boy and we just can't handle it. I'm sure plenty of people that know us and him probably think that's what it is b/c he can usually hold it together so well outside of the home. But, then he'll have an "episode" where we're all left exhausted, scared, and overwhelmed (Brady included) and I remember why we started down this path to begin with. We shouldn't have to live like this, always waiting for an explosion and walking on eggshells trying to keep another explosion from happening. He's such a loving, sweet kid and I hope we can take care of all this other stuff so that he can have a happier, less stressful childhood.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Homemade crash pad

I'm so excited! I finally got around to making a crash pad for Brady. Hoping to get the rings and rope ladder from Ikea at some point, and we can have a little therapy area. Plus, we're getting tired of the boys always pulling the couch apart just to jump on the cushions! I found a twin duvet cover at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $15, and as an added bonus, it's a super soft plush fabric. Last one left, like it was just waiting for me. I also found a company near me that basically does custom foam cutting for other companies. They let me use a bunch of foam from their scrap pile, and even cut it up into pieces for me. So excited! They'll be getting it for Christmas, and I'm sure it'll be a hit. It's now hiding in our unfinished basement, and I honestly don't know where it's going to live once it has to come upstairs as it's pretty big.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More on the bus, and maybe some hope for help?

In my last post, I was talking about Brady's bus behavior and how he was going to start sitting by himself.

Well, that didn't exactly help things. I thought he was doing ok, but then the driver called me up one day to tell me that she'd have to write him up b/c another parent had called to complain about his behavior. The next day, I got a call from the Asst. Principal telling me that Brady had scratched another kid while walking from the bus to the school. On the face, from right by his eye down his cheek, drawing blood, for no apparent reason. I happened to be having lunch with him that day, so I stopped by her office afterwards. She had talked to his teacher about his sensory issues, and she was actually pretty familiar with the disorder and things that can help! I was very encouraged. She had already talked to the school's OT about some ideas to help him on the bus and during school. She has an older student with the same problem who she pulls out of class to do "chores" for her while wearing a heavy backpack, and PE teacher will let kids come to the gym for sensory breaks . The Asst. Principal is going to work with the OT to get a game plan in place to help Brady get some breaks during the day. It feels great to have someone willing to help us even though he doesn't qualify for an IEP. We got a release form for our OT to talk to the school's OT. And, as an added bonus, we actually know the school's OT. She's a friend of a friend and we have been to many parties together. I feel like we are actually on the road to getting Brady what he needs. Too bad it took him drawing blood from another kid's face to do it.

So, back to the bus.  Apparently, he's been sliding under his seat to get to the kids behind him and bother them. And he's been grabbing and messing up artwork, even threw one out the window. Sounds like he has been seriously out of control. I truly think it's the noise on the bus that is hyping him up. He used to avoid loud settings like that, but he can now "cope" with it. Problem is, it usually causes him to lose control of his body.

He was off the bus for the last half of last week. Hard for us b/c I have to wake little brother up from his nap to get to school in time in the afternoon. And Brady was seriously averse to the drop off line in the morning. Lots of drama after waiting in the line, pulling up to the curb, and then having to go park in a faraway place and walk him in with Henry in tow.  We're planning on him riding the bus again tomorrow, and I'm nervous. Here's our plan -
1 - He'll have headphones playing classical music and our old iPhone to play games. Hoping the music will drown out the bus noise, and the games will help him keep his hands to himself.
2 - A fourth grader (friend from across the street) will sit with him to help if he needs reminding about turning on his music and playing his games and staying in his seat.
3 - I've been reminding him that having his bottom touching the seat is the only way to be safe on the bus. If the bus is moving, then his bottom needs to be on the seat. Just like when the car is moving, his buckles have to be buckled.
4 - The Asst. Principal is going to try to get a weighted lap pad for him to keep on the bus. He has one in the car, and he is much calmer when he has it on.

I'm scared, but we'll give it a week and see how it goes. I have a feeling I'll most likely be driving him after the winter break b/c it always seems like my best laid plans don't work with him. But, we'll see...