Thursday, October 7, 2010


I haven't given an update on where we are with Brady lately, so here it is.

A couple months ago, in the midst of our very difficult summer, I had made an appointment to have Brady re-evaluated for OT b/c I felt like he was back sliding quickly after 8 months without OT. Last week was the earliest they could see us. At this point, I keep feeling like he's doing better, but I think it's more that he's now in full day school and I'm not dealing with his antics all day long. On the weekends, Daddy's around most of the time, taking a lot of the burden off of me. And, we've all gotten better at recognizing when he needs to bump and crash and climb and kick and we (Brady included) now know of ways to get it appropriately. Still, he's been having a lot of behavior problems that could or could not be SPD-related. So, off to the evaluation we go. She does the normal fine-motor testing, everything's caught up there (good, but means insurance won't cover any OT now). Then she does some muscle and reflex testing. Found out something new there - he was asymmetrical tonic neck reflex, something that is supposed to go away by 6 months of age and that is now hindering his ability to hold his pencil correctly. He grips it kind of weirdly and too tight in order to fight the reflex that shouldn't be there. It was a simple test to find this out, but no one had done it before. And I did it to my husband. Guess what? He has it too!

By the end of the session, Brady was getting bored and jumping on the padded bed in the testing room, so the evaluator got to see that side of him. She gave him a sensory toy to play with, too. Then, she got to see a little bit of the behavior problems that we've been dealing with. He refused to give up the toy. He screamed that he wanted to be alone as he tried to hide from us. In my mind, I know that's what he does when he starts feeling threatened and is scared he'll start hitting and kicking. Too bad this wasn't the time or place to run off and hide. We got him out towards the waiting room and he did finally give up the toy - by throwing it at the OT. Then, we took the next ten minutes trying to get him to pick it up and hand it to her. He is just so darn defiant!! That's when she emphatically re-answered an earlier question I had asked - "Yes, I think it would be a very good idea to talk to the psychologist". I've had this nagging feeling that there's more to Brady's problems than just the SPD. I feel like we've got a decent handle on it, but he's still acting out. So, we've filled out the paperwork and are waiting on a call to set up an appointment with her. And, in the meantime, we're going to do some more OT, once a week, to make sure his system is organized before we start anything else.

In other news, we met with his teacher later in the week and she thinks he's doing fine. Not any worse than some of the other boys. Just a bit fidgety mostly, started doing cartwheels one day, hitting someone the next but overall not a disruption to the classroom. He's having a little trouble getting some of his work done, but it's getting better. We told her some things she can do to help him, and we just hope she'll do them and he'll be able to progress well in school.

Friday, October 1, 2010


As part of the SPD Blogger Network, the September Blog Carnival was to post about Sensational Siblings. I've been planning to write a post about siblings for awhile now, but I'm finally getting around to actually doing it. I've been reading some of the posts so far, and I'm seeing alot about older siblings coming to understand the younger ones difficulties and finding ways to help him do better. Unfortunately, our SPD child is the oldest and doesn't have that example.

For awhile, we thought Brady just might be an only. He was such a handful that I knew I couldn't handle another one as I saw most of my friends having their seconds. We finally decided to have another, and we were so blessed with a little brother for Brady. He loved babies, even chose to play with them instead of other kids his own age at playgroups. The biggest problem we had when Henry was a baby was that Brady didn't know where his limbs were, and those limbs were constantly on the move. It was exhausting just making sure that he didn't hurt Henry by accident and at the same time making sure he was able to play with him and give him the love he wanted to. Now that Henry is 2, they are best friends. Henry follows him around and copies everything he does (good and bad, unfortunately). And Henry is such a sweet, calm, snuggly little one. I'm so glad we got to experience that since Brady never liked to be held much and couldn't be left alone as a toddler b/c he was too destructive and I was scared he'd get hurt. Henry will go off to the playroom and play quietly by himself while I get other things done.

I do have to say, though, that it's tough with the oldest one having sensory and aggression issues. Henry copies EVERYTHING. I see some of Brady coming out in Henry. A lot of it is typical toddler behavior (which Brady hasn't completely outgrown) that will hopefully get better, but I worry that if we don't get a handle on Brady's problems, Henry will view that as how his behavior is supposed to be.

Henry misses Brady terribly while he's at school. As soon as the bus pulls away in the morning, Henry mopes back home saying "want Brady back". It's very sweet, and he's very excited to go pick him up in the afternoon. Problem is, Brady usually needs a little alone time after school, and he refuses to go to his room. Henry's too young to understand and just wants to play with his brother. And when someone gets in Brady's space at the wrong time, they get hurt. So I have to keep a crying toddler away from his brother so that nobody gets hurt, while somehow cooking a decent dinner (Brady doesn't get home until 4). Poor Henry does get abused a little. Brady also goes through phases of slapping him or pushing him down whenever I leave the room just for fun, but that seems to be getting better since Brady has realized that I have eyes in family room even when I'm in the kitchen.

It's funny how quickly little kids learn to protect themselves. Henry has now learned to duck and cover when Brady starts running around like a crazy person not looking where's he's going. He also listens very well to the command "Watch out, Henry!" And Brady is also learning to give that command when Henry's a little too close to line of fire.

Henry has also helped me see that Brady really was a handful, and it wasn't just bad discipline. So many of my friends would tell me that their kid just knows such and such is a rule so they do what they are supposed to do. Always made me feel like I was doing something wrong. A lot of them had handfuls for second children, so maybe they are now seeing that it wasn't that they were such good teachers, but they're first children just liked to please. Whenever I have to correct Henry, he gets this sad look on his face and says "k" in his little voice. Or, I threaten time-out, and he'll go there on his own and actually stay there. With Brady, time-out always turned into a game of chase, and we ended up having to buckle him down to an old car seat to teach him how to stay in time-out. And when I count, he asks what happens when I get to three. He's not worried about pleasing anyone, just wants to know if the crime is worth the punishment.

All and all, I am so glad that they both have a brother to grow up with, and am actually amazed at how well they can play together sometimes. Brady loves to make his little brother laugh, and he can be so sweet and gentle with him. They kiss each other's boo-boos. It's times like those that make other the stuff worth putting up with.