Friday, August 24, 2007

another Kendal day

Another Kendal Day!

We went to The State Health Dept in SLC today to have Kendal's hearing tested. I know she can hear perfectly, but the Early Intervention folks don't. It went great and guess what? She can hear perfectly!! So, that is no longer an excuse! After we got home, the occupational therapist that works with Early Intervention (EI) had an appointment with us. I love the term Occupational Therapist for toddlers. I have a good friend who is an OT and he teaches people how to shave again after an accident, helps brain injury patients deal with life, etc. (At least I think that is what he does!) So, Kendal gets to learn how to shave again. That is what I tell people anyway. Today was the OT's 2nd visit. The 1st one was very enlightening, I learned more from her in 1/2 hour than I did in a couple of quarters of psychology at USU!!
Anyway, today was no different. She blew me away with her knowledge and explanations that made PERFECT sense for Kendal and her issues. Matt and I have talked about alot of Kendal's behaviors, but we never knew WHY or WHEN or WHAT to do about it. So after an hour and 1/2, this is my assignment for the next 2 weeks until she comes again:
Every morning give Kendal the choice of 1 soft toy that she can chew on all day(sounds like a puppy, I know) and hold her to it. I can't let her mangle anything other than what she picked for that day. Currently she mouths and chews EVERYTHING in site, and sometimes out of site. I learned from the last OT visit that she is an 'oral sensory seeker.' During this visit I learned even more, she is also a vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile sensory seeker. Sounds impressive huh? Big words for WILD AND CRAZY!! Just kidding.
Okay, I also get to play in the mirror twice a day with her touching our face parts and rubbing different textured fabrics and such on our faces. When she gets onery, the OT called it 'over stimulated and disorganized' we take a few minutes and dance, play 'row row row your boat' , or go downstairs and swing. Yes, we installed a swing downstairs from the ceiling/floor beams this summer for her since she couldn't go outside during the day when she was on ACTH. Very handy. These actions fulfill the vestibular sensory seeking. We get to play 'put it in the box' game a few times a day. She is a CHUCKER also, a very technical term I made up to describe how she throws everything! Okay what else, to deal with the proprioception sensory seeking, I get to play pillow squash and actually squash her with pillows, give 'riggors' hugs, and give her deep pressure massages everyday because for some strange reason, that is what makes her feel good and not so frustrated. All of these activities that I am supposed to do are supposed to help her channel all of these sensory seeking behaviors into socially acceptable behaviors. When she goes to preschool hopefully she will only chew on one chosen kids' shoe instead of all of them (geez I'm kidding), be happy to swing her body by dancing instead of banging her head into the bean bag to get the same effect, be content with a texture board book instead of feeling all the different textures of all the toys along with everyone's clothing, and feel good when the teacher gives her a tight squeeze instead of running into the wall to get the same feeling.
I am sure there is more, I would have to go look at my objectives paper. But that is what I get to go with now. I think just keeping her little pirana jaws off of every stuffed animal, blanket, and article of clothing in the house will be a big job. When will dinner get made?
I really did learn alot today that makes complete and total sense to me. I hope I can do what I need to do to help her become the person she is supposed to become. She is a little sweet heart and has lost most of the puffiness and is really becoming her old spitfire self.
The speech thing is gradually getting better. She said 'ought oh' today and looked out the window at Derek's house and said "Dada.' Not too bad since she used to call him 'Dedak.' She used to scream that name all through church while he was passing the sacrament! I look forward to that day again! But by then Derek might be blessing it instead.
I was thinking today that I am also an oral sensory seeker. I seek out all the chocolate, ice cream, etc in my house to arouse my oral senses!
Every kid, the for sake of their parents, should have a few hours with an Early Intervention Occupational Therapist - there is a reason and excuse for every behavior, good or bad! Although she did tell me not to get terrible 2 year old behavior with sensory seeking behavior mixed up. How do I do that?


Anonymous said...

I am so glad you found ways to communicate with Kendal and also understand her more. I felt that way with Thomas and his speech. It made me more patient with him because before there was such a communication barrier. It's nice to have someone come and explain things to you and then you're like, "Oh ya, that makes sense" I guess that's what they get paid to do, lol!

Brittany said...

Don't you just love the OBJECTIVES paper they give you. More like PAPERS, It can be overwhelming, but It sounds like you are doing great...I am very impressed with you OT vocab!!! You are a great mom, and kendal is lucky to have such a loving, patient, understanding mother :)

Krista said...

I am so impressed with your patience. It must be a hard thing to deal with, but knowing that the hard work will pay off in the end has got to be worth it. Keep up the good work!

Rachel said...

Thanks Guys!


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