Cranial Osteopathy for behaviour issues in 4.5 yr old DS(11 Posts)
I wonder if anyone has any experience of cranial osteopathy to help behavioural issues in a child?
My DS aged 4.5 yrs has always struggled to focus and concentrate. He sleeps well (approx 10-11 hours a night) but has the energy of a Duracell bunny. We often joke that he does in one day what 2 children do, he's that energetic.
Nursery have often said that he's very intelligent and needs over stimulating - now he's just started school and we want to move him onto the next stage and help him with concentrating and more importantly listening. When he's hyped up (and no I wouldn't describe him as a hyperactive child) he goes into a different world and it takes some work and time to bring him back down to earth.
He gets frustrated and angry at times and I think he needs help learning how to channel that angry energy and also to calm down and play gently/quietly when necessary.
Now he's started school we are paranoid that he will get labelled unfairly - however we don't like to admit it, school years bring labels especially for confident/talkative/boisterous children.
I have considered cranial osteopathy as have heard that before 6 years old that can be beneficial. He had a difficult birth - 45 hours resulting in emergency c-section because he was back to back (only just found out he was back to back due to 2nd pregnancy). He's always resisted and disliked being confined.
Any help would be MUCH appreciated!
Hi, I think it's tempting to look for a 'quick fix,' but I'm not aware of an evidence base for such an approach. What you are describing is a wee boy who struggles to regulate his emotions and arousal levels and labels or no labels I think the way ahead is behavioural strategies to help him master this. Things like clear routine, finding activities which either let him blow off steam (e.g. 5 mins homework then 5 mins trampoline/run up stairs) or cool down (e.g creating a den in his room he can be promotted to go to when getting high/angry - but not as a punishment make it full of nice calming toys and textures). You spoke about work to bring him down so it's more of that and as he gets (much) older helping him to do this for himself. there are lots of ideas out there and school may have some too.
I also think build a relationship with school. Make an appointment, acknowledge the issue, work with them. They should have strategies which can be used with children like your son (he won't be the only one).
I think you are hinting that you don't want to go down the diagnostic/ADHD route. At 4 he is really to little for this and many services won't assess till 6 so school can't really force the issue. As such I think you and school are in a position to work together to meet his needs as they present in class.
I really think you need to look at his behaviour as a behavioural problem, to be honest.
Cranial osteopathy work on babies because the "plates" in their skull is not yet solid, and therefore open to manipulation to relieve pressure, resulting in headaches, crankiness, sleep problems.
What you seem to be saying is that 4 years on his skull has settled incorrectly, causing bad behaviour. Or have I misunderstood?
bissydissy your idea for a cool down area is brilliant, that may work. However I never mentioned the ADHD route - bit confused as to why you would bring that up? He has got a lot on which may also be winding him up - I did approach school about help with his concentration and was disappointed in the teacher's reply - she basically shrugged her shoulders and didn't offer any advice! I thought they would have seen this before, and I'm sure they have, so was unsure as to why she couldn't/wouldn't give advice. Any advice either of you have for helping with concentration would be great.
He was a late starter with his speech and I've often wondered whether the frustration stems from there; he's very good at talking now but probably a touch behind although we're not concerned.
Quin I've read that cranial osteopathy works up to the age of 6, as its from 6 onwards that children's bones start to change. It was just something I read on MN and wanted to explore more, hence the post.
Hi OP, my 4.5yo DS is similar to what you describe. He also had a difficult and prolonged birth and I think this is the reason (possibly some minor brain damage). I tried cranial osteopathy for him when he was around 3yo. We did it once. The osteopath said that she "felt some pressure there" and "there is no need to repeat the session" but "please come back after several months if you feel it's gone back to worse". With all honesty I did not feel any difference at the time and he is no different (albeit more grown up) as of today. I have considered using cranial osteopathy again in my desperate moments, but I don't think it would help. I am sad to say this, but I think there is no cure in relation with his traumatic birth and the only way to help is behavioural strategies, and when he is older, him to learn to live and cope with himself. It is sad to think that he would likely be much different if the birth experience was easier.
Sorry - I misinterpreted when you mentioned being labelled unfairly and thought you were worried about people trying to apply diagnostic labels. I'm guessing you meant labelled as naughty etc? My other reason for thinking about ADHD is because the resources which support kids with ADHD to concentrate are applicable to any child who struggles with attention.
I wonder if the teacher shrugged as she thinks Inattentive 4 year olds are pretty normal and isn't concerned about him.
In terms of concentration I would try:
- really good positive parenting (praise, rewards, clear rules routine etc)
- managing your expectations and giving him small challenges he can achieve
E.g. Doing home work, can he concentrate for 5 mins, better to do 2x 5 minute chunks with praise and stickers etc than fail every night to read a whole book
-put in a routine when catches him when most likely to concentrate he may be too tired/wound up and need either a wind down or burn off
- think also about when you are most patient and don't need to run off to cook tea etc too
- no distractions at home work/reading time
- let him do 5 mins then run off steam if that helps
- some kids can be really sensory seeking and benefit from chewing gum, sitting in yoga ball instead of chair, fidget toy etc when concentrating. Remember it's okay to fidget or lie on belly if concentrating.
Hope those ideas help, trial and error I suppose to see what does. But I suppose clear rules, bags of praise, achievable targets and managing the situation to increase success would be my ideas
Sorry cant proof read on phone
Pick a homework time when most likely to be able to conc'. remember if concentrating is hard may be tired/wired after trying all day in school.
Hi I am a cranial osteopath and it's a treatment that helps babies, children and adults. If you want to take him for treatment, I suggest contacting the Foundation for Paediatric Osteopathy and finding someone in your area who has gone through their postgraduate training. Good luck.
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