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Advice on dd's sensory issues please

(17 Posts)
Dingle Fri 11-Mar-05 16:19:07

Had a visit from the Learning Disability Team today and I have various "behavioural" issues to make a note of over the next few weeks. I don't think she has behavioural problems as such but at times when she is doing something naughty, dangerous or just inappropriate, I feel I need more input on how to react. I am hoping that she is just being a stubborn little Miss, but you never know!
Anyway, silly little things that I seem to do constantly are really starting to drain me and it would be nice to have just one or two of them "sorted" so that I could use my energy (that's when I have any)on more important issues, like SALT, pyhsio...

Any way- she has her fingers in her mouth almost constantly, she will pull her hair bunches out,she hates the wind blowing in her face, her hair being combed... I have had no real sensory advice since she was a tiny baby but I feel some of this could be related.

Has anyone any advice please?

coppertop Fri 11-Mar-05 16:37:33

The top of ds1's head is very sensitive, although this is getting better. If your dd has something similar then I suppose that could explain her hating hairbrushing and bunches. Do you have an extra-soft brush that you could use instead? A de-sensitising idea I was given was to gently stroke ds1's head with a rough flannel once or twice a day. I don't know how much this will help. Ds1 has quite fine hair and its always kept pretty short.

Dingle Sat 12-Mar-05 08:41:06

Thanks CT! I hadn't really though of scalp sensitivity!I usually use a wide toothed comb with a conditioning spray-her hair is a nightmare in the mornings as she is such a little wriggle bum!Although I don't actually comb the scalp much, IYSWIM, I suppose if there is a slight pulling of any tangles, this could be part of the reason.
I am brushing her teeth with an electric toothbrush, I try to do all around her mouth, gums, lips... she is getting much better coping with this but her fingers are still constantly in her mouth.Her face tends to get rather sore so I am applying creams a couple of times a day, I'm a trained beauty therapist, so she is getting a lovely mini facial at least twice a day now and once again she doesn't make quite so much fuss as she used to. I have also started to blow dry her hair, just to get her used to the feeeling.
I have even thought about using something like "stop & grow" on her nails, but I would worry about her eating, she still uses her fingers to feed quite often!
It seems that she hates the stimulation that I need to give her, but is constantly craving more by chewing her fingers!
She has never had any type of "soother" but I have caught her taking out her scruncies from her hair and gently rubbing them against her nose or her ear, like a child would a comfort blanket!

I feel this is only a small part of her trouble but with no real professional input, I don't know whether I am making matters worse!

Davros Sat 12-Mar-05 08:47:11

I've never gone down the route of formal sensory integration although I'm quite interested in it. Something I found that helped with DS, although he doesn't have specificallly facial or head sensitivitiy, is an aromatherapy massage. It had to be a firm touch and it took a while to get him to let the therapist do her stuff but he really used to enjoy it. It sounds like you could do this yourself for her. Maybe start away from the head and work towards it once you've got her confidence with massage.

coppertop Sat 12-Mar-05 19:26:24

Do you have any contact with an OT? For ds1 and ds2 we had an hour-long session where the OT watched to see what they did with certain toys etc. The most useful bit for us was the questionnaire we filled in. It varies slightly according to the child's age but it has questions about most areas of a child's day, eg things like "My child dislikes their head being tipped back: Always, Sometimes, Never." It's probably not the best of examples but it's full of questions about mouthing things, what kinds of foods they do/don't eat, whether they like to walk on differentt surfaces etc. The OT calculates the scores and gives you a final report. It may be worth asking for a referral if you don't already see an OT. Ds2's name has also been put forward for the CDC's sensory group. This seems to be some kind of parent & child group which uses the sensory room.

Dingle Sat 12-Mar-05 20:42:22

Have been trying to see an OT for about a year now. Amelia was supposed to be referred last May,I chased this up again in September when we saw her Peadiatrician. But in January when I thought I would self refer, they had never heard of her!!
The Learning Disability Team are visiting again next week and also during the Easter hols when ds wil be at home too! They have said that they will chase up the OT too. If anything I am more concerned about her safety seeing as she is climbing over gates, or opening them. She is a little houdini in car seats, high chairs....
I started writing down a few behaviour points today, to me she demands constant attention,and if she doesn't get it, she knows how to; standing in front of TV so the ds can't watch his new video, turning TV off, climbing on coffe table, throwing a toy at DH....and what does DH do he picks her up and cuddles his darling little girl! Writing it down made it look so obvious, but we will see!
I feel I am to blame, I have given her so much of my time and attention for the last 3 years- I thought I was helping her development, not causing behaviour issues!

sis Sat 12-Mar-05 21:16:32

Have you got/read the out of sync child by Carol stock Kranowitz? It is available on amazon here and has some ideas on how to help child overcome different types of sensory issues.

I hope you get an OT - it made a huge difference to ds.

coppertop Sat 12-Mar-05 21:25:39

Oh Dingle. I don't think it's something that you can blame yourself for. A lot of the behaviour sounds like the kinds of attention-seeking things that most 3yr-olds try.

I get annoyed with dh too when I'm trying to ignore something that one of our 2 boys is doing in case it makes it more attractive to them, and then along comes dh who wades straight in to tell them off. Aaarrrgghhhh!

about the OT. It seems to vary so much - even in the same area. Ds1 was referred for OT at 3.5yrs and still hasn't seen anyone. All we got was a letter last September saying that he'd been taken off the pre-school OT list and was now on the school one. The sensory integration stuff he's had has been given by his pre-school last year, the portage worker, the Area SENCO and now his school. Ds2 on the other hand was referred last month. We're due to see the OT in a meeting later this month to work out his IDP. He's also been offered the sensory group at the CDC. IMHO ds1's need was ten times greater than ds2's. Ds2 has a lot of sensory issues but they don't affect his day-to-day living anywhere near as much as ds1's sensory problems did. There seems to be no logic to it.

coppertop Sat 12-Mar-05 21:36:07

This is where I get all paranoid and try to remember how old your dd is. I have visions of you sitting there reading my last post about being typical 3yr-old behaviour and seething as you think "She's not 3. She's 5/6/7."

Dingle Sat 12-Mar-05 22:15:35

No CT, you are right, she was 3 in October!
It just seems that there are so many issues to deal with ATM , and I can't cope. I honestly thought that by giving her all the stimulation and encouragement I was only going to help at least that's what you read in all the info about DS!! By the looks of it I have got it all wrong!
I have a large box of maltesers and a DVD waiting for me. Time to switch off!(I hope)
Thanks, tomorrow is another day!

coppertop Sun 13-Mar-05 21:34:15

Just checking in to see how you are, Dingle. Did the Maltesers help?

Phew! I thought that dd was 3 but it was only later that the paranoia started. My memory is pretty bad at the best of times. I'm generally full of useless information but the important stuff seems to pass me by.

Dingle Sun 13-Mar-05 21:57:14

Yes CT! I have had marshmallows tonightso much for the fitter, healthier Dingle!
Not done much walking either,,,she whispers under her breath!

Just seen Justamom's thread, Amelia does the same with her dips, gravy! She would quite happily just spoon it in on it's own. She also would cram her mouth full, but only with some foods...bananas in particular!

DH is a darling, he usually gets the kiddies in the bath and I have asked him if he feels she is particularly sensitive while having her hair washed, he didn't think so. I have the grand job of drying her and doing her hair, so tonight I really rubbed her hair with the towel before blowdrying it. She really didn't seem to mind, in fact she thought it was funny!

coppertop Sun 13-Mar-05 22:01:33

It sounds like good news all round!

<whispers> I haven't even made it to 3,000 steps today. Yesterday was almost as bad too. Double

Dingle Sun 13-Mar-05 22:04:03

Ssshhh...I am only up to 6900 since yesterday!! Will do a bit of running on the spot to try to at least get to 10,000 before bed!!

coppertop Sun 13-Mar-05 22:15:54

Just checked and my figure since yesterday is <checks to make sure no-one is listening> 6314. I must try harder tomorrow and try to catch up a bit.

Dingle Sun 13-Mar-05 22:25:07

I even let DH have the bag of marshmallows on the settee with him, so that I had to get up and walk to get one!That must have added another 20 steps or so...

This Out of Sync book mentioned CT, I know it sound really silly but do you think it would be useful regardless that Amelia has DS?

coppertop Sun 13-Mar-05 22:33:27

It's still on my "To Read" list but from what I've heard it would be useful for anyone with an SN. I don't think it's restricted to things like autism. Jaysmum may be able to tell you.

LOL about using extra steps to get to the marshmallows. Very devious.

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