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It was interesting

Yesterday, I prepped the dotter for the assessment this morning.  I told her we were going to go play with Miss Louise, and that Miss Louise might be able to help her calm down from her tantrums.

Then, at bedtime, I repeated it.

Then, this morning, I repeated it.

Repitition, with 4-year-olds, is a Good Thing.

Miss Louise was awesome.  I have only seen an equivalent performance once, with a veterinarian we had when Dawg was a pup.  This veterinarian sat on the floor with our pup and loved on him and played with him for half an hour.  In the process, our pup had his initial physical examination.  Without pup even noticing.

Miss Louise did the same thing with OmegaDotter.  They played with toys.  They played with magnets.  They played with beaded necklaces.  They colored together.  Miss Louise got OmegaDotter up onto a platform swing.  Miss Louise got OmegaDotter to play on a big balance ball.  And on and on.

When we started out, I watched and said to myself, "Oh, lordy, Miss Louise is gonna tell me I'm full of it--there's nothing going on there!"

But.  But.  After a while, it was obvious.  One technique is to drape the beaded necklaces over the kid's back and lightly rub them against the skin--OmegaDotter immediately said, "Ow!"  So Miss Louise playfully tried them on her own head, then tried them on OmegaDotter.  And, once again, OmegaDotter immediately said, "Ow!"  Same with the arms, the legs.  This is similar to how she behaves with us when coming out of a tantrum--she can't be touched for a while, until she calms down a bit.

Then there is the tendency to sit "W-style".  OmegaDotter does this by preference all the time.  I didn't realize, but it's apparently a no-no, because it discourages developing certain proprioceptive movement abilities, because it's such a stable sitting position you don't need to learn balance, coordination, or how to reach across your body with a hand to the other side.

There was thumping.  There was banging.  (Gentle, but firm.)  All of which OmegaDotter loved.  I asked dotter, "Can you tell Miss Louise how you act when Mommy or Daddy comes to school to get you?"  Dotter was nonplussed, but Miss Louise immediately said, "Dotter, do you go crashing into Mommy and Daddy because you're so glad to see them?"  (Oh, yes.  Crashing, banging, thumping--these are the dotter's favorite way to greet and show love.  I am constantly urging her to "be gentle!")

Then there was brushing her arms and legs with a very soft-bristle surgery brush.  Once again, the dotter loved this.

There was the simple question, "How does she handle medicine--cold medicines, stuff like that?"  Haw haw haw.  I think I've blogged on this issue before.  Let me just say that it is a horrible scene trying to get the dotter to take medicine of any kind.

So.  The end result is that Miss Louise will present me with a report, talk it over with me, send the report to our pediatrician, and we will (no doubt) be going many more times.

Other observations: 

"She's doing so well because she's so very smart and finding ways to compensate!"  Har.  Appeal to the ol' mom pride and joy instinct, eh? 

Some folks think sensory integration therapy is bunk, or a simple result of the placebo effect.  However, there are a lot of folks who think many children adopted from orphanages are likely to have sensory issues, due to the lack of stimulation and lack of one-on-one touching/caring/giving that being one of many being cared for by too few that happens in institutional settings.  Even in the best of cases, you're likely to have four women taking care of twenty kids, all day, every day.  When the dotter came home with us, she needed constant attention.  It was obvious she was starving for it.

I want to be taught to deal with children the way Miss Louise does.  Man, is she good!

The overall thing is that dotter is physically craving and seeking stuff that helps her cope with the world.  Thus, the crashing, banging etc.  And there are times that it all overwhelms her.  Thus, the tantrums, the need to do the foot thing at night, the absolute struggle to get her to take medicines.

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posted by Kate @ 10/05/2006 08:51:00 PM  
  • At 10/06/2006 07:03:00 AM, Anonymous gigi said…

    This is really fascinating to me. I've been eagerly waiting to hear how your appointment went and I'm happy that you talked about it in such detail. I recently wrote an article on ADHD and alternative treatments. The research was so interesting- mostly because I grew up with a brother who had major behavioral issues. I never knew about the sensory aspect of it all and it makes me happy to know that there are legitimate explanations for behavior that seems to make no sense. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and Dotter. I hope that you're able to come up with a good plan of "attack". I'm sure that Dotter wants this as much as you do!

  • At 10/06/2006 11:00:00 AM, Anonymous Theresa said…

    I was thinking you were going on Monday so I was so happy to read things went well. Your reaction to Miss Louise was how I felt re. the EI team who came out to our house after we were home a year.

    It sounds like it was affirming/reassuring to find out that your gut/intuition re. Dottir's needs are on target.

    Thank you so much for sharing so many details. Our dd has never had a problem taking medication-OTC stuff like Motrin, Tylenol but she's also never had to take any antibiotics.

    But she refuses to wear any kind of blouse (cotton twill) and doesn't like jeans too much "TOO TICKLY!" So pretty much all I buy for her now are stretchy pants and soft, knit tops. She loves anything soft and can really get bothered by tags-though I try to hold off cutting out the tags unless it is really freaking her out. Also when she is upset/ having a tantrum-most of the time I can calm her eventually by holding her and rubbing her back.

    I had not thought of contacting an occupational therapist. I had only just begun to see a therapist re. anxiety issues. Thanks for throwing out another alternative.

    I will be thinking about you and OmegaDottir as you continue to work through these issues with her.

    Best wishes.

  • At 10/06/2006 12:02:00 PM, Blogger Miss Cellania said…

    I read that whole page and I'm still not sure what W sitting is. Would it be where a child sits on their crotch with the inside of their bent legs against the floor? I sure couldn't so that!

  • At 10/06/2006 12:21:00 PM, Blogger Kate said…

    Quick response to Miss C.--Here are some pics of w-style sitting:

    Pic 1

    Pic 2

  • At 10/06/2006 08:08:00 PM, Anonymous Theresa said…

    Interesting about the W sitting. I remember the Early Intervention team commenting about dd squatting. One of the women said something to the effect that Asians tend to have looser ligaments (sorry I am paraphrasing) in the hip joint. This apparently may be from generations of women squatting for long periods of time each day performing daily tasks. The team did not discuss it as a developmental problem but told me to encourage dd not to stay in that position for extended periods of time. What I thought was interesting was when they said we as Americans don't find squatting comfortable-I actually have never had problems staying in a squat and I happen to have been born with hip dysplasia.

  • At 10/10/2006 06:06:00 PM, Blogger T-shaped Girl said…

    Very interesting- thanks for sharing your experience. My daughter is much younger than yours (only 19 months) but she has someof the same issues. We've been dealing with OT, and it's helpful to hear about your experience. I approached it with the attitude of "why not try," and ended up learning a lot about helping LT cope when she is overwhelmed.

    Anyway, good luck moving forward. Hope you learn some great techniques!

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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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