1.23.2006

Why It's Sometimes Better to Hire The Entire Justice League of America Instead of Relying Solely on Wonder Woman

Leelo had a much, much, much better day today. In fact as I write this it is 11:50 P.M. and he hasn't yet tried to escape from his bed once since his 8:30 bed time. This in contrast to the two-hour-plus combat tours his bedtimes have been for the past few weeks.

He was also much more mellow this afternoon at home, after Iron Gate. He was happy to hang out and watch a video, or play with his keyboard, without the aimless circle-wander-stimming and passersby-attacking of late.

It could be that sleep deprivation finally caught up with him, but I suspect it has more to do with the approach Therapist M the OT set him up with, and that Therapist L (and I to a lesser degree) followed up on for the rest of the day.

This morning was only the second time Therapist M had seen Leelo in the last six weeks, due to Winter and Monday holidays. She was visibly shocked by his behavior, by his hitting and chewing and running into chairs, etc. She said that there was probably some negative attention seeking in the mix, but that in her opinion he was acting out because his sensory needs were at an all-time high.

So, she worked on them. In her own words, she went "back to square one." Though he initially resisted deep pressure work on his limbs, once she got him to comply he was tangibly calmer. She did "squishes" on the large exercise ball. She also got him to do a lot of work that put force on his limbs and joints--hanging from the trapeze, pushing furniture around, picking up heavy objects and carrying them. (Apparently going on walks and to the park, which Seymour and Babysitter A and I have been doing to try to wear him out, is valuable exercise--but is not quite what he was seeking.) Once he had mellowed out, Therapist M then let him play and pour rice, etc. They did all sensory work, no motor work at all.

Therapist L then incorporated a lot of similar techniques into his morning ABA session, and then again while he was at Iron Gate. I did as much as I could during lunch and after we got home.

But I must admit, this afternoon's Leelo had almost completely reverted back to the boy we know and love and have been missing during his evil twin's recent reign of terror. He was even able to take a bath with Iz. He only took one half-hearted swipe at Mali. I cannot tell you how relieved we are this evening. I hope it's not just a fluke.

Mali is not one to let the stress level abate, though--toddlers like consistency and so she doesn't want her mom to be any less agitated than is normal! This is why she nursed every hour all night long, and then spent the entirety of my Iron Gate work shift this afternoon screaming like someone was shoving red-hot splinters under the fingernails I've still not trimmed.

She's yelled and protested before, but this was different and so intense that I couldn't leave her there. Being not only a practicing hypochondriac but projecting one, I immediately started fretting about meningitis. Thing is, though, the moment I picked her up she was Little Miss Sunshine. I guess this would be Separation Anxiety, Round Three. I am not amused.

Though I was amused when, at the end of class and after Mali's formal SA diagnosis was declared, Teacher P got nose to nose with our baby and said in a vaguely threatening whisper, "Get over it, Mali."

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