Saturday, September 25, 2010
What I've learned is that he is a "sensory seeker," meaning he needs extra sensory input for certain internal senses to kick in. Oddly, when he gets really cranked up if we give him deep or sudden pressure - anything from a long, hard squeeze on his shoulder to literally throwing him onto a huge, cushy dog bed that has been renamed his "crash pad," he calms right down. It's pretty amazing.
The occupational therapist at his school has started working with him - apparently the first session consisted mostly of her putting on a weighted vest (the constant deep pressure helps sensory-seeking kids to concentrate in school) and him commanding, "Take off! Take off!" We're also working with his private OT (the one we see for his post-surgical shoulder therapy) on coming up with a "sensory diet" of exercises we can do for him.
I read "The Out of Sync Child" - which many of you recommended - and was blown away at how perfectly the sensory-seeking examples described Quinn. Now reading "The Out of Sync Child has Fun," which is where we got the idea for the much-loved crash pad.
Still learning, and still kicking myself that we didn't figure this out sooner. I was told that Quinn had been tested for sensory integration issues and showed no sign of it, so anytime a therapist would bring it up I'd tell them he'd already been tested. Now I know he was only tested for being over-sensitive, which he most definitely is not.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I went home and Googled it and found a textbook description of my son as a sensory-seeking kid who is under-responsive to touch and movement. A few of the characteristics are off, but if you read the list below you'll pretty much know Quinn - it's astonishingly, eerily accurate.
I'm encouraged to know there might be a cause for his behavior besides cruelty to animals - which really didn't seem right to me because he LOVES Rosie but can't seem to help himself from being too rough with her. Still, it makes me nervous that I've never heard of this before. Is it real? Quackery? Something in between? If anyone knows about this or has any insights, I'd really appreciate hearing from you, either here or at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you haven't heard of this, either, here's what I learned in a quick Google search. First a general definition and then a definition of Quinn's apparent end of the beach along with those checklists that seem to be written just about him:
Proprioceptive dysfunction refers to a body’s inability to properly process sensory input related to proprioception. The sense of proprioception differs from the other senses of sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch by involving more internal sensory perception by which we receive the pain and movement of the internal organs(1).
If they are under responsive to proprioceptive input (i.e. sensory seeking) they will...
Hyposensitivity To Touch (Under-Responsive):
__ may crave touch, needs to touch everything and everyone
__ is not aware of being touched/bumped unless done with extreme force or intensity
__ is not bothered by injuries, like cuts and bruises, and shows no distress with shots (may even say they love getting shots!)
__ may not be aware that hands or face are dirty or feel his/her nose running
__ may be self-abusive; pinching, biting, or banging his own head
__ mouths objects excessively
__ frequently hurts other children or pets while playing
__ repeatedly touches surfaces or objects that are soothing (i.e., blanket)
__ seeks out surfaces and textures that provide strong tactile feedback
__ thoroughly enjoys and seeks out messy play
__ craves vibrating or strong sensory input
__ has a preference and craving for excessively spicy, sweet, sour, or salty foods
Hyposensitivity To Movement (Under-Responsive):
__ in constant motion, can't seem to sit still
__ craves fast, spinning, and/or intense movement experiences
__ loves being tossed in the air
__ could spin for hours and never appear to be dizzy
__ loves the fast, intense, and/or scary rides at amusement parks
__ always jumping on furniture, trampolines, spinning in a swivel chair, or getting into upside down positions
__ loves to swing as high as possible and for long periods of time
__ is a "thrill-seeker"; dangerous at times
__ always running, jumping, hopping etc. instead of walking
__ rocks body, shakes leg, or head while sitting
__ likes sudden or quick movements, such as, going over a big bump in the car or on a bike