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Showing posts from June, 2014

The Proprioceptive System

Proprioception is the process by which the body can vary muscle contraction in immediate response to incoming information regarding external forces, by utilizing stretch receptors in the muscles to keep track of the joint position in the body. SIGNS OF PROPRIOCEPTIVE DYSFUNCTION: 1. SENSORY SEEKING BEHAVIORS: __ seeks out jumping, bumping, and crashing activities __ stomps feet when walking __ kicks his/her feet on floor or chair while sitting at desk/table __ bites or sucks on fingers and/or frequently cracks his/her knuckles __ loves to be tightly wrapped in many or weighted blankets, especially at bedtime __ prefers clothes (and belts, hoods, shoelaces) to be as tight as possible __ loves/seeks out “squishing” activities __ enjoys bear hugs __ excessive banging on/with toys and objects 2. DIFFICULTY WITH “GRADING OF MOVEMENT” __ misjudges how much to flex and extend muscles during tasks/activities (i.e., putting arms into sleeves or climbing) __ difficulty regulating pressure when…

Really, Do You Know?

People say to me, when I'm telling my life struggles and amazements, “Oh yes, I know.” And what I want to say is “Really? Do you really know?”
Do you know expectations, like those that come home from the hospital with that beautiful babe of what her future holds? Do you know what it is to have those expectations crossed off one by one or all at once, only to have them replaced by new ones? Oh yes, you know expectations, but do you know hope?
Do you know achievements, with all their hard work and determination, big or small or somewhere in between? Do you know what it is to spend hours on each and every baby step? Oh yes, you know achievement, but do you know triumph?
Do you know teachers and aides who give their all every day for the time they are with your child as well as hours after in planning and preparation? Do you know what it is to put 6 hours of effort into 40 minutes of success? Oh yes, you know teachers, but do you know heroes?
Do you know patience, and the endurance of…

Too much of a good thing

We went to the beach for what was supposed to be relaxing and great sensory input. Doc loved it the last two times we went. Now that school is out there are more people sharing the beach. Doc was fine for the first ten mins, then she started stimming. A little voice in my head said "Repetitive movement = too much change" Thank you, Danny from Asperger Experts! I asked her if she wanted to go sit for a bit, she agreed that was a good idea. She began to fuss and then "shut-down", I could tell there was a meltdown about to happen. I asked her what was bothering her, she didn't respond. So I gave her a few minutes. "Maybe she tired?" Horsey said. I didn't think so. After some time Doc answered my question very quietly. "Everyone here is really big and I'm tiny." She said. "There are tiny kids her too, see!" Horsey said as she was pointing to little kids running with sand pails. "No, I don't want friends, I want them…

Confusion in Holland

Schools out, warmer weather, more daylight, and outdoor activities. Yahoo! Fun! Not for us.. Our family's first week of summer is the hardest due to these seasonal changes. They present challenges to the carefully orchestrated daily routines.
Today is consisting of one hiding, another pacing & reliving he's school scheduled out loud hour by hour, two throwing fits, and one bored.

Here's are some things that may help ease into summer:
1.Talk about the change ahead of time. 2. Helping your child create summer structure of his own. 3. Keep their "safe" routine as normal as you can. 4. Vacations - include your child when planning. 5. Take some time for yourself too!
Will we survive the summer? At some point, you will have to interrupt routines and change plans. If you can, the most important thing you can do is notify the child ahead of time. In the event you can’t, try to talk on a regular basis with your child about how surprises sometimes happen in life. T…

Tornado in Holland..

Anyone who loves someone with ASD knows that routines, sameness, schedules, and rituals are extremely important to them. The slightest change in something we may think to be minor could cause major meltdowns that last for days.  For the them, these things are more than a need... they are a requirement! 
Routines, schedules, rituals and habits all provides comfort and predictability in a world that is, all too often, chaotic and unpredictable. We all resist change regardless of  our mental status. It keeps chaos at bay, so we get the peace of mind that we need.  
"According to Dr. Laura Markham (Elkins, n.d.), routines offer additional advantages of reducing or eliminating power struggles, initiating cooperation, teaching/learning to manage one’s own activities, teaching/learning the concept of anticipation, help adherence to schedule, and help parents and other caregivers with “maintaining consistency in expectations.”

ASD individuals, all these benefits apply, but consequences going…

ASD, Take two!

"Parents who have a child with autism have about a 1 in 5 chance of having a second child with autism, a far greater risk than previously believed, new research shows." - New York Times

  My youngest daughter, "Doc"has always had very high levels of anxiety. Very cranky baby, crying unless she was nursing or sleeping. We assumed she was colic. She also experiences many sensory and repetitive behavior. In some ways she reminded me of Tink (her older sister), except Doc was very verbal.

9 months old
At one years old I taught her to sign, using ASL.  She would sign "bird" in excitement when she saw one. "Cracker" was her all time favorite.  Some people thought she was deaf.  It was her way to communicate till each new word became vocal, so there is less frustration. When she start to walk, we noticed a limp, We called it her hitch in her giddy-up. One ortho visit later we found out her left leg was a little shorter. She still has some leg issues.