perception governed by proprioceptors, as awareness of the position of one's body.
Today, Turbo and Ms. Renee worked on "Where In The World is Turbo's Body!" It all began on a swing. An swing that hung from the ceiling with four ropes tied to a plywood square that was 3x4' and a carpet square glued to the center. Turbo sat criss-crossed on the board while she swung him back and forth while chatting. He would pull himself towards the ropes and would swing himself. Then he figured out if he could get himself to the wall, he could push off and go higher/faster. That was the highlight of his day. Then she asked him to lie on his tummy while she sprayed foam colored soap on the padded flooring and began an imaginative exercise where he was an astronaute and he was to wipe out the small space mountains. At first, he was timid about getting dirty and sticky. He has a tendancy about not wanting to touch things or be touched by something he is unfamiliar with. Essentially, this was shaving cream which we have tried to use to help with letter recognotion in school. He usually won't touch the stuff. But Ms. Renee revealed that maybe it was because of the shaving cream's smell that was turning him off. This foam did not offer this kind of odor and he was able to tolerate it.
But back to the space mountains. I was amazed at how he was able to focus on his tummy, swinging on the swing and getting "messy", which is so unlike him. Proprioceptive input is the performance of tasks that involves heavy resistance and input to the muscles and joints, and is essential in helping our bodies assimilate and process both movement (vestibular) and touch (tactile) information. As much as Turbo moves and bounces off of things it is because this area of his senses are out of whack! Inuclude the tactile information input and you've got one kid who can't decifer anything; thus his out of control behavior is borne.
Afterwards, they both referred back to her book: the PLAN. He struggled with it this morning, as his attention was drawn to different things in just one little room that was nothing more than 8x8'! She then gave him a bouncey ball to bounce down the hallway to the large gym. He was excited about this, but she pointed out to me that when a child like Turbo is given a ball like that without some sort of direction, i.e. where to bounce to, how to bounce, to a rhythmic beat etc. the bouncing will get out of hand, and turmoil ensues.
Once we were at the large gym, she tied up a "rocket ship", which essentially was another swing, but this time had a cylindrical tube attached to the center that he was to straddle and hug tightly while she swung him back and forth with some force that included turns. Then she set out a toy that had 3 frogs on a log that when a bean bad (asteroid) is thrown at it, would knock down. While swinging, I was to throw the asteroid at Turbo, he was to catch it, and then find the frogs on the log and throw it at the frogs to knock them over. He did quite well and she pointed out that he is very good at passing an object from one hand to the other without looking all the while being tossed around like a tug boat. So a positive there! :)
Our next stop was to the "kitchen". But to get there, she wrapped him up tight in a material much like that made of swimsuits. Here, he was wrapped up so tightly so she could DRAG him to the room. This is so he can feel the compression, much like I mentioned above, to help alter the feeling of tossing and turning so as to bring his arousal level back to a balanced playing field. Let me tell you...I was skeptic at first...but it WORKED! I have NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER EVER seen him go from an activity like that on the rocket ship to something so calming as his next activity. MENTAL NOTE: BUY A SWIMMING SUIT TO DRAG HIM IN! ;)
His last activity was for him to create his "vocabulary" of his Fire Engine. Too Slow, Just Right, Too Fast. He gave him Blow Pens to color his engine meter. The purpose was to see how his breathing his. I've never really noticed, but he breathes in short, shallow breaths. To help him calm his breathing, she had him take deep breathes and to blow them out hard until all of the air in his lungs were gone. It took him a while to get into a rhythm, but once he did, his behavior was a lot slower! WHOO HOO! The ride home was fantastic! Fantastic, fantastic!
I did forget to mention, that the whole time while he was doing this, he was wearing a backpack that had a "discman" of some sort that played Mozart music but only the frequencies that were played below 2000. So he only heard the low sounds of the chello, etc. It was a slow and deep, soothing rhythmic sound that kept his heartrate low, thus encouraging and fostering an environment of slow movement...something I MUST GET! LOL!
So my mission for this week:
1. Make some sort of a plan for the days - WORKING ON
2. Buy a swimsuit to drag him in - okay...so just the lycra material - on the list
3. Make an engine meter so that we have one at home to use in conjunction with OT.
Not bad for a few days of OT!