Today I met with a Child Psychiatrist to discuss some issues we are having with Turbo in the areas of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and anxiety, while he played with Ms. Renee.
We sat down and discussed particular instances where we were completely at a loss about his behavior and how sometimes you can visually see where he is torn. For an example: Whenever he gets a scratch he HAS to apply Neosporin and a Band-Aide - WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN EVEN SEE IT! One evening, he fell at the playground, got a scratch, medicine and a Band-Aide was applied. We get home, time to take a bath or a shower. He doesn't like to be dirty, but he also doesn't like to get his Band-Aides wet! You could physically see how anxious and distressed he was about the situation. Among other examples, we came to the conclusion of a 3-Step-Process:
1) Begin to identify his tendencies toward OCD, so that we can being to alter the path or the compelling impulse so that his habits don't become ingrained and then eventually cause a problem.
2) If practicing new behaviors and altering the negative ones doesn't work, the I will have a Play Group Therapy session with her and Turbo so that she can help me practice with some guidance (Think Super Nanny).
3) Finally, if all else fails, then she wants to start some medication. My record button in my mind stopped there. I'm not sure what else she said about medication, but I will stop at that point and find some other resource that will help Turbo. No medication for my little guy.
So we will start with Step 1 and see how it goes.
In therapy today, Ms. Renee worked on self-care again. This time, apparently, he slathered himself, the lizard and the bust of Barbie with chap stick. Only this time, HE DIDN'T WIPE IT OFF! He put it on the back of his hands, arms, cheeks, nose, lips, forehead, almost everywhere! So proud of him! I think I will see what he does tonight when I ask him to put on chap stick.
She also said that they worked on slow (BLUE and GREEN) activities today, and really didn't do a RED activity. Which is a good thing...those wear me out! ;)
They sat in a swing and read a book that Ms. Renee made especially for him. Using Sandbox Learning she wrote a book for him, personalizing it about what happens when he feels frustrated. She said that this is a tool for me and him to use to begin practicing situations where it is inevitable where he will get frustrated. I can go to the site, write my own story and present different scenarios where Turbo can feel success and re-wire the situation so he won't get frustrated (i.e. meltdown, throw things, hit things, scream, etc.)
The Story started out like this:
"My name is Aidan and I have many feelings. One feeling I have is frustration. When things do not go the way I planned or the way I would like, I feel frustrated. I may feel frustrated by many things. When I tray a game or activity and I have difficulty, I feel frustrated. I learn new things everyday, but some things take practice. I can ask an adult or a friend to help me. I can keep trying and practicing, but it may take time to do something new well. I feel frustrated when I use my words to ask for something and my parents or teacher tell me I cannot use it. It might make me frustrated to not have something when I want it, but I am learning to listen when someone tells me it is not time to use something."
It is a simple way to discuss circumstance that will help alleviate problems. Many kids go through this, but for Turbo he reactions are escalated to an extreme emotion and can cause major problems in public or in private. I think this is going to be a super useful tool for our family, because I can go in and write a story myself to fit a particular situation.
A tool she gave Turbo to help calm him down, was a chew toy! Click here to see it! No, he is not a dog, but yes, she gave him a chew toy. He LOVED IT! I LOVE IT! I WAS ABLE TO STAND AND CHAT WITH MS. RENEE ABOUT THE SESSION FOR 5 WHOLE MINUTES WITHOUT HIM INTERRUPTING! HE SAT ON THE CHAIR, CHEWED ON THE TOY AND DIDN'T MOVE! What is more, he was bouncing off the walls, literally, while we walked down the hall to the waiting room. She gave him the toy, and it was like ZAP! Energy drain! I looked at her and said, "Where can I buy that? I need one now!" Unfortunately, they were sold out...wonder why...but if I can't wait until the shipment comes in, I'm buying one now...which I probably will just as soon as I log off here. Seriously, it was AMAZING!