Monday, November 4, 2013

Child PTSD behaviors- options

As I've stated before, Pumpkin has PTSD. She was abused and neglected prior to our care. With her history, came a lot of behaviors. Some of the original behaviors looked like this:

*Hoarding- Mostly things like dishes, food, etc. But also took our debit card and hid it.
*Feces smearing and hiding
*Not potty trained at 3 1/2
*Fear of having hair brushed
*Tantrums that could last 3+ hours with no way to console her
*Aggressiveness toward us and her sisters
*Extreme fear of certain places

It's been nearly 5 years since she has been away from the abuse entirely. But we still have significant behaviors. PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy) at the beginning helped many of the behaviors, but we still have crazy amounts of lying, fear of having hair brushed, aggressiveness toward sisters, occasional nightmares, fear of certain places, and occasional hoarding of items that don't belong to her. She also feels that rules don't apply to her. It's been nearly 5 years of counselors, behavioral workers, social workers, etc. So what's next? Well we've been told we have a couple of options:

*Attachment therapy

While at this point I don't feel it is an attachment issue, typically this long out of the abuse the child would have adjusted if it was about the attachment disorder. She does have an attachment disorder, however. The counselor feels we are looking at the effects of the PTSD since the behaviors aren't adding up... and she can't/ won't talk about her past or say her name prior to adoption or the biological mother's name. So, we are probably looking at EMDR. So... there isn't a lot of information out there about it for children, so I will be posting information as I find it!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Learning the ropes with the ASD diagnosis...

So I am learning that although SPD and ASD have a lot of the sensory sensitivities in common... there is a difference. There is a noticeable difference between Peanut who has SPD and Cookie who has ASD. I noticed the differences in Cookie started at birth... the differences with Peanut were the 9-12 month range. Also, Cookie does not fit in with her peers and Peanut is a social butterfly with lots of friends (and she remembers the names of friends, whereas Cookie rarely does).

I am a total newbie with this ASD stuff, as until a week ago, I though we only had SPD for both Cookie and Peanut.. but my gut kept telling me that something more was going on with Cookie. So... lesson 1... trust your gut. I also found to be VERY helpful in things such as lingo, general FAQ, and information. I have been reaching out to other parents in my shoes... which is a wonderful help.

I am also learning that people don't understand SPD... but they REALLY don't understand ASD. When I say Cookie is ASD... people think she can't talk or expect she will be in a corner banging her head. Society has filled people with this idea that people can't function if they are on the spectrum. Cookie is MILD ASD... so the goal is to keep her mainstream. I am not super fond of the new DSM V diagnosis, as they took Aspergers out... and I really feel like it had a different expectation from society. But that is life I guess... and now it's learning to plug through and figure out what to do. Family is either super supportive... or totally clueless. I was even told that EVERYONE has ASD! I assure you... that is not true.

Please keep following... as I find things out... I will continue to share. As parents... we learn from each other... but remember... no one knows your kid like you do...

Why the name of the page changed.

So those of you who have been to my blog before may notice that the name was changed from Mama Butterfly in the chaotic world of Sensory Processing Disorder to it's current name. This is because I have 3 kids with special needs and each of them have their unique concerns. Pumpkin has PTSD... and I am hoping to expand more on this topic. Cookie who was originally diagnosed with SPD has now been diagnosed with mild ASD. While Peanut does have SPD, she also suffers from severe food intolerance. So I am over time hoping to expand further in these areas!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sometimes... we just have to laugh...

Well, it was a Walmart shopping day... and a bad SPD day. Peanut is a sensory seeker, so she was screaming and signing on the very top of her lungs... and I mean as loud as a 4 year old can get (which anyone with a 4 year old knows that is pretty loud). Peanut was also pulling things off the shelves, trying to climb shelves, and lagging as usual 3 feet or more behind us. Cookie is sensory defensive and was hiding in the cart screaming at Peanut "STOP! You are giving me a headache!!!!!" Pumpkin has PTSD and Walmart is typically a trigger for her, so she was touching everything on the shelves and knocking things over. Eventually I got frustrated with calling Peanut (who is not very good at responding to her I am like a broken record) and trying to get her to stop getting into stuff, so I put her in the cart. At this point, she began reaching out and pulling things off the shelves and throwing them at her sisters! Then she began trying to bite me and Cookie!

So on the outside, my kids look "normal" but they can't really help their behaviors when they over stimulated or in Pumpkin's case... anxious. So little old lady after little old lady gave me that look of horror... that why don't you just control your kids look. And some odd looks when Peanut started screaming for a "chewy" since we help the biting part with stage 3 teethers. However, I think the guy who rolled his eyes at me and shook his head was the one that got to me. Typically, I am able to just let it all roll off my shoulders, but we all have those days. Yeah I get it, they don't understand... and to the general public... my kids look like naughty kids... but that's just not the case.

So today is a new day, and today I can laugh... yesterday I could not. It brings a new perspective... that what we see on the outside doesn't really mean anything... because on the inside it could be a completely different story...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Breakthrough Study Reveals Biological Basis for Sensory Processing Disorders in Kids |

Breakthrough Study Reveals Biological Basis for Sensory Processing Disorders in Kids |

Finally PROOF that it is real!

Making a weighted blanket???

Well scour the internet, you will find every tutorial out there to make a weighted blanket... but I have the suggestions I couldn't find. Cookie and Peanut needed weighted blankets, I contemplated on making one or buying, but at $50+ I couldn't afford it. I made two weighted blankets.

* The weight should be 10% of the person's weight. People say you can add a pound, but the blankets get pretty heavy... I'd error on the side of caution because the fabric will also add weight.

* Shop the discount racks! I got flannel for $3 a yard!

* I'm not an expert sewer, I hate sewing. So instead of dealing with batting, I got a quilted fabric for $5 a yard... that meant no messy batting!

* Poly pellets were out of my price range... it would cost a fortune to use them! I also didn't want to use a food item because of the rotting/ lack of being able to wash it... and attracting bugs! EWW. So what did I use? Well I went to the fish isle and got some river rock (not that dusty yucky fish gravel... the actual rock (gravel- pebbles). I had found somewhere that rocks were actually better to use because they are more concentrated weight. The bag was 25 lbs and cost me roughly $12

* Make sure you pin the back to the front when sewing. Sew columns... (I sewed as many columns as I needed lbs) So for Peanut... 3 columns for a 3lb blanket... and for Cookie it was 5 columns for a 5lb blanket.

* When you sew the rows, it gets to be challenging. I put 2 oz in each box... and made 8 rows. The challenge is the blanket gets REALLY heavy. Plus it is time consuming to fill... pin... sew. With Cookie, I used a striped fabric, which reduced the need to pin for rows!

* For both Peanut and Cookie... I chose to use 2 yards of fabric... that was plenty!

I made each blanket for about $20 or less!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Activities for the Sensational Child

Here are some things we do:

*Roll her up in a blanket and roll her around the floor
*Roll a yoga ball up and down her back
*Therapy Brushing
*Monster Doh (similar to play doh but stickier and thicker)
*Wall pushes, push ups, jumps
*Sensory box: Full of things that make lights, different textures, teething items if necessary, etc.
*Bean bags and floor time- yes even for older kids!
*Swings... we have a kid sized porch swing
*Vibrating teethers to prevent biting
*Crawl tents
*Calming music
*Communication cards- Cookie is verbal but still needs emotion cards or need cards at times to prevent tantrums
*Squeeze time- BEAR HUGS!
*Calming Jars- Super easy to make (Glitter glue, glitter, water, jar)
*Fidgets (toys to fidget with)
*Weighted Lap pad
*Integrated Listening

Here are some things that other parents do:

*Bean or rice boxes to dig in
*Chew tubes
*Obstacle course
*Sound proof headphones
*Crash mats
*Sand box
*Therapy Swings
*Finger paints
*Weighted blankets, Stuffed animals, backpacks, etc.
*Therapeutic Listening, Advanced Brain
*Ear plugs

Got more ideas? List them!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Trouble Sleeping?

Cookie was having trouble sleeping, I wasn't sure what to do. She would only sleep on the floor of her closet. She refused to sleep in her bed. She has a history of having difficulty sleeping. Here are some things that have helped:

* Nightlights that are handheld. Cookie has a twilight turtle and a light up owl
* Blankets with textures
* We have not used a weighted blanket, but they are popular with many kids who have SPD
* Brushing before bed
* Applying lotions- we like to use lavender
* Sleeping in a hammock- this is how we got her to sleep in a "bed" and actually SLEEP!