each of harrison’s OT sessions is just a bit unique but they all have the same format.
we do therapy three times each week. you can read about STAR center’s intensive treatment model HERE.
we arrive at STAR, sit in the waiting area for a few minutes until juliana (harrison’s OT) comes to fetch us. she helps harrison put on his “jet pack” and headphones. the “jet pack” is a cool, boy-friendly term to describe a backpack. inside the backpack is a well-protected ipod which feeds music to the headphones that harrison wears while we play. this is called integrated listening therapy. you can read more about it HERE and HERE. my understanding of it is that the music harrison listens to – mostly classical and some chant – has been engineered to highlight different tones. the different tones in the music – low, mid and high – affect the brain differently and help to create new pathways in the brain.
as i’ve stated before, i may be making all that up. so research it yourself to make sure i’m not leading you astray! …continue reading
When my son was diagnosed at 8, it was like “FINALLY! IT ALL MAKES SENSE!” SPD is not something you just “get”, you’re born with it. So all of his past strange behaviors weren’t his choice, they were due to his SPD. So you think you have a handle on it, you know what to expect.
Then your child hits puberty and an becomes a teenager and everything gets worse. Why? Because their symptoms, while they had always been there….lurking below the surface of the other ones, now have come to a head. The anger, the rage, the flippin’ out (or as I call it “being belligerent”), and the lack of empathy. Now granted, my son has always had a problem with anger….and before the SPD diagnosis, we thought of his anger problem as just that: an anger problem.
But now as a 6’2 15 year old, the anger isn’t “cute” or even manageable at times. Its not constant, but when it happens, its not pretty. Very seldom does he actually get “belligerent” (which means to me a type of anger that goes beyond “normal”, that includes name calling, swearing, breaking things, totally out of control, he can’t even stop if he wanted to). Usually it’s just screaming at people. Sometimes it includes hitting his brother (who sometimes hits him first or vice versa). But when he does get belligerent? It’s scary. Its like its not even him anymore. He’ll even go as far to tell me what a crappy parent I am (in meaner words) because I don’t give him what he wants and has on 2 different occasions try to hit my husband. I’ve seen my ex (his birthfather) act like that from time to time (not hitting people though), so perhaps it IS an inherited (or learned) anger issue mixed with SPD? I sense its not actually learned because my ex wasn’t around him enough when he was little for him to just now at 15 start acting this way. I think its total frustration breaking him down with whatever he’s obsessing on and can’t have. …continue reading