Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sensory Integration

I had spent most of the summer of 2004 calling various leads for OTs with certification in Sensory Integration. Every one I spoke with either worked strictly for a school system (only for kids within that system), or for a comprehensive services group that would only accept clients (and to become a client you needed an evaluation from the Doctor(s) associated with that group, and as I previously mentioned, the wait time was anywhere from 18 months to 3 years). I went through spurts of calling, then would give myself a few weeks to recover, then start again.

From all that calling, there was just one OT who had said "if you really can't find anyone else to work with, call me back". I got around to finally calling her back towards the end of the summer. I almost sobbed at her about my complete inability to find anyone to work with. She took pity on me and agreed to come out to my house to help me establish a Sensory Integration program with Jacob that his school OT could take over. This was at no charge to us, since she worked for one of those services groups and her seeing me outside that group for a fee would be conflict of interest. I was SO grateful to her!

She spent about 2 hours with us, detailing the Wilbarger brushing protocol, discussing how I could make sure SI was addressed at school, and helping me think about the sensory diet (access to various materials to aid with SI) we already had at home. I felt pretty good about where we were at by the time she left, and started with the brushing protocol right away. Unfortunately, Jacob just could not tolerate that sort of touch -- I tried making my touch lighter and heavier, but eventually he would just run off screaming when he saw the brush. So I stopped. Maybe with more professional support we could have made it work, but after making a couple phone calls to her, I decided to just drop it -- the poor woman wasn't even getting paid for her time with me, and I felt too guilty to keep bugging her about it. And I foolishly thought he'd get what he needed in school (silly me!).

I presented her SI ideas to the OT at school the first week of school, and to her credit, she DID purchase a water table for Jacob's classroom. But that was the last we ever heard about sensory integration being used with him. So I gave up on trying to help him in that way, tho in my gut it felt wrong -- it certainly seemed to me that his Sensory problems were as significant as his Autism and language deficits. But of course, the school didn't do anything about that either....more on that next post!

We finally are having Sensory Integration addressed properly! Two years later, but still....he's finally in with a great Sensory Integration group and has a fabulous therapist who happily involves me in his program, and readily makes changes to keep what she's doing with him in an RDI context. I'll be writing more about it as we go along. Posted by Picasa

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