Friday, February 27, 2009

Bethanne & the stim

Today's play group could have been cancelled except for the fact that Nikko was the lone kid in attendance. I actually used this moment to talk to the DT, Bethanne, about many of the questions I had in my blog yesterday pertaining to Dr. Levy's two points of contention as well as having a daily "sensory" diet. She was very good-natured about things, but I think I was kinda grilling her for her opinion and hoped I wasn't coming off as a neurotic mom. I felt like this when I was explaining to her my thoughts about feeling embarrassed that Nikko wasn't progressing during yesterday's DT session. She said that maybe he was just having an off-day and didn't want to participate. My stance in my head was more stern, thinking that maybe I wasn't challenging him enough during the week so that he would be in better shape for his therapies. I asked her if I should be doing daily activites that cover all the bases i.e. speech, DT and OT.... but as I said all this to her and as the words came out of my mouth, I suddenly felt as if I sounded quite neurotic about these approaches. I sounded crazy, like I was overanalyzing things and trying to do too much. She acknowledged how I felt and said that it's obvious I love Nikko and want to do what's best for him, but I also have three kids and can only do what I can do right now. She told me not to drive myself crazy with all this stuff, and not to worry because there is so much stuff out there on autism, plus research still being done about what CAN be done about it. Bethanne said that I know Nikko best, and the best thing I can do is just try whatever I can to see if it works. She was referring to the sign language/language motivation debate, as well as Joining With the Stims... she had heard a theory about stimming along with Nikko, but never did it. However, right there in the room Nikko started crashing and stimming off the overhead lights while he ran full speed from one end of the room to the other. Bethanne started to run alongside of Nikko and emphatically say things like Stop, Go Go Go, or Run. She was joining Nikko in his stimming, and he was pleased that she ran beside him. He looked at her instead of the lights, and giggled when she was racing him. It was a perfect example of how joining the stims could help the relationship. I was impressed, and pleased that we didn't ditch that theory.

Later in the day we went to OT where Shelly got Nikko drawing on the mirror again. He didn't have the most successful session; he ran around her obstacles but was all over the place in terms of activites (like in the playgroup this morning). Unfortunately, he stepped into a sticky mousetrap pad that was on the floor and Shelly and I had to get that goop off him, ultimately using Goo Gone. YUCK. It's a good thing there wasn't already a dead mouse in the goop. YUCK YUCK. The rest of the day went smoothly, and Nikko went to bed rather tired because he only got a 15 minute nap in the car.

I have on my to-do list to read up on Nikko's transition into preschool. There's a lot going on in this area and I need to be on top of it. I should also have some questions for the school district person for our March 9th meeting. Lots to do.

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