Thursday, January 5, 2012


Akila has been doing OT the past few weeks (Occupational Therapy). Some of the different professionals have wondered if some of her behaviors are sensory related. I don't really think so. Does she have sensory issues? You betcha. Are they what are causing her to rage? NO!!! Would more sensory outlet help her to rage less? I honestly don't think so.

She can come home from 2 hours of intense dance class, and rage the same as she did on an evening without any sustained sensory output opportunities. Is sensory stuff good for her? You betcha. But I know her well enough to know it is not going to stop the anger. Yet we are doing it to show that we are good parents and we are playing the game, checking it off the list. Do I sound bitter, or hostile? I hope not.

I am just trying to say that I know my daughter. It sometimes does get frustrating when someone new comes into the picture and has a suggestion they think is brilliant. It almost always is something we have tried. I know they are well intentioned. I get that. I just know that they don't get what it is that we are dealing with. It is pretty hard to imagine what it is like to live with a child who is hitting, kicking and punching you multiple times a day.

Her OT appt this morning was interesting, to say the least. She got mad right away, and started calling the OT a stupid woman and stupid. Showed her major attitude. It was kind of refreshing. That sounds nice, doesn't it? But it was nice for someone else to see how angry she can get over something so piddley. The OT almost kicked us out. Well, not kicking out, but said we might not be able to meet today as she explained to Akila that it didn't seem like she wanted to be here and it wouldn't work this way.

The only reason Akila calmed down, is she told the OT she wanted to do some food tasting again. The OT brought her to the kitchenette to get some samples of food and Akila was immediately cooperative. Why? Because she got her way. This is the number one "calming technique" that Akila prefers when she is escalating or at the top of the red zone. She will settle down immediately if you give her what she wants. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if they had not gotten the food.

The interesting thing, is that when we were leaving, the OT said that she isn't thinking this is a sensory issue but a behavioral issue. Ya think????!!!!! Hopefully she will put that in her report and we won't have to do OT much longer.


dorothy said...

Maybe we could line that poor OT up with a few of mine next...think we could convince her it's behavior for us too? (save me the endless OT sessions to get to the same point) Course it might cause her unnecessary trauma and she might end up with a secondary disability caused by my kids.....perhaps I better stop now - some serious behaviorial challenges here today. Maybe you could give me some parenting advice....I'm sure I better quit now! LOVE you!

Carrie said...

You hit the nail on the head, Barb. The OT sensory-based calming strategies only help if we do them before she begins escalating, which honestly, is usually not a moment I'm tuned-in to because things are going okay. Once she starts, the only 'calming' comes via our capitulation. Sometimes that's easy to do --let her wear the shoes she wants or whatever. But I feel like I have to draw a line for my other kids when what she wants is to wear the clothes they are currently wearing or to destroy their artwork or shred the blankie without which they cannot sleep at night. So we don't/can't always give her what she wants. The only sure-fire help we took away from OT was iLs. If we do that first thing in the morning, it has a predictable dampening affect on her quickness to anger for much of the day. --Carrie