Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Love O.T.'s

For the next 6 months Haiden received Speech Therapy and Occuational Therapy each week for an hour through First Steps. I didn't realize it at the time but his O.T., Tara Danielson, became our angel and someone I am forever grateful for. She opened my eyes to Sensory Integration. At first it sounded really weird to me but the more she educated me on it, the more it made sense. I finally understood why Haiden would lie on the floor to play and why he would slam into furniture. His sensory needs also explained why he would jump off the 5th or 6th step and why he hated things on his hands. She taught me that swinging, giving bear hugs, and making human sandwiches were very calming for Haiden. She also discovered that eating crunchy foods would help him calm down as well. Tara recommended several books that were very helpful including The Out-of-Sync Child, Raising a Sensory Smart Child, and Sensational Kids. Tara would tell you today that Haiden was a very difficult case. It took several months for us to figure things out and several more months for Haiden to regulate his sensory system but Tara never gave up. Her persistence was inspiring. It was during this time that I knew more than ever that something wasn't right with Haiden. How did we get to this point? What went wrong? What did I do wrong? The guilt became overwhelming and I felt anxious all the time. I finally decided I needed to take Haiden to a specialist hoping he/she would rule out my biggest fear.

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