Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sensory Integration Dysfunction

It is the ability to organize your body in such a way as to be able to respond properly to any given situation. The dysfunction part comes in when you can't do that! :)

Ethan was diagnosed with mild SI Dysfunction. Yesterday was his second visit to Easter Seals for Occupational Therapy, (OT) with a wonderful women named Jessica, whom Ethan absolutely loves. She is a great person who really knows how to work with children. As a matter of fact she's seeing SI Dysfunction in a lot of children who have Celiac Disease, including her own daughter who was just recently diagnosed and placed on the GF diet. We are amazed at how alike they are.

So, what's the therapy like...playtime. At Easter Seals they have a huge room full of swings, matts, a rock wall, blocks, chalk board, zip line, scooter boards, therapy balls, and the ever popular ball pit! It is deeper than my son is tall, (which isn't saying much as he is pretty short I know) but he can completely bury himself in there and we wouldn't be able to find him!

Basically, Jessica watches what he chooses to do, how he does things, and what his reactions are when she suggests something else. Based on this she is creating for me what is known as a Sensory Diet. It will be activities we can do at home every day to help Ethan organize his body to better handle daily situations.

One of the things we both noticed was that Ethan seems to be regressing a little bit. He's stopped using pronouns and constanly refers to his name when asking for something, or demanding something..."Ethan wants a drink...Ethan wants to stay home today...Ethan needs to rest, Ethan's tired" etc. He's also started to find everyday things that have been around for a while scary, creepy etc . He's noticed temperature differences and the way his body feels when he's full, hungry, and even now the way he poops. It's all new to him in a way that it should have been when he was younger as most children develop. Now, he's going through it and it's triggering all sorts of different responses than it would have 2 years ago. This actually makes it more difficult to manage. So, Jessica is paying close attention to this development.

In the meantime, we try our best to help Ethan cope with these new sensations. It's a relief because it means he's finally healing, and his body is functioning the way it should. However, it's incredibly frustrating, because now we have to take into consideration these new sensations whenever he has a tantrum, or an outburst over a something simple.

Oh the things we learn. In the meantime, if any of you have children who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, you may want to have them checked for SI Dysfunction, as the OT at Easter Seals has noticed an increase prevalence in Celiac and SI Dysfunction in young children. Honestly it can't hurt, it's not a life long "label", and even if it is...who cares? If it means your child will have an easier time coping with lifes day to day activities why wouldn't you want to have him treated. If nothing else, it will help with your own sanity! :)

1 comment:

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