Tag Archives: sensory integration

Islands in the stream….

18 May

Islands in the stream….

Originally uploaded by CleverIndie

That is what we are…

Anyway… Where was I…

Kiddo is a picky eater- he’ll try most anything, but he’s a creature of habit and has sensory issues- so he’s very specific about what he likes and what he loathes…. (and if he changes his mind he will admit nothing!)…

So, he likes everything bagels, corn, and cheese….

So I popped the bagel (with some shredded cheese) in the Rocket Grill and it squished the daylights out of it! So I put it on a plate, put two little morsels of grilled (rocket grilled, baby!) chicken “sunning” on the Isle of Bagel…Of course, the sun is powerful (sun=corn in nifty little pinch bowls…pinch bowls are a lifesaver when you have a kid who cannot handle different foods even seeing each other, never mind *gasp* touching…)

The broccoli is a unique specimen of palm, found only on the Isle of Bagel. By the way, the stars in the blue sea are starfish, and that orange slice toward the back is the mainland (ok, ok, it’s one of those make-a-plate things and it’s an orange moon and a starry night sky)…

So, why does food need this backstory?

Because my kiddo is *that* detailed. He is also very rules based, so artistic presentations of food challenges his deeply ingrained meal & food rules in a fun and somewhat novel way. It’s fun, he’ll argue with me that the palm tree is really broccoli, if he’s tired I know better than to present anything with even .05% whimsy or all hell will break loose. We are working hard to soften some of his rules and his rigidity as living in the world with other people often requires compromise and a little grace and we are getting there, albeit very slowly. How slowly? He’s rules based, he has no gray area, he can’t generalize, so if a scenario is not repeated exactly (ie temperature, light, people present, etc…) he can’t apply the new rule or the exception to the rule, or even withdraw a generalization from his brain/bank to really understand or function reliably.

If you don’t know any kids who are this rigid- imagine potty training a child at home and then take them to grandma’s- most kids can apply their at home potty training to other locations (sometimes with a little urging or reminder and a little modification on everyone’s part)- they can ignore the variables-to a point- and find the constants (the potty, having to pee, etc). Alex can’t ignore the variables so he can see the constants clearly. In the potty training scenario, if you switch up the variables from his home/training base, it’s like he has never seen a toilet in his life and you have to start from square one. (and this isn’t a far off analogy- I was on the verge of making a public restroom scrapbook for him so we could study up before leaving the house- and so we could focus on the visual similarities in the comfort of our home). Is everything this intricate and challenging? Yes. It isn’t getting easier as time goes on, but it is changing, so there is no such thing as boredom. And in all this I can’t stop marveling at the details he notices- it’s like wearing reading glasses- he can see the words clearly but all else disappears…It’s like he can read the words and get sucked into the story but if you ask him about the physical book he has no idea what you are talking about… Raising Alex has made us appreciate the intricacies of thought and reasoning and creativity. Ok, now where was I? :-)

Last night he was in a good mood. He let me explain the food to him. He announced “I like my food plain” and I countered with “it is very plain, I just put it on your plate a little differently”. He hesitated and quickly gobbled up the sun/corn…

I showed him how he can pull a little bit off of the chicken to just taste it (chewing meat type stuff makes him gag or hurl- depending on how far he is into the meal)… And he tasted it and then even ate another little piece without our urging.

Unfortunately, the rocket grill turned the cheese bagel into a crispy, tasty grilled panini sort of a thing, and it was too dense for him to chew (without again gagging…)…

But I feel triumphant… The chicken was no longer stranded as it swam into his mouth and down to his tummy…

Alex declared that it was turning to night as he gobbled up the corn (thereby making the “sun” go down)…

He wouldn’t try the broccoli until I remembered the key to a 5 year old boy’s laughter. He wouldn’t buy the tree devouring giant scenario and then I remembered…

I whispered to him that broccoli magically transforms into horrific, near deadly, rank gas when you eat it.

He giggled and took a bite…

Victory is mine.

By the way, I just received a copy of the Sneaky Chef cookbook in the mail… I’ll comb through it with an eye toward sensory defensiveness (particularly my kiddo’s, but there seem to be a few people cooking for kids like Alex and more typically developing kids seem to have many of the same food quirks) and let you know if it’s worth the purchase… I think kids can learn the joy of healthy foods without hiding them, but when dealing with sensory issues sometimes you have to go behind the scenes, hide the good stuff, and reveal it slowly… And sometimes you have to play with the food.

xo
Bek

Advertisements

Ode to Joy…

3 Jan

Not what it seems…

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Boy loves music. LOVES it.
Making it, listening to it…

Obsesses over it…

This month his heart song is “Ode to Joy”…So for Christmas I made him a mix of 14 versions of Ode to Joy that I downloaded from iTunes…
There’s a version done with power tools, the traditional choral and symphonic versions, 80’s synth, bagpipes, and didgeridoo…

He listens to it on repeat while he rests and sleeps… He walks around the house during the day singing it (the musical notes…he has perfect pitch and can repeat anything he has heard once with eerie precision)…

In this photo he is wearing what looks like headphones- they are actually sound muffs/hearing protectors… They don’t put one in a sound-free environment, instead they dampen nuisance sound fairly well…Thanks to these we no longer have to be as neurotically strategic about vacuuming or blender use…The day we got these I used the dustbuster, the regular vacuum, and I pureed some stuff. WITH BOY IN THE HOUSE and he was happy as a clam… These are actually for the supermarket which is one of the places he avoids like the plague because it’s sensory overload for him…

Anyway, in this photo it looks like he’s “conducting” the music in his ‘phones, but really he’s conducting the music in his soul (while trying to fit himself in a box from Amazon.com…. he wanted it to be his personal time machine but the “doors” didn’t close him in completely so he decided that time travel would not be safe in this box and he is now eagerly awaiting visits from UPS (more than usual)…

Oh, and before I sign off, I must recommend “Not a Box” (and “Not a Stick”)…  A wonderful and simple picture book on using a box (it’s not a box, it’s a ….) creatively… Really helped kiddo think, um, outside the box (he’s pretty inflexible, in general, so this was a huge step for him…)

Hope the New Year is sparkling for all of  you…

xo

b

ps.  I’m on twitter these days… Stop on by… CleverIndie on Twitter

Boy and his tunes….

12 Jun

Boy and his tunes….

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Boyo’s new radio + my ipod that is older than he is and doesn’t work so well but he thinks he is the big shidoobi… Boyo loves music. He is a big fan of Beethoven, Mozart, Neil Young, and Dan Zanes. He will often play the guitar, ukelele, or kazoozaphone along with whatever music he is listening to…

He frequently sings instrumentals to me with such conviction, seriousness, and passion that it makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time….

This is one of his things we are so proud of, yet it is obsessive and a bit compulsive and one of the things that throws a big ol’ flag up with the various professionals who have evaluated him and worked with him…

I’m just amazed he is this into music as I can’t carry a tune or play anything more than a c scale on the piano….

Argh.

2 May

Argh.

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

In a recent raffle, baldguy won tickets to Pieces of Eight– a fun Pirate ship excursion into the Gulf of Mexico… They are currently repositioning to service the keys…I do recommend it- it’s a freaking awesome pirate ship with modern amenities and a rockin’ band of pirates. Fun was had by all!

It was so nice to be disconnected from the world for a bit, out on the boat… Here’s a picture of boy on the boat. He doesn’t understand that a costume or a painted on mustache are just pretend- he thinks they actually transform him into another person.
I was amazed that he let them draw a mustache on him.

After around 5 minutes he furiously tried to wipe it off and had a running in place moment of freaking out when he declared

“Just me. I want to be just me. No pirate me. Just ME.”

It was huge though- he went on a boat, he tried something new at lunch, he had his face painted, he took pictures, he wore a hat and a pirate hat, and there was a brief moment where he donned an eyepatch.

Awesome.

Kaboost! Wahhhoooo!

30 Apr

Over the past couple of months our family has been eyeball deep in home and family reorganization… Because my health and physical ability has changed so much and boyo’s needs are changing daily, I am so much more aware of the things that help me, that give me a little more flexibility or a boost with one set of needs so that I can save my energy and strength for where and when it can have a greater impact. So, the next couple of posts will be about gadgets and tools that are helping me and/or helping boyo…

This one is a new favorite….We have been through a zillion baby/child seating devices- bouncy chairs, high chairs, portable high chairs, boosters… Boyo is at this point where he really wants to be a big guy and is very sensitive about using any implements that say “baby”. Today he told me that he is with the 3 year olds in school, so he is a baby. Any which way I sliced it I knew he wasn’t going accept that his birthday is 5 days after the state cutoff…. I’m learning lately that, with his delays and his sensitivity about being grouped with much younger kids, it’s really important to not totally bug him out with new things (he doesn’t transition easily or in some cases at all) and more than ever helping him feel like a big guy makes him behave like a big guy. So I am really learning about the delicate art, the dance, of keeping the little guy supports that he still needs, behind the scenes…

Anyway, part of this is, as he is still a smaller kid in size, is outfitting every area in the house with step stools. We recently started eating dinner outside every night, as a family (more on that later this week). I bought this gadget as an alternative to a booster seat as my mom’s dining chairs are a little, um, different…They do not accommodate any baby/growing kid gear…

I found an ad for Kaboost in the back of a local parenting magazine and ordered one immediately. It’s awesome. By far one of my most favorite kid gadgets. Almost any chair can be used on it… It comes in brown so it blends with Oma’s earth-tone rich environment. I am ordering a 2nd one this week as I want one for her house and the one for ours. The only downside to it? You do have to lift up and maneuver the chair and pull the springy arms of the kaboost out and get it all together- not a big deal, I’m guessing, for most folks. But this maneuvering is a bit difficult to me with this current body, so our Kaboost stays at home, on one chair. I wouldn’t call this issue a flaw (trust me it’s me and not the Kaboost!) but that is the one thing keeping me from taking one everywhere. When out at the rare restaurant meal boyo can use a regular booster. But for everyday I find the Kaboost to be a sanity saver for us and it encourages big boy behavior at the dinner table which is something that puts this in my top 10 gadgets for growing kids…

Here’s the link to amazon- more information on kaboost and images…. KABOOST Portable Chair Booster Chocolate

%d bloggers like this: