SensiGirl was born sensitive. She is a screamer, the kind of scream that vibrates your eardrums. I've been told she has the scream of a grown woman. She really started screaming when I left her with the teachers in ECFE,(Early Childhood Family Educacion.) The other kids really didn't seem to mind when the mommies went to have a little coffee and sit down talk about child development. They would cry a little and then notice some cool toy or have a snack and they were over it. SensiGirl did mind. She minded so much that we had to work for months to get a chance for me to spend some time with Random Guy in the bigger kid classroom or to participate in parent group for a few minutes.
The screaming was one of the reasons they thought a special ed. preschool classroom was warranted. There was testing when she was 18 months old and every few months thereafter. She wasn't keeping up with the other kids in speech acquisition. She was too sensitive to her environment, she was too sensitive to everything.
When I saw this study at the Autism Speaks website it made sense to me.
We tried some different kinds of therapies but the one I think that has really helped her get over some of her reluctance to join us in our world was listening therapy. She was either checked out and spacey or she was screaming because something was too bright, too loud, too much.
When we started TherapeuticListening last year, I was hopeful, but didn't really know what to expect. Since we started Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy all at once, (due to insurance changes,) it is impossible to tell which one is having the most therapeutic effect, but I know she doesn't scream at family gatherings any more and she can now go into a gymnasium and not lose it.
This therapy is done in concert with other therapies recommended by her Occupational Therapist, so I warn you not to do this without professional input as some of the tracks can have unexpected or upsetting effects. They are trained specifically in how to do this therapy and it shouldn't be done on you own to just try it and see.
|photo from: http://www.aitinstitute.org/AUDITORY_INTEGRATION_TRAINING/boy_white2.jpg|
She is learning coping strategies that help her deal with uncomfortable situations. Last Thanksgiving instead of leaving early because she had been crying for a hour, she spent the first half hour at Grandma's house with her fingers in her ears. She chose to stay in a quiet part of the house and after a few hours told me she was ready to go home. That hadn't happened before. She can tell us things now, she has figured out sometimes life is too loud and how to do something about it. I am thankful that she is making progress.