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I chose to try brushing since our choices are limited by the previous AIT and the trial is limited. I figure it can't hurt and if it does help it is worth the time. I also know that there are very strict guidelines on using a brushing protocol for sensory defensiveness. We are not following those guidelines. We are doing what works for Sensi and our family. This entails twice daily brushing her body with a soft brush and then following that with joint compressions. I have both the deluxe brush and the cheap "nail" brush that is found at discount and dollar stores. Sensi has shown no preference for one over the other, but I do give her a choice of brushes before we start. That choice makes her more open to being brushed. I talked with her OT in school and they said that in the course of the school day the staff could fit in a daily brushing session too.
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The aim is to make Sensi more aware of her body so that she pays attention to the need to go and uses the bathroom promptly when this occurs. She has had a history of ignoring her body's needs to void and has been a variable eater. She has no set pattern to her toileting, like some other children. It has been very difficult to toilet train her mostly due to this inattention to her insides. This sensation of your internal organs and awareness of them is called interoception. Apparently, she has a lack in this area and we are trying to help her be more aware.
We are a week into the two week trial, and I can say that there have been days that I missed a brushing session here and there. That being said, I have seen an improvement in her toileting. I will let you know if there are any huge breakthroughs. Although as you all may know, many of the gains our children make are small and slow. It is when you look back over a month or a year that you see the real progress being made.
Jessica Davich U of Wisc. Stout studies:
An Examination of Brushing Program for a Child with Sensory Sensitivity
A Comparison of Interventions for Children with Tactile Defensiveness