My son Jeremy will almost be six years old next week. For the first 5 ¾ years of his life, putting his shoes and socks and clothes on was a struggle. It isn't anymore. We've come across a miracle cure!!!
Jeremy was diagnosed this past year with Sensory Integration Disorder. He started having problems in school and so we were referred to a place called Lifeskills, in Winter Park, FL. They work with many kids with challenges and specialize in Sensory issues.
The problems we encountered at home were on a daily basis. Getting him out of bed was a struggle, finding the right breakfast and ultimately, we dreaded getting him dressed every day. Socks and shoes were constantly being pulled off and tossed. Clothes were never soft enough and the tags all had to go. I spent hundreds of dollars finding clothes and shoes that he'd keep on his body. Once, Jeremy struggled so hard with pulling off his coat, he slipped and fell, and bumped his head on a chair. That little incident cost him 15 stitches in his head.
When we entered therapy we outlined the laundry list of issues Jeremy had. The big one for us was getting him dressed. Once the therapist gave us the occupational therapy brush and showed us how to brush his arms and legs up and down and his feet, and then to do joint compressions. This brushing is actually a deep pressure massage with a surgical brush and is followed by joint compressions. An occupational therapist can train you once and you'll use it at home. (You can find an OT by going through the school counselor or through your family doctor). It was only 2 -3 of days of brushing Jeremy a few times a day before Jeremy was able to adjust quickly to his shoes when we put them on in the morning.
It's been like a miracle! Jeremy can now wear clothes and will put on socks and keep them there! He still prefers silky clothes like football jersey's but he will put on socks now and not scream and cry. Before we learned of this type of massage it must have felt like he was putting a wool sweater on during the middle of August.
Learning this technique and others at occupational therapy has been a God send in our lives. We used to dread every morning getting Jeremy up and ready for school. We were late nearly every day depending upon what clothes I could find that would feel comfortable.
Now, Jeremy dresses himself on most days and our greatest concern is what to make him for breakfast. We still struggle occasionally getting him out of bed, but from what I understand, THAT could be a struggle well into his teen years. And as long as we don't to dress him then, I think we'll be fine with that!
Mary Gardner is an executive Communications Consultant and coach. She is parenting a child with SID and is constantly learning and sharing with other moms who are struggling with the same issues. Please feel free to contact mary at email@example.com if you would like to share your story.