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Friday, July 5, 2013

Therapressure Protocol and New Therapies

As we are getting settled in our new home, Grayson and Marloe have had several initial doctor and therapists appointments. Marloe loves our new pediatrician. This is especially true because she did not have to get shots this time at her 3 year well visit. We even had to go back a week later to have the doctor examine a suspicious bug bite and Marloe wasn't the least bit stressed about the impromptu trip like she has been in the past. The bite turned out to be nothing but a local reaction that steroid cream could easily fix.

We actually requested this doctor as a result of suggestions from the local Down Syndrome Family Alliance. I asked for some specialist and doctor suggestions on their Facebook page before moving. Dr. Butcher's name came up several times in the responses. She is also one of the board members of the alliance. When we called to make an appointment, they told me she was not taking new patients. I explained our situation and why we wanted her to be our child's doctor. They called me back the next day to tell me Dr. Butcher was happy to take my children on since I had made a special request. Now we couldn't be happier.

We have also had various intake appointments for the early intervention program and OT and PT evaluations. The speech evaluation isn't until August. We are also waiting for our meeting with the service provider for our Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). Every family gets that is enrolled in the state's early intervention program has a plan developed for them and their child. We had one in Georgia also. Luckily, Grayson was able to get started on OT right away. We are still waiting on a PT appointment.

After speaking with us about Grayson's quick to get frustrated temperament and the fact that it can take two people to get him diapered and dressed, she offered us some home therapy solutions. It is called Therapressure Therapy and is only effective with individuals diagnosed with sensory defensiveness. Grayson has a touch of this, which is why we think he gets so hard to handle when it is time to change his diaper or clothes. The laying down and actual change to his body is the trigger.

So we take these brushes:

And we hold the "device" in a horizontal direction, apply firm even strokes with pressure enough to flatten the bristles on the arms, hands, back, legs, and feet. Next we perform joint compression, ten times each, to every joint. Here is a video of the process:




Now, our wonderful OT, Sarah has very high expectations for Mommy, Daddy, and Grayson (as said in the video and by the way my husband has a dirty mind..hee..hee). She wants us to do this at home therapy for up to two hours a day and no less than an hour and a half a day. We have to continue this every day for three weeks. So I have been "brushing" my child and compressing joints every second I can spare.  I have yet to reach even an hour of brushing time. Grayson is starting to run (i.e. crawl really fast) from us whenever he sees the brushes in our hands. Folks, it has only been two days since we started this.

Now don't get me wrong. I am open to the possibilities of this therapy. Sarah claims that we will see results in Grayson's level of frustration as well as a decline in the difficulty of getting him dressed. I just am not sure how effective the therapy will be if I cannot even reach the goal of brushing time each day. Drew and I might need to huddle up with a new game plan for this Therapressure Therapy. Sarah stated that we would see an increase is crankiness before we saw improvement. With my teaching experience, I find this is usually true when children are introduced to something new be it routine, concepts, skills, or therapies.

So I get it. I just need an idea of how I am going to accomplish this task. We will get there. Even if Grayson only gets 30 to 45 minutes of brushing and compression, at least he is getting it. I will let you know in the next couple weeks how the therapy has paid off. We can do anything for 3 weeks!

Here are some pics from Aunt Nikki and Uncle Chris' wedding two weeks ago.

Grayson was the dapper ring bearer.

 Marloe was the outspoken flower girl.

She yelled at the end of the aisle, "We are not done throwing our flowers!" and "This is a wedding party. Where is my wedding cake!" Grayson just sat in the wagon, eating a cracker, and looking like the stud that he is.

Happy Fourth!


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