Friday, June 14, 2013

Camp… Anxiety… SPD… and Me, Part 1

Mom signed me up for Summer Arts Academy this week.

When she told me about it, I was worried. The first thoughts that went through my mind were that my mom was sending me away. I did not want to be sent away. I had never been anywhere without my mom except church and school and that does not really count because with church mom is in the building and school we have to go. I mean I have gone to friend’s houses but only a couple and my mom, or dad, usually stays because I like it that way.

Needless to say, the thought of camp was scary at first.

Mom told me all about the art stuff we would get to do and then that there would also be music. I was excited about the art, I love art. It is so much fun to make stuff and all. The music part, I was not so excited about.

I have sensory processing disorder. I am auditory, visual, and tactile defensive. I have gone through a LOT of occupational therapy when I was younger, and mom has continued, to desensitize the tactile. However, what I see and what I hear cannot really be desensitized. There are ways to cope, but if it hurts, it hurts.

All of this to say, music is a gray area. I love music, as long as it is on my terms. It is something that I need to be able to control or be able to remove myself. But hey, I am eight, I sometimes do not handle situations correctly and when I am already anxious about a situation it can make it worse.

The anxiousness was evident when we went to church Sunday. I could not tolerate the worship music and had to wear my headphones. Mom started to get concerned; she knew that if I did not relax that camp would be a wash.

Things my mom does to calm me
A few tricks that mom does to help me when I get anxious or ‘hyperkinetic’. No one thing works exclusively but it does seem to help.

A warm lavender Epsomsalt bath – Epsom salt allegedly helps remove impurities from your body and then lavender helps relax you.*

Lavender soap – we use a homemade lavender soap that has lavender and evening primrose oil in it. In our experience the soap aides in calming Benji down. (Lavender Lullabyfrom Neika’s Naturals)*

Lavender Deodorant – this is new to our regimen. There needed to be something that could be used during the day that would not put Benji to sleep, but would help calm. So far, it seems to do the trick.*

Exercises – Proprioceptive feedback helps, such as: Jumping Jacks, Wall Pushups, doing Sit-ups on the exercise ball, jumping on the trampoline, and running. All of these exercises give feedback into the nerves and joints that perhaps everyday activity does not necessarily give.

Massage – deep pressure massage. In Benji’s case he prefers a deep massage, the brushing technique as we were shown does not help, it makes him worse.

Hug Vest – A silicone pressure vest that gives hugs essentially. (Personally, I would talk to your therapist before trying this.)

Weighted Blanket – We have an old homemade quilt that is HEAVY. On Benji’s bad days I will usually find him in his room, under his bed in the corner wrapped up in this quilt.



*Be cautious with Lavender, some people are allergic to it.
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