SI Therapy For The Hyposensitive
My son is 7 with apraxia and some sensory issues. The questions I am worried about is he has gotten burnt with a cookie sheet, cut on the bottom of the foot and other accidents and never acknowledged the pain by yelling or crying.
Now that I think back I have never seen him scratch his body, bug bites.... What can I do to help his body wake up???? He is getting bigger and accidents are getting bigger what do I do if he doesn't feel it???
This is a very good question! And a very common issue with our SPD kiddos. This can be a serious safety issue when a child does not feel pain. If you do not have an Occupational Therapist trained in Sensory Integrative therapy, then I would strongly suggest you find one, have your child evaluated, and begin treatment. If you already do have a therapist, please do ask him/her to teach you how to do the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, or the Burpee Method for tactile undersensitivity.
If you do not have access to a professional who can guide you through this process, then a safe at home strategy might be: Stimulate the skin several times a day to increase sensitivity. Take advantage of bath time and wash quickly all over with a nylon scrubbie, omitting the stomach area if
the child has any history of seizures. Towel dry with brisk motion, using a towel that has not been softened with fabric softener. Throughout the day, provide tactile stimulation to hands and feet with a variety of fun and appealing games and textured surfaces, like clay, beans in a tub, sand play... various textures that are not distressing to him. Massaging his skin with your hands or a hand held massager will increase input to his tactile sense.
Keep it fun, light and no stress. This may take some time, possibly weeks if you help him daily, even better, several times a day. But we have seen improvement in tactile response by adding input to this sense.
One thing to consider, if you are seeing hyposensitivity to the degree that you feel alarmed, you really might want fill out the Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist for Children
. Where we see one sensory issue, there are frequently other areas that need help, we have not realized. Use that checklist to identify other areas, and/or get an initial or continued treatment from an Occupational Therapist.
As he progresses in OT, this will get better. Make sure he is getting help and remember to check (you or he can) for bruises, scrapes, burns, bug bites, etc. often as he may not feel something that needs attention.
Administrator, SPD International