Part 5 – Beginning to understand my little girl
Paul and I sat in the room of the Chiropractor with our little girl, and tears rolled down my cheek. The lady was absolutely phenomenal with her. We had filled out an initial form with our observations, so when she met Maleah she knew what she was dealing with – and did she know. Within 30 mins, this lady had tied together and pretty much explained most of what we had been dealing with for just over 4 years – from the inability to latch on properly for feeding, to the regular hair cutting (!!), and dislike of seatbelt.
I don’t like labels, because most of society doesn’t understand labels, well enough to engage people well, include them effective and see them develop. Infact, in a book that I mention further down, society in general believed that the brain could not be trained / changed / developed after a certain a age – which has now been disproven, so the majority of approaches to dealing with these labels are coping techniques, rather than development activities . I’ve seen it in the school system, in the classroom, many a time in my short time of training and teaching. I was adamant that Maleah wasn’t going to be labelled for the sake of labelling. I shared this with the lady and she thought the same. We don’t have a label – but there are symptoms that she can have therapy for.
The two main symptoms were – adrenal hypersensitivity (this is why she would almost drown when swimming and not have a care in the world of how close she comes to death! This is why discipline has to be so dramatic, and firm for it to make any change to her behaviour. This is why she looked a policeman in the eyes, while climbing out of her seatbelt, straight after he had told her the importance of staying in her seatbelt.
The second main symptom was sensory sensitivity (this helped explain the wearing of certain clothes, the dislike of certain foods, the meltdowns during the playing of loud music, the withdrawing socially from ‘busy’ crowded environments to have alone time, the meltdowns in her sleep, delayed toilet training – the list went on.
Such a peace came over me. As I sat there tears rolled down my cheek. I felt God pulling back the layers of dislike I had for my daughter.
Quite a few years ago, I taught at a weekend school for the gifted. One of the most common observations soon after the children arrived, was one of relaxing and fitting in. They had found a place where they shared common understanding and weren’t the odd ones out. This is how Maleah responded that day. We heard her giggle. We saw her respond to being understood. She commenced therapy straight away, which included manipulation of spine / bones, deep massage, tickling etc etc.
Home activities included:
– Lots and lots of tickling, to stimulate unstimulated touch senses.
– Exercise ball – dramatic play. She lies over the top, we hold her legs, and puh her, quite roughly over the top, and back again.
Initial Observations in First Week:
– Tantrums/meltdowns dropped from being almost 1 1/2 hours every time, and almost daily to 1 or 2 a week, and lasting less than 15-20minutes.
– No more screaming / walking around at night. (She still gets up and climbs into our bed, as all the other children do 🙂 )
I literally felt like I had a different child, who was more settled and happier. Paul and I also realised that we could now discipline her and train her, and it be a lot more effective – hardwork still, but effective. It may sound strange, but I realised how afraid I was to discipline her or deal with her behaviour, for fear of a long meltdown ensuing – and I am still getting used to this. I occasionally find myself thinking, “Oh, I don’t have to ignore this, I can address it!”
We continued to do weekly visits for 8 weeks. During this time, I searched for more therapy ideas online. I came across a book called “Disconnected Kids” by Dr. Robert Mellilo. If I were to ever re-enter the classroom and teach, this would transform my approach to children with neurological health concerns, including Dyslexia, ASD, ADD, ADHD, SPD and many others. More about this next time.
For those wanting to know a bit more about the technique the chiropractor uses, here is a quick definitions:
SOT stands for Sacro Occipital Technique (or Technic). “Sacro” means “related to, or associated with,” the sacrum. The sacrum is the foundation for the spine. The sacrum is often called the tail bone though this is not exactly correct. “Occipital” means “related to or associated with the occiput. Occiput means “the back of the head”. So, SOT is a method of normalizing the relationship between the foundation of the spine and the top of the spine. It is this relationship and how these two bones get along with one another, that has been proven to be so important in the normal functioning of the brain and spinal cord. The word “Technic” is another way of spelling “technique”. Either word means “the way to get the job done, scientifically and in a short period of time”. (becomehealthynow.com)