Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Monkeys on crack? No it's just my kids...



Anyone who has read this blog knows that I'm not the queen of "How To's" but rather usually "How To Not..." But today, my man hands and I are going to take a leap into the unknown and share a little sumpin sumpin about how to "de-crack" "un-hyper" and "sedative-ize" your crazy monkey ... special needs or not, this post is for any mom who has ever muttered "Are you on crack?  Why in the heck are you so hyper?" (Oh, is that just me??)

As the mom of special needs boys I have tried ALL different kinds of therapies to help tame their sensory and communication "issues".  Along with being a curtain climbing ape very active, Sawyer (my oldest) struggled hugely with violent aggression, tantrums and a slue of other sensory issues.  I remember one night after we realized that the heavy duty anti-psychotics we had him on weren't working, my husband and I just sat at our kitchen table and cried together... we felt like we were out of options. We lived less than a mile from one of the world's leading pediatric biomedical specialist (specializing in treating kids with autism through bio-medical means) but our insurance wouldn't cover treatment and we didn't have the $1000 for the initial appointment. We felt like failures... and honestly we didn't know what to do with our special little man.

That week our OT (occupational therapist) contacted us about a new study going on a little over an hour south of us. It was a deep compression massage training called Qigong. I had no clue what it was and I didn't care... it was free and offered to address all of the issues Sawyer was struggling with at the time. After getting past my initial skepticism, my husband and I committed whole heartedly to the study... and... IT CHANGED OUR LIVES!!!

Every night I gave Sawyer the 5 minute massage that left him calm and focused. He could literally be stemming (self soothing) and going bazerk and a couple of minutes into the massage he was a limp noodle (in this case, it's a good thing:))... after three months of doing this daily we noticed a HUGE difference in Sawyer's sensory issues, he started sleeping better, talking more, having less accidents, less melt-downs and he was dramatically less aggressive. I have since become a HUGE advocate for the Qigong Sensory Training Institute in Salem.... because they gave us our little boy back.

We still give "Pat-Pats" (that's what we call the massage in our house) pretty routinely... and honestly they're NOT just for kids on the spectrum. Lots of typical kids have sensory issues, melt-downs, trouble sleeping and are hyper... this can help them too! I use it on my youngest, who is not on the spectrum and have seen great results!

So here it is... 12 simple techniques that could make your life ohhh so much better! 
{All information from the Qigong Sensory Training Institute... I am not a trained professional... I am a mom... try at your own risk... don't sue me if you don't get the results I did... okey dokey that's my waiver:)}

Cup you hands and starting at the top of the head pat with one hand down to the heal... following the dots on the diagram. 
{For Calming}


Similar to movement 1 start at the top of the head and pat down the body to the heals with both hands. 
{Helps Skin Feel Better}





Starting on top of the head use both hands to pat down the outside of the body to the ankles. (we just cup and press over ears... we don't pat)
{Helps With Temper}




Start at the ear (make sure you don't pat too hard over the ear and that your fingers are a little open) pat down neck over shoulder and then to the tips of the fingers on each side.
{Helps with Listening}


This is one of my faves... it encourages eye contact and is a sweet social time. Just wiggle their arms like a spaghetti noodle up and then back down on each side.
{Helps With Social Skills and Opening Up To People}


Rub each finger and thumb three times... if it seems to tickle you can just grab all fingers and compress three times and work towards doing it on each individual finger.
{Helps With Connection and Communication}



Slowly press with both hands on the front of the chest down to the ribs.
{Helps Calm}






For a little one with "normal" tummy function rub the stomach firmly and slowly clockwise 9 times, counter clockwise fast 9 times and then clockwise 9 times slowly... IF your child is constipated start with counter clockwise 9 times then clockwise 9 time and back to counterclockwise 9 times.
{Helps With Tummy Problems}




Using both hands pat down the thighs to the tops of the feet three times.
{Helps Keep Tummy Working}
Here's a video of the massage... we have modified some of the moves to fit Sawyer's needs... you will also have to figure out the right amount of pressure to use on your child.


Firmly rub from back of the knee to back of the heel 9 times or until the leg relaxes.
{Helps With Sleep}



Massage each toe three times. Again in your child is tickelish, just grab all toes and squeeze them 3 times... working towards the goal of doing each one individually.
{Connects Back To Belly Center}


Grab both feet using your pointer and thumb, squeezing firmly right under the ball of the foot, and push the feet towards the rest of the body.
{Helps Brain To Learn}

Let child lay down and rest until they are ready to get up afterwards.


For more information or to order your own DVD/book visit www.qsti.org

If you're really interested in seeing what this looks like in motion... here is a video of me doing it on my son... he was pretty wound up before and this calmed him and got him ready for bed...



Don't Forget to {Go Blue} for autism awareness month.. Check out these amazing mother warriors and do your part to spread awareness about autism this month!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...