Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tortoise Therapy

Tonight my 5 year old, Ali, had an amazing idea! She drew a shape and told me that we were going to color it in together. This was a huge thing for her, as she usually wants to do her own work and is easily upset when things aren't 'perfect'. Sensing an incredible opportunity to work on flexibility I grabbed a marker and went with it. She decided that the shape was a tortoise and wanted me to write the word for her, which she then copied. We each took turns making shapes and coloring them in, and eventually she let me add to her sections. We traded colors, made jokes, and enjoyed some one-on-one time together. This was a far cry from the majority of our month so far.

Ali started first grade last week and has been showing signs of stress and anxiety. While she is academically prepared, the longer school hours and increased expectations seem to be making her feel overwhelmed. Her sensory defensiveness has been highly elevated--she screamed and ran like she was on fire when I put a clip in her hair this morning--and her emotions have been out of whack. Chewing on her clothing was a sensory habit that had largely disappeared, until she went back to school, and now her collars are being chewed to shreds. I was honestly a bit surprised that she was having a tough transition, especially since she has made a new best friend in her class. I know that I need to integrate more sensory activities into her day, and she needs to start seeing the OT at school again. Her school is doing a year-round track schedule so the only 'normal' for her from now until sixth grade will be a constantly changing schedule.