LB has this aversion, I’ll say to mess. Particularily anything messy, sticky, gooey on his hands… he will NOT get dirty outside on purpose and if he does get mud anywhere he runs to the front door shouting “Mud! I wash Mah hanz!” He has even started waking up 2-3 times a night to wash his hands, at first he would tell me and id go help him. But now I jus thear the water turn on in the middle of the night, and thats my que to go help him, since he cannot turn it on the correct temperature and can only seem to turn it directly on to scalding hot.
“Teacher M” LB’s private OT and I have both tried to ease him in to fun types of messy play that help with fine motor skills and finger isolation for pre-writing skills. Prime example..two almost three weeks ago now LB went to the gym with “M” and I. “M” pulls out a can of soap foam and sprays some on a mirror and begins to rub it around, then takes her finger and draws a shape in it. She is all the while saying “come on you try! your turn! Draw me a circle LB!” YEAH RIGHT. He immeditely gave her the stink eye classic LB style shoved his thumb in his mouth(ALWAYS the left one) ran to the other side of the gym and wouldn’t come back until the foam was wiped off and the foam can wasn’t visible anymore. it takes great skill to even get him to play in shaving cream with a tool such as a straw or popcicle stick. Even after that he has to “Wash Mah hanz” even though he did not.even get any on his skin AT ALL.
You would think(or at least I did at first) that a kid so obsessed with messy hands and clean would hate a dirty face or clothes and would love the bath or shower…I WISH! Poor LB practically has a heart attack when I put him in the tub. He loves playing in a bit of water (maybe 2in at most) or sometimes with just the faucet on, but even with warning or him telling me i can turn on the shower he flips out instantly. Thats where the wilbarger brushing protocol came in to play last week. “M” suggested it was time to try it for LB, we had done it for a while with BB with good results for a while then he became adversive to it. This technique isnt meant for long term use only as needed and under the guidance by a trained professional. You can take a few week or month break and do it again as needed but it depends on your child’s needs/tollerances and your therapists view on the protocol it self. bB sometimes asks me to bursh him and I do if he asks, we still do the deep pressure piece in it self as needed many times a day with differenc things, like jumping on my bed, deep hugs, weighted blankets etc. It turns out LB LOVES TO BE BRUSHED AND LOVES DEEP COMPRESSIONS! it only takes max 2 minutes to do the protocol and compressions together and he lays down and says “mo bwush” after ive finished, i think he’d lie there for an hour with me brushing him if i let him! Im not sure if thats good to do so before i do any long period brushing ill ask “M”.
We are doing the brushing 3x a day for two weeks to see how it regulates Lb and extra before messy play or a shower/bath. Yesterday I brushed him then a bit later (10-15min) I put him in the tub and tried to turn on the water he cried and usually he doesnt do that until i turn on the shower part. I spent 15min turning it on and off and asking him questions trying to folow his lead and not push the fact that I wanted to eventually turn on the shower and get his head wet. The shower got turned on but after 3 min of hysteria, i turned it off. Needles to say LB didnt get his hair wet that day! I thought the brushing didnt work for the water part! But then i realized a key factor..LB was able to remain calm enough while still crying to answer my questions and tell me he was all done or what I could do to help him. THAT NEVER HAPPENS, the only change in the routine of the bath/shower was the brushing so Im willing to say even after one try with brushing before shower we are def seeing some positive results. The more we try the closer we may get. I’m glad for a knowledgeable OT and therapies we can try. Thank you God for how you put people and other things in our lives so we can help our children! Take care everyone and have an AWESOME Tuesday!