June 07, 2012
i've finally begun to figure out some things that help to soothe William when he's having a bad day and help to calm Finn down a bit and stop him being quite so hyper. Of course, some of these things i've known about since the boys were little, but there's some new tricks i've acquired recently, so i thought it would be worth documenting them here (more for me than for anyone else as i use this as a kind of diary, but others are welcome to make suggestions if they have any). Oh and btw for those who don't know William has tuberous sclerosis, epilepsy, sensory processing disorder and autism and Finn we highly suspect has ADHD or something similar.
William can be a rather grumpy little bunny at times, sometimes we think this is due to his epilepsy - when he is either brewing for a seizure or tired because he is recovering from a bad one - also this can be caused by his sensory sensitivities which make him protest very loudly if he experiences a noise or texture which he doesn't like or if something touches his head or feet. William also has sudden rages where he headbangs, screams very crossly and gets aggressive and destructive for no apparent reason, we think on account of his autism and developmental delays, which must be very frustrating for him.
These are the things i have found to soothe William:
- certain songs, particularly classical music for babies
- being in a darkened, cool room
- repetitive 'droning' sounds like the washing machine or the hoover
- brushes or fingernails trailing up and down his arms
- skin to skin contact such as snuggles, massage, etc
- some aromatherapy oils (i make up mixtures myself)
- being able to watch trees, especially if the wind is blowing through them
- being in water (bath, paddling pool, swimming pool)
- being near a large body of water such as a river, lake or the sea, especially if there's boats moving about
- listening to the sound of ducks quacking
Finn is a whirlwind of destruction and mischief, always on the go, has boundless energy, very impulsive, constantly getting himself into scrapes, throws himself around, loves running, jumping, climbing, wedging himself in, rolling, bouncing, tipping, pouring, posting, dropping, throwing, stripping naked, smearing, piling, ripping, etc. Finn has already had quite a few injuries, made countless messes and destroyed a large number of items. He finds it very difficult to sit for any length of time at all, can't ever be totally still, has a very short attention span, never finishes anything, races from one thing to the next, is loud and boisterous and exhausting.
These are the things i have found to calm Finn down a little:
- giving him very weak tea first thing in the morning
- repetitive rocking, gliding or swinging motions
- massage with firm pressure
- rhythmic stroking of his head
- being near (large) animals
- letting him fidget with something in his hands if he has to sit down
- some aromatherapy oils
- being outside with lots of space (park, woods, beach)
- weighting him down (e.g. with sandbags on his lap)
- being near the sea (or even hearing the sea)
So i'm hopeful that armed with this knowledge i can help both my boys be more calm and focused, as well as finding new ways to help them everyday.