It doesn’t take much time spent reading this blog to realize that my 8-year-old son, Edward, is a sensory seeker. Running, bouncing, spinning, crashing–these movements and sensations are all a therapeutically necessary part of his everyday life. These actions provide the proprioceptive input his body craves in order to maintain some sort of focus and order, and without them, he cannot sit still, concentrate or maintain his emotional composure for any length of time.
Edward takes sensory breaks during the school day during which he bounces on a mini (I shudder to utter the word) trampoline; his classroom is equipped with multiple bean bags and large pillows for crashing and smashing. He pops over to the OT room for some intense spinning in a mesh swing, and thrills to careening all over the OT room on roller boards.
Edward spends almost ever afternoon after school outside in the back yard swinging, playing “tackle” football with his brother and rolling around in the grass. We have devoted an entire storage closet in our new house to being a “crash room” outfitted with huge pillows, futons and mattresses. Only after these activities is he focused enough to endure his social skills class or attempt handwriting practice.
So after Edward’s untimely tumble off an un-netted trampoline, (at a friend’s house), and subsequent ambulance ride, we leave the ER with this sage advice from the attending doctor: “His recovery should be fairly easy. Just keep him calm and quiet for the next week or so…no running or jumping or rough-housing.”
My husband and I looked at each other and our shoulders kind of slumped.
The next day we wondered aloud why we hadn’t asked the doctor for a sedative…for all three of us.
We have made it through the one-week mark, and I have to say I am beginning to relax just a bit. When he tripped over his sister’s huge box of crayons yesterday afternoon, my heart did stop for a moment, only to start beating again when he assured me, “That was my hip, Mom, not my head!”