Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Arousal at a museum

Sorry about the title. I couldn't help myself. Also, sorry if your Google search brought you here with completely different expectations.

However, occupational therapists speak quite a bit about arousal. And in the case of SPD kids it's 1. not always good, 2. not always easy to spot, and 3. not easy to come down from. Let me explain.

Henry has had a rough couple of days filled with moments of meltdowns. One reason, suggested by his dear therapist, is that his arousal level gets too high and he isn't recovering well. This means he can look like a completely normal 2 year old at a children's museum until later that night at 8-11 pm when he can't stop screaming.

So, as it turns out, the sudden spikes of emotion are actually slowly brewing caused by various visual and auditory stimuli. When he's running around wild and working himself up into a tizzy that I think is "getting all his energy out," he's actually going to an elevated whirling dervish state that specifically doesn't help him.

A great thing about the STAR Center is the parent education hours where the therapist sits down and answers questions and discusses observations surrounding treatment. It's kind of a pain to figure out what to do with your child during this time since you have to be there without them. But I find that's pretty much always the case when taking opportunities to learn, be refreshed, and become a better parent.

Meanwhile, I just hope my son isn't getting too aroused. Gees, isn't it a little early to worry about that?

Sorry again. Couldn't help myself.

And sorry Henry, for this post being totally and completely embarrassing to you in 12 years.

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