We have for awhile been having concerns and difficulties with Elizabeth regarding over stimulation and sensory seeking. Going out to busy stores, being in a crowded room, eating in a restaurant and even visiting friends and family's homes has been more challenging. Elizabeth easily becomes overstimulated in these situations and becomes a child that we don't know. Elizabeth is a very good natured child who cooperates with most that we ask of her but in these situations she trashes her body throwing her head back, throws objects, squeals, yells, cannot stay still, hits and kicks. We have tried so many ways (weighted belt, deep pressure vest, busy toys, stories) to engage her in these situations but in the end exiting is the only way we can get her calm. It saddens us because she is not that child but there is something in these environments that causes her discomfort.
Elizabeth also has gone from avoiding textures to seeking stimuli; so much that she has been found making angels in the dirt, shredding toilet paper roll by roll, spilling her food or drink so she can feel it in her hands and emptying my plant pots. These can be 'typical' things to do but they became that she was unable to complete daily tasks without her fix as we call it.
We ended seeking help from a private Occupational Therapist who has given us some great ideas and has shown us the Wilbarger Technique of brushing. The brushing technique has really helped Elizabeth it calms her and enables to participate in activities/outings that are normally difficult for her. The protocol does require brushing and joint compressions every 90 minutes but we are only doing it in the morning and before a stressful situation. Her teacher has noticed the days we do and don't brush her as Elizabeth does not squeal and become overexcited when she is brushed. We also are continuing with her proprioceptive activities to enhance her body awareness, she loves the rough play and being flattened by her big PT ball.