Over the past few months we’ve seen that Tommy struggles with the structure at school. While that is true, apparently the complete and total lack of structure and deviation from routine is disastrous for him. His OT says this is pretty common for sensory kids.
Tommy has this whole week off of school for the Thanksgiving holiday. He spent all day on Monday at daycare, with what I can assume was complete and total lack of structure. I knew we could have some bumps in the road, but I figured they would do some activities with the kids and that he’d be able to go outside twice, so I thought he’d survive fairly well. I was wrong. He did go to his phonics class, but that was only 30 minutes. He also made a turkey or two out of rice krispy treats. Other than that, I think he was left to busy himself all day. Needless to say, he had a pretty rough day. Nothing bad enough to write up, but it just went on all day. When he got home we saw it too. He was so far gone that he couldn’t complete his “heavy work” activities to get the input he needed.
Yesterday was a shorter day for him, and it was topped off with his weekly OT session. (Thank goodness!!) I got some great suggestions from her on what we might do when he gets to be too far gone. The first thing she suggested is to give him something to do with his mouth…specifically chewy foods. So, I will be keeping a stash of his favorite chewy foods in the car, and will be giving them to him on the way home from daycare after rough days. That way, he’ll hopefully be a little bit more down to earth when we get home, and can work on other activities. Her other suggestion for these situations is to modify his “heavy work”. Typically he’s been doing wall push-ups, but when he’s too out of control he just goofs off. What we’re going to try in these cases is having him push my hands, so then he has to focus on me and I am in control of how hard he’s working.
Going forward, I asked her about how to handle these days off of school. Will he be needing to get his input at more frequent intervals? She says to intensify the program. Okie dokie…heavy duty input before he leaves the house in the morning. We also chatted about how he is in the car, seeing as how we have a 5-6 hour drive tonight. Truthfully, he’s hit or miss in the car. And if today is a rough day for him, I’m reasonably sure that tonight would be a big miss. So…again with the chewy foods to get him input through his mouth. Her other suggestion is sucking things through a straw. We could try a milkshake, but if that’s too easy for him, she says try pudding or yogurt through a straw. Guess we’ll just have to see how things go.
Today is his last day at daycare for the week. He will still be without structure and routine over the rest of the holiday weekend, but at least he’ll be under my supervision then. After that, his next break from school is over Christmas. Right now, I’m only anticipating him having to be at daycare for 2 of the days off school. How we’ll handle that will depend on how things go until then.