Monday, June 27, 2011

Behavior Therapy

Today the boys and I went to Kennedy Krieger's Behavior Therapy department in Baltimore for an initial meeting with a therapist to discuss some stuff that is going on with Ryder. It takes us about 30 minutes to get there, but it is a straight shot and easy to find which is nice. The boys were both upset when they saw the valet parking people drive off with our car so I had to reassure them multiple times that they would bring our car back when we were done.

We went into one of the therapy rooms and started talking with the therapist. Unfortunately, they are doing some construction on the floor below and happened to start using a saw and hammer directly below us. As soon as that started Ryder was in tears jumping into my arms so we moved to a different room which was much quieter. I came prepared this time with crayons and paper to keep the boys occupied while I talked with the therapist. We were there for almost 2 hours and I feel she really listened and heard what our concerns were. She asked tons of questions and had obviously read all of Ryder's past history because she knew a ton of what was going on. Then she made a list of things that she heard and felt we could & should address through therapy. Some of the things we will work on include needle phobia, violent tantrums, bedtime tantrums, mealtime tantrums, aggressive outbursts, and potty training.

We chose to start with the needle phobia since he has to get those infusions and the way we go about it now with Ben restraining him will just make it harder and worse long-term. His first therapy session will be next week on July 6. She went over a few of the techniques we would use and one of them really has me excited. There is something I was told about by a few other parents and I have researched online, but didn't want to just buy it without know how it worked. This thing is called Buzzy and basically it is used to distract the child's feeling of pain. It has an ice pack and it vibrates in order to overload the body with sensations so they won't feel the pain. It is placed in specific areas (depending on where the needle will go) to get the best outcome. At Kennedy Krieger they use this in their therapy so we will get the chance to try it out.

After we make progress with the needle phobia we will move on to the other concerns. The good thing is that she told me generally all of the other things utilize the same behavior plan and therapy techniques.