The sensory seeker

He’s changing.  I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but Roman is morphing before my eyes.  I am almost certain he’s on the medication now.  We haven’t seen a whole lot in the way of speech in the past few days, but he has used eat, ball, bed, and dada along with his old standbys of mom and no.  Tonight he said both dogs’ names.  “Boo” came out clear as day.  “Kissy” was a little harder to understand, but he was definitely saying it.  Not only was he saying it,  he was calling the dog.  It was obvious that he wanted the dog to come with him when he spit out “iss-he”.

I was warned that irritability may occur with the buspirone, should he be lucky enough to get the real stuff.  Dizziness and nausea were also side effects.  If he is experiencing any of that, it may explain the mood he was in tonight.  From the moment he walked in the door, all he vocalized was an unhappy humming.  It didn’t stop at dinner.  He hummed between bites of food as shoveled his face full.  I tried the sensory ball.  I tried rolling him up in blankets.  I tried hugging him and holding him.  Finally, I took him to my bedroom to watch the ceiling fan.  That seemed to calm him.

There’s another weird thing I’ve noticed lately with Roman.  He seems to be searching out sensory activities.  I’ve mentioned the wood chewing and oral fixations before.  They haven’t gotten any better, in fact, they may be getting worse.  I try to redirect him to his chewy, but it only works for so long.  I think he might just get through that pesky bedpost yet.  Today, I talked to his occupational therapist about it.  She’s ordering him a new chewy with more resistance and I’m seriously considering getting him the wooden teething toys I’ve found online.

Another odd behavior he’s been doing as of late is crawling in between the fitted sheets and mattresses in the house.  A few nights ago, I couldn’t find him anywhere.  I called his name.  I checked every room.  It was as if he disappeared.  Then Tanis came out of her room laughing.

“Roman’s inside my bed!” She giggled.

Sure enough, I found him in between the tight fitted sheet and the mattress pad.  He was laying flat and smiling.  He loved it.  I pulled him out and he screamed and scratched at me.  So, I let him crawl back in.  What else could I do?  He just wanted that close feeling.  I had images of Temple Grandin’s squeeze machine running through my head, but if it’s what made him happy in a recent time of unrest, how could I take that from him.

I have to say now that I’m a bit unnerved by Temple Grandin’s squeeze machine, but not for reasons one might expect.  I understand her need to feel pressure, just like a hug.  But, I find it sad that she can’t accept that pressure from another human being.  Roman is very affectionate and I am scared that he’s going to lose that.  I don’t want him to withdraw from human contact.

Everywhere I turn, I catch Roman seeking out sensory input, from his chewing to burying himself under pillows.  This seems to have a calming effect on him.  That’s all fine with me, but I have to wonder about why he’s doing it.  Is he uncomfortable or unnerved by how his body is adjusting to the medication?  Will this just be a phase until his body regulates?  It makes me wonder what, exactly, the guy is going through.  I wish the greatest wish I have ever wished that he could tell me.

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3 Responses to The sensory seeker

  1. Lisa says:

    (((hugs))) momma and to ur lil one. I was wondering why I hadn’t seen you much online. I hope you work thru things.

  2. Sandy Maxim says:

    Alli, I commend you on your writing and sensitivity to all that is going on with Roman. I understand your wish that Roman could tell you what he is feeling. Trust your instincts. Your awareness is amazing. When I worked with high school students with autism, I struggled with identifying their strengths and what made them comfortable, in time, some things would be discovered. It sounds like some magic is going on with Roman. He will let you know, keep watching and listening. I believe he will find what Temple Grandin did on her journey.

  3. Jen says:

    I hear you! We too have noticed an increase in sensory seeking but have put it down to the weather and not being able to get outside on the trampoline (best thing we ever bought). I hope he feels happier soon and if not that you can discover the underlying reasons. Jen

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