Surprise, it was a friend of mine travelling on business there, and she pinged me later on Skype. Turns out, her son had behavior and symptoms similar to Karen’s. In fact, she sent me a comment almost a year ago, after reading about Karen on this blog, asking me to get in touch since she was familiar with this type of behavior, and “it could be a simple neurological issue, call me to talk”. I’m embarrassed to say, but at that time I was so overwhelmed with immediate issues that I didn’t contact her. But now, once I’ve reached my own conclusions and posted about sensory integration issues, she reminded me, again, from Mozambique, that we need to talk.
Slowly, and if you repeat something to me enough times, I may actually listen. It turns out that my friend in Mozambique wanted to discuss sensory integration with me almost a year ago! Had I only had ears to hear, I may have saved us a year of worry and distress, or at least we could have started an appropriate therapy earlier. The good news, according to my friend, is that it isn’t too late, in fact it never is, and we can begin addressing Karen’s sensory integrate immediately.
Today I met with Matan’s occupational therapist, and she said that she thinks discussing brushing for Matan was premature. After reviewing his complete profile, she thinks he needs more specific sensory stimulation, especially oral – not so much desensitizing him with regular brushing. She went on to say that from what I’ve told her of Karen, brushing may actually be more effective for her, but of course, I would need an OT to do a full work up.
So now I’ve gotten some leads on OTs for Karen, and her therapist’s agreement to pursue OT. The therapist admitted that her focus was dealing with emotions and that she lacked any expertise in OT. She wasn’t even able to recommend anyone. Originally, she had asked us to desist from using other therapists/therapies with Karen, but after I discussed the whole OT and sensory integration issue, and she admitted that she had no real knowledge of it, so she agreed for us to work with someone else on OT. I will make sure to connect the OT we select with our therapist so that we can pull together the information. But in the end, only a parent can really integrate all the different therapies and advice.