Ethan was born with multiple disabilities, so he had had to be hospitalized on several occasions since birth. They came to KickStart to seek help improving his gross motor skills due to his disabilities. However, his mother was also concerned about Ethan’s tactile defensiveness. Ethan disliked being touched even by his mother. He disliked being held, lying prone, or touching water. His tactile defensiveness was quite severe. In order to help with his gross motor skills, we had to first improve his tactile defensiveness; therefore, the first few sessions of therapy consisted of the tactile brush paired with joint compression techniques, the Dr. Silva QST massage, the Masgutova MNRI method and yoga for the special child to help stimulate his parasympathetic system, which helped lessen his anxiousness and sensitivity to touch.
In less than a month, the mother expressed that her child was fine with being held. Although he still shied away from touch to his arms due to having to get shots for medical care, his overall defensiveness and anxiousness had improved. After two more weeks of conducting the massage techniques from home, Ethan became able to happily play in the water with a baby swim ring around his neck.
After we had made progress with his tactile defensiveness, we moved on to improving his vestibular sense to help Ethan with his gross motor skills and visual attention/perception. Ethan enjoyed the activities such as the swing, trotting, holding a ball while jumping and swinging, and even the slide. He always came to class full of energy and with a big smile.
Just as his name ‘Ethan’ suggests, he is a firm, enduring and strong child. The journey to his discovery may be long and tough, but he is taking every step with confidence. Every time he comes to KickStart, I can feel that he’s putting his best effort into becoming better and healthier.
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