Yvette is an extremely anxious child. When she gets upset or nervous, she shows symptoms of self-harm such as bumping her head against the wall. She dislikes crowded and noisy environments due to her auditory defensiveness. Furthermore, she cannot tolerate having her hair tied because she does not like being touched due to her tactile defensiveness. Despite being able to say a few words such as ‘dad’, ‘mom’ or ‘brother’, her language ability is limited mostly to making noises rather than being coherent.
Due to poor adaptability, Yvette had a meltdown during her first session at KickStart. She ran out of the classroom in search of an environment she was more familiar with – the play space beside the consultation room, where she spent most of her time during the consultation. I tried approaching Yvette again, but she only cried and clung to her mother’s arms. Therefore, I asked her mother to continue holding Yvette tightly to give her the security needed. Yvette eventually calmed down after I made small talk using a soft voice while applying essential oils and giving her a joint-compression massage. During this first session, I decided to teach her mother the Willbarger Protocol (Brushing Therapy) and the joint-compression method to help ready Yvette for future sessions.
Yvette quickly recognized me when she came in for her second session. I employed the use of ‘Floortime Therapy’ – a method used by therapists to assess and learn more about the child – to build trust with her. During Floortime, I learned that Yvette enjoys playing with non-electronic toys, such as puzzles and blocks. I began playing into her interest, which captured her attention; thus, allowed for better communication between us. At the end of the session, I taught her mother the Dr. Silva Massage to help stabilize Yvette’s emotions at home. When Yvette came back for her third session, she was able to leave her comfort zone and begin to explore the classroom. She was also able to play on the swings in her mother’s arms. Although her level of anxiety was still pretty high, it was evident that she was quickly becoming familiar with this routine.
In order to reduce Yvette’s anxiety, I planned QRI (Cold-Laser Treatment) and Therapeutic Listening into her fourth therapy session. Surprisingly, Yvette enjoyed this combination. After three consecutive sessions, it was evident that Yvette’s level of anxiety was reducing because she was smiling and laughing more than before. Yvette’s mother also expressed that she had stopped showing symptoms of self-harm, and answered to her calls more frequently. I could feel how joyous and relieved the mother felt.
It is important to keep up the progress, so I know we must do more to help improve Yvette’s cognitive functions. After a month, I attempted adding the iLS Listening Therapy to our sessions. I say ‘attempt’ because I originally thought that she might have troubles with the headphones due to her tactile defensiveness. To my surprise, she got used to it quite quickly and even learned to put on the waist pack by herself. Currently, Yvette has been displaying signs of imitation and self-expression. It is a great start, but the journey is still long. I believe that Yvette will continue to become better and better with the combined efforts of KickStart and her parents.
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