There are days when trying to get Parker to focus and pay attention to the task at hand is a huge experience in futility.
I teasingly refer to it as ‘Goofball Mode’
It’s when Parker simply starts…well, acting like a Goofball. Twisting his body from side to side. Giggling. Going from a limp noodle to stiff as a board. It reminds me a bit of when one of my other sons, diagnosed with ADHD, was young and would just kinda start bouncing off the walls when he was overstimulated.
Most of the time when GM attacks, I can pretty much write off the rest of the day as far as anything productive being accomplished.
I’ve talked to his therapists and each one of them has mentioned that in working with Parker, sensory issues are a huge hurdle. In the summer when the air conditioning is on I’ve noticed that just the cool air over his skin can drive him up a wall.
Before we turn on the iPad I take Parker’s pointer finger and, using gentle pressure, work my way up and down it while singing the ‘Where is Pointer’ song.
There have been several times when I can tell by the signs that Parker is about to go into ‘Goofball mode.’ I’ve started doing the same pressure sort of massage on various parts of his body when the warning signals begin to manifest. We’ll be working on an activity and Parker will offer up his hand……his signal to me that he would like some gentle sensory pressure applied, please.
I used to use a brushing technique when Parker was younger. Unfortunately that tactic seems to have morphed into something that he no longer enjoys. I’ve also wrapped him up burrito style in a blanket, but he’s come to dislike that as well.
So, I’m going to try a weighted vest, borrowed from Parker’s Home Hospital Special Needs teacher.
This vest has four pockets that can hold weight. I was surprised at how heavy each weight is. Using all four weights, I’m pretty sure the vest weighs more than Parker.
Obviously I need to remove some of the weight, but I’m not sure if I should remove the weights from the front or the back of the vest. It seems like if I remove them from either side that is going to put him off balance.
He’s such a boney little guy, he even inherited his Grandpa’s knobby knees and chicken legs. I need to be cautious introducing this.
Weighted vests may not work for Parker because of his size, and while I may need to look at something along the lines of compression shirts, I’d like to at least give weighted vests a try.
Have you used weighted vests with your kid before? Did they work? Was your child willing to wear them? How did you determine the weight distribution?
I’d love to hear your ideas and experiences.