Branden Update

So with everything that’s been going on with Branden (including turning 5- yikes!!) I figured I’d send out an email update on behalf of Saul and I.

Branden had his 2 hour assessment with the Behavior Therapist this morning. She said he excelled in the fine motor/ gross motor skills. She originally had concerns about his muscles when trying to stop.slow down with runnign etc because he just likes or falls or whatever. She wasn’t sure if he a.) couldn’t slow down because he didn’t have the right muscle tone or b.) if it was his “choice” and he wasn’t really trying to slow down. She tested his muscles and reflexes and they are totally fine he’s just “choosing not to” stop on his feet or land on his feet etc. (we could have guessed but good to know!)

She talked about him not being “aware” of his surroundings in the sense that while she was with him he was constantly bumping into things and tripping over things. She also said this was the fastest evaluation she’s ever done because he just wanted to keep going going going and moving right from one thing to the next.

One of the things she thought he’d have trouble with is transitioning from one thing to another but she said he did great with transitions (“you have two more times to jump in the ball pit then you need to go sit at a table”) and she encouraged us to keep “preparing him” in that type of sense for different transitions and what to expect.

One thing I thought was interested as we talked and I told her how like, taking toys away, sitting in timeout, the normal types of “discipline” that would work for most kids he doesn’t really care about and the thing that she mentioned is that if it is a sensory disorder thing, those normal types of positive/negative reinforcement will not impact him at all because whatever he is doing to makes his body feel better and that is enough of a reward for him. So just something we can keep in mind. She said with sensory issues these types of outbursts- running, repetitive behavior, yelling, it’s “his way” of trying to regulate his body and calm himself down which obviously made me feel awful thinking back of how often I get mad at him for “not listening” or being out of control.

We won’t have a complete evaluation for a couple weeks, but she’ll send one to us, one to his doctor, and if necessary one to the school and she’ll call the school as well to touch base before kindergarten starts.
She said if it is sensory, sometimes it’s easy to implement through out the day in the form of “sensory breaks” and sometimes diet changes can help as well. She mentioned a “sensory diet” and I told her I’d read something about it and that food dye, dairy and gluten can all affect behavior.

Saul and I have Branden on a gluten-free diet now and trying to eliminate artificial color/flavoring whenever possible, and these are some of the products Saul found at Hannaford and Target that Branden actually likes and is eating lol

Ian’s Gluten Free Fish sticksature’s Path Summer Berries Granola
Simply Balanced Apple Berry granola bars
Ian’s Gluten Free Chicken nuggets
Rudis gluten-free bread (multigrain and he likes the raisin bread)
Annie’s Rice Pasta and Cheddar gluten free
Annie’s SnickerDoodle Gluten Free Bunny Cookies
Pirate’s Booty
Snyder’s Gluten free Honey Mustard & Onion pretzel sticks
Simply Sprouted Sweet Potato tortilla chips
Nabisco Gluten- free Rice Thins
Florida’s Natural Fruit Nuggets