Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crash Pad


It’s common for kids with autism to poorly process information obtained through their senses, such as taste, touch and smell. For example, kids oversensitive to touch can’t tolerate having lotion rubbed into their skin.
Ethan has poor proprioception, which affects the way he positions and moves his body. He has little body awareness and poor motor planning. His lack of proprioception is evident in the way he slaps his feet when he walks, chews on his clothes and bumps into people and objects. All these actions give his muscles and joints the additional feedback they crave.
Ethan poor proprioception has led to some behavior problems. His body’s need for feedback makes him want to wrestle with James, which often leads to James getting hurt since Ethan literally doesn’t know his own strength.
In order to provide a positive outlet for Ethan’s physical needs, I’ve created a “crash pad” in my living room. I got this idea from the book, The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, by Carol Stock Kranowitz. I took two bean bags my mom made me for the boys and piled them on the couch. Then Ethan runs headlong into them, ricocheting off of them into a heap on the floor. At first I worried he was crashing into the bean bags too hard, but then I saw the joyous look on his face after he “crashed.” This pad hit the spot.

11 comments:

Mama Zen said...

Excellent idea! I've used pillows and air mattresses, as well.

pixiemama said...

Great idea! Both of my older boys use our couch as their "crash pad" anyway - I could use your idea to protect the couch I don't want to replace any time soon!

pixiemama said...

PS -
my verification word is "chears" which, even though it's misspelled, is a lovely holiday sentiment. So...

Cheers~

Memarie Lane said...

I should do that for Max. He likes to throw himself around too. He pretends to be a transformer and gets so into it he forgets there are things like walls and furniture and other people around.

~ April ~ said...

I just got that book last week, and have been reading it, thinking that a crash pad is exactly what Isaiah needs, and is on my to-do list. :)

laughingatchaos said...

I *BIG PUFFY HEART* that book. I also like to play "cheese sandwich" with A. I put him between two big pillows or beanbag chairs, and squeeze him like a panini maker. He loves it. Haven't had to do it a lot lately, but I will probably start up with it again while on this trip.
Have you tried letting him chew gum for the chewing on clothes? Ps and Qs? Do you have a Southpaw Enterprises catalog? I can give you mine when I get home, if you like. Great stuff in there. And if you need the name of a fanfreakingtastic OT, LMK. A's was great and helped him so much.

StatMama said...

That is a really cool idea! My daughter has the issues you're describing here. Now I want to try something like this!

Cookie said...

Great idea! My kids like to run into my couch. Well, i use the word "couch" loosely. It used to be a couch about 10 years ago. Now it's another toy in what used to be the family room.

Lilacspecs said...

Cool idea. I really admire what some parents come up with in order to enhance their children's lives in the ways they need.

suzannah said...

i love this idea. i'll have to tell my mother-in-law--she works with kids with autism and their families.

sara l said...

That sounds like a great idea. The kids I babysat for the other night (6 & 3yr old twins, all boyx) made a game something like this. The older one held the pillow and the younger ones ran into it.