First, they are expensive. A lot of therapies are not covered by insurance. Pre-autism I was unaware of the black hole of death that is health insurance. When you don’t need it….but have it…it’s great. When you have it…and need it…and your kid needs everything…it can be very tough.
Second, no therapy that you want to try will ever be conveniently located or at a time that works. It’s the truth. Plus, my kid is in school all day. And I work. How do I get him to an 11:15 therapy appointment on a Tuesday. Nope, not happening.
Third, therapy is not a ‘one fits all’ type of thing. Cooper has been to dozens of therapists over the years. ALL nice people. Not a lot of it worked. Therapy was and still sorta is a little tramautic for us. During therapy, Cooper acts like a completely different kid. He is stressed and doing non-preferred activities. This equals head hitting, pushing, screaming, etc. Basically, Cooper turns into the Tasmanian Devil…only cuter.
And lastly, it’s really hard on me. Yes, I said it out loud. Therapy equals me chasing Cooper. I sweat. I tear up. I mutter horrible things under my breath. I silently wonder if I should have put wine in my water bottle. And seriously wonder if anyone would actually judge me. And make a mental note to pick up wine after the session. And then laugh because Cooper was freak the F out in a liquor store. Sigh.
And afterwards I drive to McDonalds to stuff my face with comfort food. I kid. I never actually stuff my face with comfort food because I know I don’t have time to actually work out…BECAUSE of Cooper’s therapy sessions!
So, anyhow, a few weeks ago I went to a presentation by a lady who does CranioSacral Therapy for children. CranioSacralWHAT was my first thought. A few of the other parent’s in the room knew what she was talking about as she was explaining it. I glazed over and smiled. And nodded. And smiled. And thought…more hippy crap.
CranioSacral Therapy is a light-touch therapy show to be effective in supporting the central nervous system so that your child’s body can self-correct and heal naturally. As the control center of the body, the central nervous system influences every other major body system and function. That’s why problems here can cause a wide range of sensory, motor or neurological disabilities. So in layman’s terms….during childbirth, babies can get blockages in brain function, which causes problems with the mechanics of the brain.
And then she started saying things that caught my attention. She asked if any of our kids hit their heads…but not to self injure. But more in a way to signifies that something is going on in there. Like pain. I was intrigued. Cooper will hit his head for attention. Never to actually hurt himself…which is known as self injurious behavior, and scares the SHIT out of me. Head hitting in general paralyzes me. I alternate between saying ‘don’t do that’ or ‘that hurts Cooper’ or ignoring it. All bad.
She went on to tell stories about kids she had helped. Many nonverbal kids started to say words after receiving therapy. Ear infections got better. Constipation got better. Kids relaxed. And she went on.
And I was hooked.
I went home and immediately made an appointment. Despite the 30 minute drive. Despite the fact that it wasn’t covered by insurance. And despite the fact that I had to take time off from work to bring him. This was happening. And deep down I was hopeful that it was going to work. She gave me hope. And that’s hard to do.
The first appointment was awful. And the second was worse.
The appointments consisted of a very, very sweet lady asking questions about Cooper’s birth and lifestyle while she slowly and cautiously tried to touch him. She would touch his head. He would flail. She would touch his stomach. He would roll on the ground. He would not allow her to touch him for more than 2 seconds at a time. He ran, rolled, darted, threw, and as he got more stressed, he kicked and even pushed.
I once again considered drinking but quickly remembered it was only 8:30 am.
I did learn a few things though. Cooper can’t sit still. He physically can’t do it. And that resulted in severe anxiety over the thought of him sitting at a desk. And prompted multiple calls to the school district to find an alternative kindergarten. But that’s for another post.
Secondly, Cooper does not like to be touched. I honestly never knew that. I touch Cooper all of the time. He’s always climbing on me and begging to be tickled and squeezed. I didn’t realize that only a few people touch him. This broke my heart. I can’t imagine being afraid of touch. It makes me too sad for words.
And finally, when I was answering her questions, I realized how challenging Cooper is. He really, really is. He doesn’t eat anything. He hates to be touched. He’s nonverbal. He doesn’t play. She kept asking…’what does he like? Maybe we can distract him.” I was like…nothing. He doesn’t really like anything. There is no distracting Cooper. There is no bribing. Or reasoning. Or begging. This therapy isn’t going to work.
So, we are done with CranioSacral Therapy. Damn. I am bummed. I really do think he could have benefitted from it.