CranioSacral Therapy For Children

FullSizeRenderI’m not always up for trying new therapy’s with Cooper. And there are MANY reasons why.

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.

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11 thoughts on “CranioSacral Therapy For Children

  1. Two weeks ago I pulled my kid out of all therapy. He’s been in speech and OT for two years, and we’ve spent our retirement money financing it (no insurance coverage). I don’t think therapy has EVER helped him but I didn’t know what else to do, so I kept him in it. No more.

    I recently read an autism mom’s blog (sorry, can’t remember which one) where she swore to *balance* the needs of her family instead of letting the autistic child consume all the resources of everyone in it. That rang a bell with me…so I’m going to stop spending HOURS upon HOURS a week running this kid all over to therapies that never work, stop breaking the bank, and start doing things differently from here on out. I hope both you and I find a balance that works for our families and our kiddos…it’s not an easy thing to strike.

    PS I’ve never thought about putting wine in my water bottle…that’s a great idea! 😉

    PPS My kid hates being touched so much he won’t even let ME, his mother, give him a hug. 😦

    • Hey there! How are you? Good for you. I did that a couple of years ago. I couldn’t handle the stress of therapy anymore. And Cooper needed a break. It simply wasn’t working. We also have crazy medical bills from it still. I hope you are enjoying life. 🙂

  2. Hey, just to let you know this is Ain’t No Shrinking Violet. I just changed my name to plain old “Violet” and deleted my blog, so WP must think I’m a new commenter and threw me into your moderation queue.

      • Gemiini is great at what it is but it lacks teaching reading skills. Reading skills lend themselves to writing skills which are so very important in case your child gets stuck and needs to type to communicate. Or even finding an exit sign in a building. Finding a speech therapy that incorporates reading, writing and speaking is ideal for kiddos with apraxia. Gemiini does help with word association & helps children to generalize nouns, verbs etc. it teaches the structure of basic sentences. But it doesn’t teach you to formulate & sequence your own ideas like reading & writing does. Part of apraxia of speech is not just not being able to speak. It’s about not be able to formulate the sentences to speak as well.

  3. You are so right about therapy. Never convenient and insurance is almost a joke!! I currently drive 30 min, pay a hefty copay, for only 30 min of therapy. Take a mental break but don’t give up until you find something that works. My son was a complete ANIMAL while in therapy and it didn’t start getting better until around age 7.

  4. Occupational therapy with an OT that specializes in sensory integration therapy might be a good option for you. A great option for therapy to help with social/emotional side of things is Stanley Greenspans Floortime. Might help with the tactile sensitivity also. Speech therapies: have you tried Prompt Speech therapy? Nancy Kaufman or the Association Method? Also, remember what your son is not ready for today does not always reflect on tomorrow. This therapy you tried (I actually have heard of it!) is something that he might be ready for a little later after he is more comfortable with touch after therapy. 🙂

  5. I’m not sure if you are giving your son high doses of vitamin C, but it could help tremendously. Get a true food source. Not ascorbic acid. That stuff is like MSG and causes tantrums. Try finding fresh unpasteurized orange juice or make your own. Vitamin C needs to be replenished daily as it is water soluble and is used up by stress or infection. It raises serotonin, with the highest sources stored in the brain and the adrenals. It has been a life changer for my son’s speech and personality. Don’t be afraid to give him 500%dv. He probably needs it.

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