March 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Nate News

We are almost three quarters of the way through the school year and Nate has made a lot of progress.  He is figuring out routines, and as a family we have learned to prepare him for transitions better.  He is also learning to ask for help when he needs it, which is a really big deal.

Our entire family has made adjustments and learned how to best help him cope with his sensory issues.  Often Nate’s favorite person to go to for therapy amidst chaos is his older brother Seth.  He’ll walk up to him, place his brother’s arm around himself and say “Seth, therapy”.  And Seth has really responded to this added responsibility that his little brother places on him.  He has learned deep pressure massage, brushing techniques and the like.  They make a pretty awesome pair.

We have found coping mechanisms that work for Nate.  One of the most difficult times in the week used to be when we were headed to church.  Long before we even knew what was going on with him, Nate would throw fits.  We could even make it into the minivan and be ready to pull out of the driveway and he would have these major behaviors.  Full on aggressive fits.  We then learned that he was reacting the over stimulation he was experiencing in our church’s contemporary worship service.  For us that means to be sure to have headphones packed every Sunday morning.

Another problem that we’ve been addressing is Nate sucking his thumb.  Constantly.  So much so that it was interfering with Pre-K in that he wasn’t able to stabilize the paper while trying to write.  He also uses his thumb to self-soothe in situations that make him nervous or uncomfortable.  One of the coping techniques we’ve been using, and having great success with, is sugar free gum.  It gives him the oral stimulation he needs and discourages the thumb sucking at the same time.

We have been working with a team of our pediatrician and two therapists.  Nate has occupational therapy three times a week, twice at home and once in his classroom setting.  He has been making some definite improvements, but there is still a long way to go.  We are also adding another member to our team.  We have found a clinic that works with pediatric developmental behavioral health and neurodevelopment disabilities. We have an appointment the middle of next month.
The hope is that we will be able to further pinpoint what is going on with Nate.  Through testing and observation we already know that he has a significant sensory issue as well as some fine motor skills concerns.  All of us; his teachers, therapists and family, agree that there is a significant attention and hyperactivity issue. We also have a concern that he might be on the autism spectrum.  That is so very difficult to type.  
No matter “what” he is, we want to make sure we are meeting his needs in the best way that we can.  We want him to be successful and not perpetually frustrated or uncomfortable in a classroom setting.  We want him to be able to succeed in whatever he chooses to do.  He is incredibly brilliant, we just need to figure out how to be his best advocates in getting that across to the rest of the world.  So we have the appointment.  We’ll go from there.
In the meantime I am holding my breathe and watching the weather in hopes of clear skies and warmer days.  My boy that thrives on the physical jumping and leaping needs to be set free from the confines of the rooms of the house and allowed to roam in our big backyard.


  1. He is such a cutie! It sounds like you are on the right path. I hope you get good news when you head to the specialist next month! Nate is a lucky guy to have you fighting for him!

  2. I can somewhat relate. My oldest son had a lot of sensory issues when he was younger. Occupational therapy helped a lot. Although he's still “different” than most boys, he's learned to adjust. I credit it to getting him the help he needed from the get go. It sounds like you're doing everything you can for your son and that he's a super kid, no matter what.

  3. Rissa @ Hazel and Honeysuckle says:

    Good luck! He's gorgeous and he's lucky to have parents who are working so hard to do the best things for him! xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *