Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sensory Seeking--Those Toes Knows

This summer I was taking part in an in-home evaluation with our post-infant program team.  The little guy was so young there wasn't too much info in his file, but there were clear indications of him avoiding touch.

After I arrived I sat down on the floor and just watched him interacting with his dad and a few of the toys scattered around the room.  Of course, he was interested in me--the newcomer--so I had his attention for a few seconds.  Rummaging in my eval bag I found little crayon nubs and started fiddling with them in my palms.  For some reason he found this intriguing and walked over to me, with his bottle firmly stationed in his mouth.  After he crouched down he began pushing on his toy trucks with his feet.  I noticed that his feet were the closest thing to me so, for some reason, I put a crayon nub between his toes, just enough to stay put for a few seconds.  Don't ask me why.
Yes, the photo is a little fuzzy.  I took it with just one hand holding the camera and pressing the shutter. 
This was the biggest icebreaker I've ever seen; he loved it.  I took back the crayon and he held out his other foot.  After this I took some hopping plastic frogs and put their little froggy legs where the crayon nubs had been.  He liked this even better.  This really goes against all the rules because I've never before started with sensitive finger or toe webspaces when I touch a child.  Probably, I never will again.

By the end of the eval I was gently pounding his palms and the soles of his feet, and he kept reaching out for more.  He sat close to me, side by side, and interacted with the eval materials and me in a very nice, reciprocal fashion.  His dad and I talked about the OT intervention that had worked best with him in the past via his infant program and how the OT had helped him understand why his son behaved as he did, and how to help him.

I'll try to remember, toes have feelings, too.

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