Monday, November 09, 2009

How to teach children self-soothing techniques?

I really need some help in this area, I may need to ask the behavioral therapist counselors this, but if anyone has any ideas it would be helpful. When Josiah doesn't get his way or what he wants right when he wants it, he starts a temper tantrum. He's the type of child where he doesn't stop, there's no tears, but he's gotta scream and act like he's crying and he carries on and on. Something so trivial will turn into a 45 minute screaming fit and we have to constantly put him in his room to calm down and tell him when he can calm down he can come out. Very rarely will he calm immediatley, most of the time he's just in there making all the noise that he can and it'll carry on for awhile. The OT has been giving him massages and squeezes to calm him and he's learned that when he needs this he will come ask me to rub or squeeze him. I'm glad that he's noticing that he needs this, but at the same time I think he needs to learn to calm himself down as well. I'm trying to offer him more choices so that we don't get in some battles and I'm trying to see what triggers him, but seriously some of the stuff he gets upset over is so trivial that I wouldn't expect a temper tantrum over it, so some stuff does surprise me. The OT suggested getting him a weighted blanket so that he can go in his room and get that and get the pressure that he's needing from something other than a person or to get him a mini-trampoline for his room. The trampoline just seems like it would be a reward for bad behavior, but I am going to look into the weighted blankets. But, I really need to learn how to teach him to self-soothe because obviously if he goes somewhere he needs to know how to calm himself down in public situations where he's not going to have access to a weighted blanket and that stuff too. The new children's psychiatrist did put him on a very low dose of a mood stabilizer and that did help immensely, but I still notice that he does not know how to calm himself down when he does get upset.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm ignorant and in this area. But what about teaching him to use the heel of his hand (always the same hand) to stroke his thigh (always the same thigh) very, hard three times, taking a deep breath and then letting it out and then doing the same process over again a second or third time.

And then try redirection, getting him to change his voice, etc.?

If he can learn to put a "healthy" weight on himself, besides kicking the walls, and stomping the floor maybe he can begin to self-sooth himself.

"Healthy weights" might include: (????)
*Rubbing forhead
*Washing Hands
*Applying pressure to upper portion of hip with heel of hand.
*Tugging on ear
*Squeezing right above knee, on the inner and outer part of leg.
*Squeezing wrist.

I think (with my un-psychology degree) that rhythm: squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, breath in, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, breath in, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, breath he squeezes he lets out little puffs of air: puffandsqueeze, puffand squeeze,puffandsqueeze...will help work through the temper tantrums. Try having him blow a piece of paper each time he breaths out so he can see what it is doing.

Kind of like working through contractions, if you fight em, you are in constant pain and are on the edge of insanity, but if you breath, and then use some kind of rhythm to get through them it's a lot easier.

Or like running and breathing through cold crisp air at a good pounding rhythm.

Eventually you train your body to work through the frustration, pain, or distraction, just by using rhythmical pressure.


4:04 PM  

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