Case study Number 2 a youngster with Sensory Processing difficulties.
I met Claire’s (not real name) Mum in November 2015. She was at her wits end really struggling to meet her daughters needs and concerned about what the future would hold for her.
I met Mum on her own present to take a history and hear why she had come to me for help. Mum had had a difficult pregnancy both physically and emotionally. After a long and stressful labour Claire was born by emergency C-section, due her heart rate dropping. Mum then experienced post-natal depression for over a year. Claire suffered from reflux for along time which meant she could not be put down or she cried out in pain.
I met Claire for an assessment the following week. Claire was 8 years old and a lovely chatty little girl. She came in clothes which had been entirely hand made for her by her Mum. She could not stand the feeling of clothing on her skin. Shoes and pants were a nightmare. Anything fitted made her squirm and cry out. Even her hair had to be contained because if it touched her face or shoulders she could no bare it. The irritation to her skin lead to her self-harming, scratching herself till she bled or scalding herself with hot water in the shower. She obsessively picked scabs till she bled. She struggled to sleep and was very anxious about the monster under the bed.
Claire seemed to need to have something in her mouth to allow her to focus. She could not tolerate back ground noise; her mum could not put the radio on when Claire was in the flat. In school, she struggled to sit still and to concentrate. She needs reminded to go to the toilet regularly or has to go very urgently. She is highly self-critical; a small mistake seems to her to be the end of the world. She struggled to pick up on non-verbal communication and struggles socially. She also suffers from travel sickness and nausea.
The assessment showed that Claire had lots of reflexes significantly retained including the Withdrawal reflex, the Moro reflex and the Gallant reflex. Despite being obsessed with climbing she has lost of balance issues. We started very gently and warily knowing that provoking an irritated reaction would make it highly unlikely that Claire would tolerate her exercises. She managed really well doing them almost every night except when she had a cold when she could not tolerate them. We initially focused on reducing the Withdrawal and Moro reflexes as they are the earliest reflexes and it is important to work through them chronologically for lasting results.
After 8 weeks Claire was still keen to continue. She did not recognise any differences but her Mum felt she was calmer and sleeping a bit better. At the next review, they both agreed that everything was moving in the right direction. Claire was falling asleep on her own for the first time she was enjoying music on in her room to help her settle at night. She was trying lots of new foods and was less wary of the monster under the bed.
The third visit was the most astounding one. Claire skipped into the room with new shoes on which she had bought on a stress-free visit to a shoe shop. She then proceeded to tell me with great delight she had shop pants on and had bought her first school uniform in a shop. She was so happy to be wearing the same as everyone else. She had had her hair cut and was coping with it near her face.
Unfortunately, at this point life became too busy for Claire and her Mum to continue. I have spoken to her since and it seems she has maintained the progress she made while working with me and may return should things get really difficult again. I would have liked to work with Claire for longer but I am really happy that her situation improved to the point treating her was no longer a priority for the family. She may well return in the future.