When Sensory affects Hygiene- Part 2

I talked briefly about sensory and some of the issues we have dealt with in relation to personal hygiene. In this post I’m going to share some of the things that have been helpful for us to address these issues.

We have been using a battery-powered electric toothbrush for years. While this is listed as a method to reduce oral sensory, it has not accomplished this in my son but he does prefer this over a regular brush. You want to look for something with a small head because of the gagging issues most of our kids have. In our case we opted for a spin brush which takes some of the hand work out of cleaning the teeth and has a good size handle making it easier to grip. Plus they come in kid-friendly designs.

Most sensory children seem to need help with managing floss because not only               does it feel strange having something forced between the teeth, you need some pretty sophisticated motor skills to operate standard dental tape.  Using hand-held flossers can help reduce the coordination needed to floss. Some sensory children do not like mint so be aware of this when choosing  flavored floss. My son liked the berry better than the mint ones plus the ones that are made for children do not have sharp points on the ends.

The next thing to consider is the fragrance and feel of any soap or  shampoo you want them to use. Is it too strong-smelling, too slimy? Is there something they would like better? What about a shampoo bar instead of liquid? Shampoo bars were used for many years before the invention of liquid shampoo for your hair. They lasted a lot longer and offer much less wasteful packaging than all those plastic shampoo bottles.

You moisten the bar and rub it a few times on a wet hair, then massage to lather and rinse. They are also all natural which is another bonus! I’m all about avoiding chemicals where I can.

Body wash or bar soap? In our case we have tried everything and the only soap solution that has worked is finding an all-in-one liquid product for hair and body. We put this liquid and some water to thin it a bit into a foaming soap dispenser. The foaming soap doesn’t have the same feel for him and he actually likes it. You can find these in most stores for a reasonable price.

Shampooing his own hair is still a huge challenge because it feels so badly to him that he can’t force himself to do it. So we have been washing his hair over the side of the tub. He kneels on a comfortable mat and we place a folded towel on the edge of the tub to rest his head on. I use a shower sprayer to wash/rinse. Some children may prefer a cup of water poured slowly and they will have various preferences on the temperature of water they like. Something that feels great to you might be too hot or cold for them. Have them check with their hand before you put the water on their head. I found it also helps to talk him through what I’m doing and how close to done he is. At one point in time where his sensory was gone he was washing his hair himself in the shower but this didn’t last more than a few days.  So that’s a reminder that sensory can change, some days are better than others.

It’s also important to keep in mind many children do not like to tip their heads back or shut their eyes because they feel like they will fall or they feel dizzy.  Others fear water in the eyes or ears. They feel like they will drown and it causes panic. These are the kids that don’t like swimming or do but won’t get their heads or faces wet. They shout for a towel the moment one splash hits their face. Sometimes it can help to try swim goggles or swim ear plugs for hair or face washing. Some of the sensations of fear that occur from tipping their heads back might be due to retained primitive reflexes. (see Primitive Reflex Integration Therapy) 

Some children will prefer a bath over a shower if the shower water feels uncomfortable to their skin. Some will like a wash cloth, others will not. In our case wash clothes feel like sandpaper and so do shower puffs. I let him use the foaming soap dispenser and his hands to lather up. I have been told that these soft grip soap bars sometimes work for sensory children if you can find them.

It can help to keep their hair short if they are very sensitive about brushing, combing and hair washing. This might not be as feasible for a girl child but it’s worth considering if your child is agreeable to finding a cute hair style she can manage more easily. I do feel the child should have some choice in this decision. I’ve had more than one adult tell me their parents chopped all their hair off when they were young and they were very upset. We did have to look for combs or brushes that are soft and find out which one he preferred. My son prefers combs to brushes. Now that he is older he prefer to have his hair cut short with a shaver at the barber which means very little combing for him. Plus he also complains that when it grows out, it bothers him that it’s touching his forehead or neck.

We have yet to approach the age of shaving so that will be a future post I’m sure but in terms of deodorant when that time comes….we found it helpful to take him to the health food store to look at the selections. Avoid aerosol sprays which can feel cold and wet when first applied and most will not like this. This probably applies to roll-on which is also wet when first applied. Many sensory children do not like the feel of lotion, and thus this won’t be good either.  Look for a fragrance they like or one that is unscented if they are bothered by smells.  We ended up with a clay based deodorant in a woodsy pine that has worked very well. Since he liked the smell he wears it.  We do avoid aluminum containing deodorants because the metals will be absorbed into the body and I don’t want to chelate forever!

In terms of children that dislike toilet paper, mine might be the only one but in case he isn’t, we have been using wet toilet wipes for years. They sell them for adults now and they also have natural product options available. My best tip to you though is instruct your child not to flush more than one at a time, you really would make out better putting them in the bathroom trash unless you don’t mind backed up toilets. Ugh….

These are just some of the things that have helped make hygiene and personal care a bit easier and less traumatic for us. Keep an open mind, think outside the box!

Sensory Affects Hygiene Part 1

Homeopathy (Updated)

Old homeopathic remedy, Hepar sulph.In my previous post I talked a bit about homeopathy. I have since done a lot more reading and research into homeopathy in terms of treating autism. It was actually pretty enlightening and it helped explain why the practitioner we saw was not successful.

There are many lectures on YouTube about homeopathy and autism and one of them made a very good point. He said that when treating autism, a practitioner should clearly explain to parents that the path for cure, requires patience. When giving a remedy for autism, often the child may have some mild symptoms that show up such as a cold, a rash, things that had once been suppressed with medication. But part of healing is the body needs to push this out and heal it naturally. He explained that all too often a parent is startled by these symptoms and wants to treat or stop them and another remedy or medication might be used. But this leads to suppression. Most of the time if you give it some time the flare up will resolve itself and no additional remedy or re-dose is needed. So patience, and making sure parents know this is necessary.

I have to say that was never explained to us. And my son did show symptoms, however he had more aggravations than he did expected symptoms but that’s due entirely to another matter.  In our case the practitioner started with an isopathic remedy, not a constitutional. It was re-dosed a few times and within a month, a new remedy was prescribed. We went through 3 remedies in this fashion and only two of them would be considered constitutional but one did not even fit my son’s over all profile. No wonder my child was miserable.

I have read two of  Paul Herscu’s books and generally you need one remedy given once and wait 6 weeks to see what happens. Sometimes you may need to evolve to a second remedy after clearing some layers, but improvements take time. There are other well-known homeopath’s in the world who are seeing success using classical homeopathy as described by Herscu.

I did speak about CEASE in the last post but this not classical homeopathy or a form of it.  Its more of an isotherapy or homeopathic detoxification.  Or as I call it “hair of the dog that bit you”. Where remedies are given of substances that poisoned the vital force in an attempt to correct it.  There are mixed reviews at this point on the outcomes of this therapy.  The feedback I’ve received is that there are significant side effects or healing crisis with this method. But I have no personal experience with it.  If it helps someone I think that’s wonderful.

I have chosen to look at classical homeopathy once again but  actual classical. I was told that the practitioner we saw was doing that, but apparently not.  My son fits a stramonium pattern, he seems locked in a flight or fight stage and has since probably he was an infant. While we control anxiety with supplements this doesn’t mean he has no anxiety and is not fearful of the world. Rather he has just developed coping mechanisms instead.

Sure we continue chelation, that still continues to help. I know we have more metals to remove. And maybe homeopathy may help those residual symptoms that seems to be lingering.

 

Homeopathy

Old homeopathic remedy, Hepar sulph.Homeopathy is something I receive frequent questions about.  I usually suggest parents do some research about it to understand what it is and how it’s supposed to work.

Its seems to be very useful in complicated condition that mainstream medicine offers little  for which is why parents choose to look at homeopathy for autism. It’s easy to administer, and it’s usually safe in most cases.

I have used homeopathy for various conditions and found it to be very helpful. Our first attempt at classical homeopathy for Autism wasn’t very successful but later research on my part chalks this up to the experience of the homeopath in selecting the proper remedy. Children with Autism are often harder to choose a remedy for because their condition masks their truth self. So for us the first homeopath we worked with went through 3 remedies that created aggravations and only short lived gains that left. This practitioner also prescribed one remedy that was actually isopathy not classical. We did end therapy with this particular clinician due to lack of progress and the misery these aggravations were causing.  We returned to chelation and my son regained any lost progress.

Classical homeopathy really does seem to help Autism in many ways and it seems to work much better after some chelation has been done. I am basing this on the many conversations I’ve had with other parents who had tried homeopathy early on and then again later when 100 rounds or more of chelation had been done. I think this is in part due to mercury/metal toxicity causing symptoms that cloud the child’s true functioning or personality. Mercury does seem to affect personality enough that it can make deciphering symptoms and behavior tricky for the homeopath. When some mercury is gone, children (adults too) seem to emerge from their mercury brain and you can see them more clearly for the remedy profile they are.

I have also read the works of Paul Herscu, and find his layers theory fascinating. And not just because it’s interesting but because it really seems to fit many children and what I’ve seen in their histories.

Such as birth trauma, illness, etc.

We have been working on those layers so that at some point my son’s true constitutional remedy will be evident. Ironically he presents like several remedies which is how you know he has a layer that needs to be addressed first. While I can’t relay all his information as well as he explains it, read his books!

I did research CEASE which is homotoxicolgy rather than classical homeopathy. CEASE uses remedies to detoxify vaccines and medications. I did speak with a practitioner that does this form of therapy but I was not able to make a solid conclusion. Her client base consisted of very few children (18) currently doing it which made it hard to gauge the success rate. It was also explained to me that regressions and illness would be expected when detoxifying with these remedies. In fact 18 months of ups and downs.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to relive my son’s DTaP vaccine regressions all over again. I had talked to other parents who were trying this and their children were experience illness, fever, rashes etc., with the remedies. This didn’t seem like the right road for my particular child. I also could not locate one solid recovery case of someone that used CEASE. I had read reports of improvements and even saw a hair test for a child who was doing it. The test still met rules for mercury toxicity, but gains were being reported. So it doesn’t seem to address mercury poisoning, but perhaps its helpful for some children.

Over all, I did not find enough solid information to convince me to try this.  So we have continued chelation and used supplements if needed.

We have looked at Paul Herscu N.D’s work and begun a remedy to address the layers he talks about in his books. This has actually been very helpful with some residual symptoms.

So my summary on homeopathy:

Would I use homeopathy and not chelate at all?  No.

Would I do 80-100 rounds first? Yes.

Would I do CEASE? Not if my child were doing well with chelation and not unless I found more convincing evidence it would be worth it.

Would I chelate with homeopathy? No.

Some methods of homeopathy claim to remove mercury or heavy metals from the body. Just based on the feedback in the adult mercury community, people have tried this and subsequently reported getting sicker, including developing MS like symptoms. We also see this same thing reported in improper chelation using high infrequent dosing. This has led to the assumption that somehow chelating out mercury using homeopathy only actually makes things worse.

I am noting that while I have studied homeopathy by reading many books and listening to lectures on the subject, I have some experience using it, I am not a homeopath.

I’m just reporting what I’ve seen and experienced as a parent.

As I always say, “do your own research and choose what’s best for you”.

Homeopathy updated