Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Seeking Behaviors - Cases and Questions

Case 1
Billy with ADHD came to his weekly OT session and begged for a particular swing. He had been described to me as a seeker, and so I set up the swing for him. As he was swinging, he began to screech in delight. I suggested that he try and have fun while being quiet. He did so, the expression on his face moved from sheer ecstasy to simple pleasure. After a few minutes he declared that he was done. This was repeated again in the session and then during several weekly visits. Within a month, he no longer requested a swing, and he now prefers to play board games during the session.

I believe that once he was able to notice the pleasure, he connected with himself and the sensory input (no longer blocked by phsyical activities associated with seeking) was able to register.

Some Questions
Q1: Is he seeking because his body is incapable of registering input?
Q2: Is he seeking because his actions (screams, chaotic body movements) are blocking (drowning out) the input?
Q3: If Q2 is has some validity, at what point does the blocking behaviors associate itself with the seeking?
Q4: And how can it be prevented from happening to begin with?

Case 2
I see another child, David, who seeks the trampoline and has crashing behaviors. He is calmed with swinging. I treat him by bouncing him intensely until he appears to be slightly disorganized (stumbling), then I calm him down and repeat it over and over. Week by week, he is better able to stand the movement of the trampoline, and his sense of safety has improved. Best, he does not seek the trampoline with the same fervor that he did 2 months ago. His window of modulation has increased. (For calming/reorganizing, he lies prone in a cloth swing and puts together jigsaw puzzles while I slowly move it).