Last week The Mister came home with some samples from work. It was opportune since we needed what he brought home: a pouf sponge for the shower and a bonus pouf sponge attached to a body shower brush and a long-handled shower brush.
We’ve been using body brushing on Sweet Girl with great success to help soothe her and calm her down, as well as just contributing to her sensory diet. We let her choose her own brush, which is a small hand-held brush with wide, spread out plastic bristles and “paint balls” on the ends. She liked that texture the best and enjoys how it feels, so that’s what we bought. We use it often and she loves it. At night before bed, when she’s upset during the day or otherwise having a difficult time, it’s amazing the effect it can have. It’s just amazing.
The kid also loves water. She loves to swim, and she loves baths, but she hates the rain. But one way we soothe her is to run her arms and hands under a stream of water in the sink. If we have to discipline her it works best sometimes if we speak to her while running her arms and hands under the cool water. Over the past couple of years I taught her teachers to do the same thing. In the past, showers were her go-to for water stimulation but in the past year or so the transition of getting into the water (I’m guessing) has been traumatic for her. I’ve eased her into it and pointing out how much better she’ll l feel with “her sensory” to coax her. She does well with that.
For the last couple of times bathing, I’ve realized that if I get her to “help me” go through each step of getting the water to the right temperature and talking her through it, that is really helpful. I make sure that she knows all the different types of sponges are in the shower and I let her choose which one to use. Giving her some control of the transition and the process seems to work and I think she’s enjoying the independence and responsibility. In fact, I pointed out a shower brush we had used and she enjoyed. She used it on her own and did a full body scrub repeatedly for about ten minutes and even had to reload the soap. Neck to toes. She was humming, a sure sign of sensory enjoyment.
After a challenging day, she’s chipper and happy to the point of skipping. She’s like a different child. She’s already planning her next shower. Of course she says it will be “next year” but she’s thinking about it as a good thing. And that’s a positive.
This might seem like one of those little things, but trust me: it’s a Very Big Deal. I’m most proud of her independence and willingness to learn when the power was transferred to her.