Monday, July 19, 2010

Ball Pit Bazinga

Last week, Annie's PT, Kim, decided to throw caution to the wind and see if Annie would tolerate the Ball Pit. If you know Annie, you know that any kind of sensory overload can send her into a retching tailspin, which usually culminates in a bath, outfit change, and wheelchair wash & detail. The goal of putting Annie in the ball pit, of course, is to acclimate her to more sensory experiences that might have carryover benefit to her oral/sensory defensiveness--in other words, if she can handle the ball pit, maybe she might take a bite of food. I know, it took me awhile to put this together, too.

So last Wednesday, PT Kim took the plunge, and put Annie in the pit. Annie's reaction was a series of three gags, followed by a tentative "I think I might like this" look, which was soon followed by a grab-one-of-the-balls toss. Her non-reaction soon drew a crowd including her school nurse, the director of special ed. summer school, and her teacher, Amanda, whose eyes were welling up with tears. Cameras came out and pictures were taken. Annie started posing with her best "I'm so cool, calm and collected" look. It was a Red Letter Day.

Since then, Annie's been in the ball pit as often as possible--with no gagging. Now, in addition to the ball pit, we're working again with a feeding therapist/psych. with the hope of qualifying for more intensive feeding therapy. I would so love to have Annie sit at the table and enjoy eating again, and that requires lots of desensitization, practice and therapy. And if you're looking for something to contribute, prayers--lots of prayers would help.

Oddly enough, one of my homework assignments with the psych this week was to videotape Annie eating at home. So today I took the video recorder out, dusted it off, and tried to find a tape that I could record over without feeling guilty about whatever I was losing. The tape in the camera had some old stuff on it, some stuff from a class project of Olivia's, and then a long piece that included Annie's 2nd birthday party. "Great," I thought, as I watched it fast-forwarding, "why did I have to find this?" And, of course, Jack was looking over my shoulder, "I want to see it! I want to see it!"
"Fine. Here. I need to go in the kitchen and fix some food for Annie."
Jack sat down and started watching the old video. "Look at this, Mom. We told her to pick up her fork, and she picked it up."
"Wow...she's doing everything we tell her to...she's eating a don't appreciate what you have until it's gone."
Jack turned off the video, put the camera down, then picked up Annie and said, "You'll do all this stuff in heaven, Annie. Won't that be fun?"

You know, I thought, maybe with enough time in the ball pit, she might do all that stuff again here, too.


"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27


Anonymous said...

You made me tear up, too! So feeling you with this one.

pam said...

Jack is a very wise young man...insightful...sweet. Annie is so blessed to have a big brother like him.

let's buy NEW tapes for you to use, can't allow taping over 2nd birthdays!

aunt rebecca said...

What's the emoticon for crying out loud?

Jean said...

It's like Beach Blanket Bingo. Did you ever ask Annette Funicello what Beach Blanket Bingo means? Of course not, because it means absolutely nothing...but it sounds so cool. Kinda like Ball Pit Bazinga!

Now my secret's out...some of the content in this blog is totally meaningless.

aunt rebecca said...

I found it:


so happy, I'm crying

Anonymous said...

you still using analog tape?

gotta fix that

U Dan

uncle jeff said...


Gretchen said...

Okay. I love your family. From A to J to everyone in between and after. xxxooo

If we like the ball pit...what about warm hydrotherapy? David likes water (which is why it came to me).