Sunday, February 7, 2010

Look, I DO fit in :)


A few days ago, myself and the tutor lauged so much as Munchkin squeezed herself into a canvas shopping bag.  It never ceases to amaze me where she'll manage to make herself fit.  From a very early age, she would climb into strange places.  You would find her sitting in a toybox or drawer looking at her toys rather than take them out to play.





When we visited a friends house, she would open the dresser and pull out all the contents from the bottom shelf and then slide into the press and happily lie there for a while while I had a coffee.  My friend kindly removed all breakables from this dresser as it became a weekly event!  In my mothers house, there is a press in the kitchen which she likes to sit in with the doors closed over at times.





I never paid much heed to this little quirk of hers until talking to the Occupational Therapist.  It seems that she gets some needs met on a sensory level by doing this.  A lot of children on the autism spectrum have proprioceptive difficulties.  Hammie described this in a post on the IAA blog here as "The sense of knowing where you are in relation to the Earth" and gives a very simple example of if we close our eyes, we can still touch our nose with our finger.  I still remember seeing Munchkin tryin to eat chips with her eyes shut one day and more that a few nearly went up a nostril!


As part of her OT program, I do deep pressure and massage with her.  One of her favourite things is to be rolled up in the duvet and squashed.  She loves lying on a beanbag and being squashed with the other beanbag.  She loves the pressure that is exerted on her little body and recently squeezed herself into a pillowcase so that her big sister could swing her gently while in her "cocoon".  As she gets bigger we'll have to either get a body sock or a single duvet cover at the very least!


I find that she has difficulty realising what size she is in relation to items also and will get quite frustrated at times that she can't fit into the toy car/bed/box she's playing with.  As small as she is, there are certain limitations as to what she can actually fit into!  It doesn't stop her trying however hehe...





I'll leave you with one of my favoure photos I took when I found that she had emptied the toys out of her shelving unit to use as a ladder to climb into and have some chill out time....







*edited to add video under strict instructions of the Queen of  Blog, Hammie!

22 comments:

claireh said...

I love it petunia. its only looking through all them photos I can remember AJ was exactly the same. He was forever sitting in small spaces, or his toys. He still climbs behind beds and sofas to be squashed. and he loves deep pressure with duvets and stuff.

Casdok said...

Very cute photos.
C also likes being squashed. Hes now far to big to fit in small spaces!

Taz said...

fab photos!!! She's such a cutie! This isn't something that Button does, but he does love the deep pressure too, and when he lies next to us he pushes all his limbs under us! Lovely post xx

Andra said...

Oh snap on this one, Kyle is always seeking deep pressure and loves being squashed in a bean bag or hugged very tightly. I only noticed that his perception of his body in space changed when he was being assessed, the ot blindfolded him and immediately his hands which had been held up went to his sides, he could not find his nose when requested to do so and also didn't know what part of him was being touched, I was shocked as it was like a form of sensory blindness and proved to me how much our children depend on their visual sense, that was the day it really hit home for me the difficulties he had:(

Jean said...

Great pics hun...what a cutie. It's a side of autism I haven't paid much attention to yet, but now I will.
Bob loves deep pressure too and I'm looking forward to learning more...god, aren't blogs brilliant???
XXX

Katy said...

The photo's are amazing.What a fab blog it has made me smile.We love a bit of deep pressure in this house so much so Jim likes me laying on him no you have to admit thats real DEEP man!

Joeys mum said...

aww loving the saucepan one!!!!! my boys love that too, and climb behind me to squash em...a lovely read petunia, as always xx

Lora said...

Petunia, Griffin has always been that way too. He has proprioceptive issues as well. We used to do joint compressions on him, which you might ask the OT about because they were very effective.

Even now at age 8 years old he still seeks out small spaces that he can squeeze his body into to get that squeezing feeling. This is what Temple Grandin writes about and is the reason why she invented the squeeze machine when she was younger.

Munchkin is such an adorable little one and the photos are just perfect. Can't help but to smile when I see them.....such a cutie pie!

Hugs XXXX

Elaine said...

Awh, she is so adorable...Great photos..It has only just dawned on me that Daniel loves being squashed under a bean bag, and rolled up in a duvet. He'll try to climb into a shoe box, will empty out all his toys and also climb into the box. We've gone through many large cardboard boxes and he'll pull the lid closed and sit there for ages... Never really thought much of it only that it was cute... Love this blog. Another 'only just dawned on me' lightbulb has come on... Thanks Petunia... :-)

Jen said...

She is only gorgeous Petunia, and seriously photogenic:) We are starting OT shortly so I will ask more about this and try figure out what my fella likes by trying a few of your tips. He hasn't tried to fit himself into things like Munchkin does, but he might if it were available to him. He loves being in tents, would that be a similar thing? I am pretty clueless when it comes to SPD as we are only about to get started on OT now. Thanks for the tips. Jen.

Anonymous said...

thats so cute , your photos are fab Gia is the same squeezing herself in anywhere she can Kathy

Petunia said...

Thanks girls, I love these pics too. I'm sure Claire you have some interesting ones too lol. I can still see Alex wedged behind the sweet machine at playzone lol.

Casdok, does C have a body sock? I'm pretty sure that Munchkin won't grow out of trying to squeeze into small places either!

Taz, she sticks her feet under me too like Button or pushes them against me in bed (which is why I don't like sharing with her.

Andra, at least you are aware now of Kyles proprioceptive problems and can work on them with OT. Did he allow a blindfold on? Munchkin freaks out if you try to cover her eyes etc.

PML Katy, snap!

Joeys Mum, if they like you to sit back against them, you need an iphone so you can go on facebook while you squash the pair of them hehe

Have heard of the squeeze machine alright Lora. Temple Grandin had a great vision of it but its so cumbersome that its not something that you could have at home. We'll have to stick to duvet therapy for the moment :)

Elaine, I blogged before about the time Munchkin went missing on me at a friends house and the panic that ensued looking for her. I'll never forget it! We eventually found her in a small box with the lid pulled over!

Thanks Jen, I think she's gorgeous too :) She used to have a princess tent in the playroom but preferred to hide under a duvet or blanket or crawl into a cupboard. You'd be amazed what an OT assessment will show up. Because Munchkin is such a climber, I assumed she had no balance problems etc, but the assessment showed that she has problems on the right side of her body. You never know what will show up!

Clive said...

Such cute photos! Amazing the tiny places she can squeeze into too!

The NSLM loves massage, tight hugs and more tight hugs. He would spend his day requesting hugs.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

love the photo's and as always a very interesting and great blog... cahir is just the same we have a body sock for him and he love's it he's still a bit small for it he's 3 but we hold on tight to the sock and let him stratch he love's it and it really relax's him..if anyone landed in and saw us they would think what the hell are they doing to the child and i must say the first day the ot put cahir into the body sock i was shocked and thought that this nutter was going to sufforcate my child ...but he loves it we also do alot off deep pressure exercise's with him ...

kathleen

Hammie said...

I want the mystery machine for ME!!! xx

Petunia said...

Thanks Kathy, Clive and Kathleen :)

Hammie, its a small suitcase that was bought in Daisy & Tom when it was in Dundrum. I can just see you wheeling it on board an aeroplane as hand luggage hehe :P

Truf said...

She is gorgeous, Petunia! I read an (adult) autistic blogger once, she explained pressure helps her "organize herself", i.e. her perceptions become sharper and more focused. We've been doing massage and joint compression for years, although not as regularly as we should - at this stage I am training M to push himself off the wall or off his chair if he feels the need.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Loved this and can totally relate. Me and Angel used to think my boy was just weird when he kept saying "sit on me! sit on me!" Now we know why. And some of my favourite photos of him as a toddler are of him curled up in the tumble dryer (switched off of course)

Hammie said...

muhhahahahaha!
yes please. I want the mystery machine please. As soon as munchkin has finished with it! xx

popsie said...

This is the same for my little fella, he still fits himself in small spaces at times. while looking at tyour photos i was reminded of my older boys doing the same thing in their granny's house with the kitchen drawers. i remember reading Temple Grandins book a couple of years ago and her description of the squeeze machine explained everything to me. in fact her books are relly great to read for everyone with a child on the spectrum. your daughter is sooo cute petunia xxx

coolkid said...

i love this blog, luca has this problem also and hides in strange places, he is also one for eating with eyes closed and hitting everywhere and his mouth lol

isnt it mad to think how clever they are to be able to think this out and carry it through, i mean lets face, i hide in the bathroom to shut out the noise of my kids hehehe

lovely pics xx

jazzygal said...

Ahh...wonderful pictures Petunia! Munchkin is just too cute!

It's gas ..I have 2 pictures of WiiBoy in his toy box and in a suitcase! To this day he loves playing "The Sandwich Game" with the duvet. He loves squeezy hugs too and having his back pressed.

Great post. xx Jazzy

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