Last night was the first indication of serious stress in weeks, as he got oppositional right before bedtime, and we witnessed a meltdown that included yelling, disrespectful words, breaking his toothbrush and throwing a bean bag chair, and refusing to go to bed, but no physical aggression towards us as in the past. We maintained an air of calmness, and monotone throughout, simply repeating, "we're not yelling, we're not angry, don't be angry, take a deep breath" and then I had an idea. I thought to ask him quietly if he'd like to be brushed,
I asked if he thought brushing might help him calm down. Well, as soon as I said the words, I saw a physical transformation in front of my eyes -- he kind of wilted a bit, eyes softened, and he let go of all the anger right then and said "please mommy, will you?.." WOW! So we did the brushing, and hugged instead of doing joint compressions, and held each other tight, he apologized with no prompting, and he climbed in bed and fell right to sleep. Yippie!
I can't wait to tell his Occupational Therapist and his Behavioral Therapist how well just the SUGGESTION of brushing worked to divert a full-on meltdown rage! One more tool in our arsenal against the brain monster.