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  • Writer's pictureHeidi Renee

Lavender and Horseradish


On Monday I had the opportunity to view the video assessment on AJ.  The assessment took him through a sensory journey.  I sort of chuckle at that thought, since that is exactly what the gal's at the spa say to me just before a massage.  They tell me to close my eyes and proceed to swoop different essential oils under my nose.  So I guess this was AJ's version of the spa?  Hm.  I'm not sure he'd agree, even though he sat for a very long time and did not complain.


Below are the "Sensory Journeys" AJ participated in along with how each was presented in

{ } :

Tactile {rubbed hands with dry washcloth/back scratch}

Vestibular {rocked side to side/front to back, rotary, up and down}

Olfactory {smelled familiar smell: shaving cream/novel smell: lavender oil}

Gustatory {tasted brown sugar, lemon, dill pickle, cumin, horseradish, alum}

Auditory {listened to recorder/clicker}

Proprioceptive {bear hug/vibration}

Visual {Elmo puppet/foil pom-pom}


While watching, I scored the assessment, just as his school team did when they watched it.  We compared scores...we all seemed to score just about the same.  We then discussed, at length, the program's design and how it would benefit AJ. It is amazing how sensory integration and communication are linked together. 


AJ is now 3 1/2.  He needs and deserves a more symbolic mode of communication.  The video did show him communicating.  It was remarkable.  He had mostly purposeful responses.  At this time we are not pursuing additional private speech therapy.  I think I was missing the big picture here for a while.  This is MORE than the Lings, speech sounds, etc.  He needs "A" form of communication since clearly, he is trying to communicate to us. 

We've decided to try a switch with AJ to help him communicate. We are moving forward with the Every Move Counts Clicks Chats (emc3) curriculum and will meet with AJ's school team in March (end of Quarter 1) to see how he's done under this curriculum. I really want to order the manual for emc3.  I was excited to see that it's available on the website. We are keeping in close contact with AJ's teacher and his SLP in efforts to continue what he's doing in school here at home. He will continue with his speech and auditory program at school-that is not changing!  We are hoping the switch will serve as a bridge to symbolic communication for AJ. 


I had the rare opportunity to see AJ in action at school one day this week and was even able to sit in on his speech session.  He was nothing short of amazing.  By sitting in on his speech session, I know we are looking for the p, b, m sounds, and how to encourage those. Guess what I heard this morning? A "BUH". :) I also heard a "GUH" and "AH-MMMMMMM" with an open then closed mouth, which is what his SLP said she was starting to notice.  I've got little notepads everywhere so when I hear a new sound, I can jot it down.  I'm notorious for saying he's making new/different sounds and then not being able to repeat them!  His auditory skills are exploding daily.  He found me in the office the other day when I was calling his name.  He was in the living room. 


While his team has been telling me he's doing well, it was awesome to see him in action.  He's changing and growing, and for that I am thankful. 


Oh, the Lavender and Horseradish?  They say lavender is calming.  You betcha!  His response to lavender was just that, his eyes widened and he had this sense of calm.  And, he liked the horseradish.  Eww!

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