Deodorant Wars IV: The New Class
Testing, Testing

Neck Cramp, Camp. Hey, That Rhymes! I Hereby Declare This Entry "Cohesive."

There was a time when my Monday posts almost always included a description of how I'd managed to injure myself over the weekend. I fell out of cabs, tripped on my stilettos, got drunk and fell down hills with staggering frequency. Such were the occupational hazards of being young and fabulous and dripping with disposable income.

NOTE: If I'd fallen down this weekend, I could have typed "How the mighty have fallen!" and then been all, "LITERALLY!" and then been all, "RIM SHOT!" and then you guys could have been all, "UNSUBSCRIBE."

I did not fall down this weekend. But I certainly did not let that stand in my way.

First, I bit my tongue, and then accidentally stabbed my gums with a fork five minutes later. Drew blood both times.

Second, I woke up on Friday morning with my neck...just...oh God, it was just ALL WRONG. I couldn't move it to the right without PAIN, oh God, the PAIN. If I may just Drama Queen all over the place for a minute or two, I am fairly sure this was the most pain I have ever been in, at least since the time I had to work a trade show floor for eight hours in high heels. Also: labor, and whatever.

I tried heating pads and those sticky hot wrap things and Ibuprofen and stretching and massage and moaning.  And I spent the next two days with my head sort of cocked to the left, which might explain why that weird lady at the playground kept trying to talk to me about her dog, a dog she carried around in a sling, therefore she felt entitled to offer me advice about babywearing, up to and including reaching out to grab my baby's foot and attempting to shove it into the sling because she was afraid I would let a door slam on it. My facial expression may have read "holy FUCK do not TOUCH him," but my head position just screamed, "oh, how INTERESTING, please do go on!"

NOTE: If you're wondering how I was carrying the baby around in a sling if my neck was so grievously injured, I can tell you: leftover c-section Percocet*. It actually worked so well that it freaked me out a litle bit. Like, OH! This shit is fantastic! I totally get Celebrity Rehab now! I'm sorry I judged you, Jeff Conaway! I'm stop after one dose, I think. Maybe give the heating pad another try.

The neck injury was caused by too much Wii Bowling, by the way. When you reach Pro status your ball gets all sparkly and stuff.

*For the record, I feel overwhelmingly un-pregnant. I'm telling you now, I'm confident it's a big fat no. Although I did have one of those OH SHIT, FLIPPER-BABY moments a few hours after taking the Percocet and had to go Google it. Luckily I was reassured that one measly little incident of borderline prescription drug abuse would not result in a flipper-baby. I was also reassured because Percocet makes everything alllllll riiiiiiight.


Okay. So on to Noah's summer camp, which has nothing to do with my neck. I don't think. Yet. Give me another can of Coke and a solid hour of naptime and I just might get ridiculous enough to try to end this entry with some sappy, circular metaphor of some kind. And then I'll be all, "BOO-YAH" and you'll be all, "I SAID UNSUBSCRIBE,."

You guys, the camp is SO GREAT. Every morning Noah waits impatiently outside the classroom door while the therapists and grad students finish up their strategy session, he barrels in at top speed and checks out every play/sensory/tactile station that's been set up around the room. He may wave me off or grant me a quick kiss goodbye...but probably not. He gets pretty busy pretty quickly. He plays in the ball pit and rode on a scooter -- I know he did these things because HE TOLD ME SO, HIMSELF, AFTER I ASKED.

<places hand on heart, faints dramatically, re-injures neck>

They've started him on the Wilbarger Protocol, two times per morning session. After Noah's very first transition-related tantrum at circle time (AGAIN with the fucking circle time; I seriously wonder if Noah would be more interested if they called it octogon or trapezoid time), the OT managed to get him to tell her why he was so upset: he put his hands over his head, attempted cover both his eyes and ears, and said, "It too much. It hurts."

<is just going to type the rest of this entry from down here on the floor, if that's all right.>

The brushing technique is one of those weird, quacky-sounding OT things -- deep massage with a plastic surgical brush? what? -- but apparently, it's working rather well. It calms him down and reduces the endless wandering, fidgeting, reciting. And he is an angel -- AN ANGEL CHILD FROM HEAVEN -- for hours after camp. Today he announced it was time for a nap and I pouted, because man, we're having so much fun! I wanna keep playing! I don't wanna put you down for a nap! Stay here and tell Mama about the ball pit again!

They've also given Noah a specific diagnosis from under the big umbrella of sensory processing/integration disorders: Dyspraxia. While other therapists we've met with have left it non-specific, because Noah exhibits behaviors from ALL OVER the goddamn place, this team believes Noah will actually benefit from a more targeted diagnosis and treatment plan. Since getting their assessment, I pulled out my old dog-eared copy of the Out-of-Sync Child and reviewed my answers to all the zillions of checklists it contains, and would you believe that 99% of the sticking boxes from the stinking dyspraxia lists are checked off, and yet I still fretted more about whether Noah was OVER-responsive or UNDER-responsive, because THOSE checklists were split about 50/50, so WHAT DOES THAT MEEEEEAN?


It means learn how to read a fucking graph, asshole.

Anyway. Camp is great! Hooray camp!

Actually. Hang on. Lemme fix that.

Photo 7 Photo 6

Noah is great! Hooray Noah!



Fantastic! I'm sooooo happy for you. And Noah. And the family. And your poor neck. Well, I'm happy for your neck cos you had left-over drugs.
And happy for me cos I got one last laugh before bedtime. Rock on.


That's SO great Amy! I'm really happy for you (and Noah!)


This makes me smile largely. so happy for you guys!! That's just so great!

The Other Laura

The best advice I ever got for neck/shoulder/back things is to not stretch it, even though it feels like stretching it would help.

Hooray! Hooray for Noah and his camp!


Oh, how wonderful! Yay Noah!!

Megan@Blueberry Scones

Oh, ow, I hope your neck feels better!


First, your post made me laugh out loud, repeatedly. So funny. And I am so glad to hear that Noah is doing so great at camp!!!!

Jen Ambrose

I love my sparkly Wii bowling ball so very much. Especially because my husband still doesn't have one. And every time we play, I'm all "Look at how my ball sparkles!!!" It is awesome.

Sprite's Keeper

You said you weren't gonna get sentimentsl at the end of this. Dang it. *Sniff* Yay, Noah!


So thrilled he is enjoying himself!
(no exclamation points were injured in this comment.)


This is great news! I'm glad to hear that Noah finally has a staff of teachers that can work with him effectively.


I found your blog a couple years ago while desperately trying to diagnose my son. After being diagnosed with PDD-NOS, ADHD among other things, it turns out Giorgio has SPD, but on the opposite end of the spectrum from Noah. Anyway the brushing works like a charm for him too. It gets him through trips to the grocery store and Dr appointments. I never knew it was called the Wilbarger Protocol. We just call it the Magic Brush. Glad to hear things are working out for Noah. Thanks for always being able to cleverly articulate exactly what I'm feeling. Reading your blog has gotten me through some dark moments in the last couple years!


I am so happy camp is going so well. Actually, I am so happy that Noah is doing so well at camp and loves it so much.


Yay summer camp. It must be reassuring to see progress. Also percocet is The Awesome, I am saving one from giving birth. I get the neck thing all the freakin time, if you find the cure let us know.

Saint Tigerlily

Hey! Awesome!

(Next I will tell my husband all about this when he gets home and he will give me "Seriously woman, you don't even really know these people" Eyes but I don't care! I'm thrilled for you both! Erm...all of you!)


I still maintain that I was the best mother ever the week I had a kidney stone and was stoned (heh) out of my mind on Percocet. I was all, dude, sure, I'd LOVE to sit on the floor and play blocks for 4 hours straight. You want to eat watermelon here on this couch? Sounds great. Duuuudde. So patient, so relaxed, so accepting. I still have my stash, but only think about them from time to time in a longing kind of way. And I am so happy for Noah, it's a joy to hear about his happiness.


Noah is always great, a handsome, charming little boy. I love seeing pictures of him.

When are we going to hear him sing again? I think he has real talent in that area.


"leftover c-section Percocet"--oh yes, also known in our household as "mama's preshus"

And yay for the camp. So glad it works so well for Noah!


I'm so glad Noah is enjoying camp :)

And I'm right there with you on the Percocet. I have a bunch left over from an appendectemy a couple of years ago. I've found that the work pretty awesome for overseas mellows you out enough that you don't really mind being jammed into a tiny seat for 8 hours. And, I too, can totally see how people could become addicted, although I'm kind of the opposite since I don't want to run out. :)


Great news! Great boy!


The weekend we got our Wii, my husband and I were both SO SORE. We found muscles we didn't know we had!

Hooray for camp!


now you have to find a way to make camp last 365 days!!!!

Its so good to see you so optimistic and happy.. well about Noah.. not so much about your neck! :)

And uhh.. dont slam your baby's foot in the door.. mmmkay?


Oh, I totally feel your neck pain. I did the same thing last summer playing Wii boxing and OHMYFUCKINGGOD, I was in tears for the next two weeks.

momof three

Oh, I wanted to tell you all about this a year ago...we are about 18 months ahead of you. You were not ready (like me at the same time). There is a certain rhythm to all patient. You all will get there. Promise.

momof three

But the brushing seems so weird,doesn't it? It works!!!!!!!


yay for camp, boo for flipper-baby jokes.


Thank goodness there won't be a flipperbaby!


Big ups for the Brain Candy reference. Too bad some peeps will miss it and get bent and be all UNSUBSCRIBE.

Not me, because I know this is a pill that gives worms to ex-girlfriends. You just don't get it. Huhoo!

Jen L.

That is awesome!


Yay for camp! YAY for Noah! First time I heard about brushing, I seriously had to give the OT the "crazy person smile" I give a lot of people here in Boulder (light therapy, sound therapy, etc.). But it seems to work! (I have no first hand experience, hence the hedged support). Yay for things that WORK!


Flipper baby! You slay me.

You're totally a great parent and don't let anyone tell you otherwise; YAY for you and YAY for Noah!


Hooray Noah, indeed :)


Yay, Noah! I'm so glad to hear that he's enjoying camp. And Angel Child in the afternoon? MAJOR plus.


In my home, a long time ago, we read a book in which Willa, the little sister would get her brother (Willoughby?) to tell her happy things and Willa would say, "That's happy. What else?" And so the phrase has become our household shorthand for the really GOOD things.
So to y'all I say, "That's happy. What else?"

So glad for you.


In my home, a long time ago, we read a book in which Willa, the little sister would get her brother (Willoughby?) to tell her happy things and Willa would say, "That's happy. What else?" And so the phrase has become our household shorthand for the really GOOD things.
So to y'all I say, "That's happy. What else?"

So glad for you.


In my home, a long time ago, we read a book in which Willa, the little sister would get her brother (Willoughby?) to tell her happy things and Willa would say, "That's happy. What else?" And so the phrase has become our household shorthand for the really GOOD things.
So to y'all I say, "That's happy. What else?"

So glad for you.

bethany actually

So, so, SO glad to hear Noah is great! And I hope your neck feels better soon. :-)


Sounds like this place rocks and the staff have their shit together. Now, will they please open a school so the magic can last all year round? Why not?


I believe Mir's son (Woulda Coulda Shoulda Mir, that is) has had success with the brushing technique. As odd as it sounds, it actually makes quite a bit of sense.

As for the neck, don't stretch and try ice. Also, docs recommend 3 ibuprofen for that sort of thing instead of just 2. Obviously not for a long period of time, maybe 2-3 days.


I say - bring the girl some more drugs, 'cos this post just brought me back to the Your-Highness-Amalah writing of yorn with all this wacky, funny stuff! Or is it just the happy-proud-mummy drug working its charm...? Anyhow, what i wanted to say is WHEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! Well done Noah!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is so great. I am the mom of a 4 year old boy with some serious sensory issues, and I think OTs walk on water and know how to fix EVERYTHING. You go, family! Glad it's going well.


Alex: Cat on my head. CAT ON MY HEAD!

Myg: They actually do have a year-round school. I'm sure it's every bit as fab as the camp. It better be, since it costs approximately eleventy hundred thousand dollars.

Well. Not quite that much, but it might as well, since there's no way we can afford it. I'm really, REALLY hoping that the district's preschool will be somewhat comparable, or at least incorporate therapies that we KNOW will work.

We'll probably continue with some supplemental program there all year, even if we can't afford full-time.

On Wednesday the kids are going to a Shetland pony farm. Eeeeee teh cute!


by the way - I have a question for you. When you (or they) do the brushing, do you follow it with joint compressions? (And if you don't know what I'm talking about, then that answers my question, too! :)


I just love the chicken explanation! It makes so much sense to me...I had a yoga instructor tell me once that if my mind starts to wander during a meditation, that I can rub my palms together to create heat and then put them on my closed eyelids. I don't know how this is similar, but in my mind it is, except that I have the emptional toolbox of my 30(ahem)-something years to help me reconnect my body and mind. I can imagine that if I were three, well, I would just go ahead and flip the f*ck out. Anyway, I'm so pleased to hear that camp is awesome.


I know this is what everybody else is saying, but I am so, so, so happy that you have found a good place that is meeting his needs!


Noah IS great! Hooray Noah!


I am so happy for Noah! Also, having an SPD diagnosis is the one thing that wasn't ambiguous for us. It told us "hey, Neil may not LIKE that sound, texture, blah blah blah"

While most Autism spectrum stuff is hard to figure out, that's one that gets better with OT.

Yay, Noah indeed!


I'm so glad that camp is helping you guys learn how to help Noah the best. :)

I had a neck problem earlier this year. It turns out I had a contracted muscle in my neck from stress. Muscle relaxers stopped it from being contracted and stopped me from not being able to move my neck and having it in a horrible position like you described.

I actually had to go to the ER because it was so painful. Every few steps I took, it would send shooting pains up my neck. I was meeting a girlfriend for dinner and I finally got to the table and burst into tears when she asked if I was okay and if I needed to go to the ER. I was like, oh you know, I'm okay.... wahhhhhhhhhh....

She took me to the ER. haha


Yay! Your aha moment! I'm so happy for you. Isn't amazing when someone can put their finger on "it" and help him cope! How awesome! That is what he needed!

Fairly Odd Mother

So glad the camp is working for Noah.

And, ack, about the neck. I actually see a PT b/c my neck gets "stuck" so often. Once I was given a muscle relaxer and I could do nothing but drool and roll of the couch for 24 hours.


Ok, I am so weird. I got a little misty eyed after reading that and seeing the pics. Ahhh, happy guy!


Go Noah! So proud of him! And you!


Yea, and Hallalujah, and Woohoo! (for Noah). and also, Boo, sadness and ouchie (for you).


That's wonderful!


It too much? It hurts? I'm crying now. I have a kid almost exactly the same age. It's so easy to forget what complex emotions lie under the surface of all that screaming and crazy-making 3-year-old stuff. I'm going to try to be more understanding the next time she wakes up screaming that her quilt is NOT RIGHT!


Sounds like a great camp run by people who care!


Noah makes my heart smile.


Awesome! this post is so full of love and optimism that it fills my heart with joy.

I am so glad you have found a place for noah to shine. what an incredible boy.


All I have to say is YAAAAYYYYY!

This post made me so freaking happy. Thanks so much for sharing this experience with us. We love and ache for Noah so much. Just remember you guys are phenomenal parents, and he's such a lucky little boy to have you both. Kudos.


Hooray Noah!

Becky M.

"It too much. It hurts."

Oh, man. Total heart-clinch moment there, and I'm not even a parent. Still, sometimes I have problems being that articulate about what's bothering me. You go, little man.

I'm glad things are working out for you guys, and I hope your neck is feeling better.


So happy for Noah. Wanted to cry at the "it hurts". Poor babe. But so great that he's getting help and enjoying himself. GoooooOOOOO CAMP!

On another note, what sling are you still using and how does Ezra sit in it? Does he lie back & sleep? I'm a little obsessed with slings/carriers. Much visualize.


Just wanted to say that you're a great mum. He's a very lucky boy. If only all kids had parents so dedicated to helping them achieve their best.


The Wilbarger Protocol is the most wonderful thing in the world. Ever. I'm thrilled it's helping Noah!


Love, love, love the picture of you and Noah!! Melts my heart. Also, I'm so glad that camp is working out.
Also hoping to hear more about cookie cutter lady? Please don't tell me she is still ignoring you. Does she know that you are the famous writer of the deodorant wars?


Great news about Noah! I'm totally not unsubscribing.

On the neck thing, treat it like a sprain: ice for the first 48 hours, then the heat is okay.


Yay for awesome Noah attending an awesome camp!


Oh jeez, brushing and compressions have been the best thing for my son with pretty bad SPD (who is now 10, almost 11, but still seriously needs the brush and compressions at least once a day). And it's really really easy to do yourself. Once he's done with camp it's a really simple procedure to incorporate into his day, and by that stage the frequency should be way down from the intial intensity.

Really. Life saver. Got us through school, social issues, tantrums... just amazing.


I am soo happy you answered my question above about year round school at this place, however for Noah I WOULD be willing to send a donation. Oh sorry about the neck, sounds to me like mama needs a spa day!

Jennifer @ Here-I-Stand

Good for Noah! I'm impressed that he could articulate why circle time was a problem at his age. My neurotypical (but high-intensity) daughter was not that responsive/articulate about her feelings at that age...unless you count the screaming. Which I don't.

If he can describe what's happening with him so well now, maybe he's headed toward being a writer like his mom.


I VERY rarely comment on your entries, but I just have to let you know that your posts about Noah's various struggles and successes are... well, hell, I don't even know what word to use! A good one! My exposure to sensory disorders is fairly minimal, but the exposure you bring to not only the disorders but the various types of treatment can ONLY help. I learn something nearly every time you make one of these posts, and how cool is that? Your blog is one of my Super Fun Workday Distractions, and yet here you go teaching me and such. Love it. Please keep it up -- for every commenter rooting for your family and for Noah, I have zero doubt that there's another reader/non-commenter who has him in their thoughts.


Awesome! Yeah, Noah! Yeah, awesome camp!!

Laura in LA

You're great too


How fantastic!
I'm glad Noah is doing so well. The camp sounds like a blast to me... do they have camps for parents?


Amy - I am ecstatic for you and Noah!! Finally, a breakthrough for that sweet boy!! I am a longtime lurker, first time commenter - but I thought this post was worth commenting on. YAY SCIENCE!!!


Hip-hip HOORAY


Yeah for Noah! I used to have the neck thing happen randomly all the time and it got so bad at times it was hard to make it thru the day. Then I found a chiropractor and that CHANGED my life I swear! He does an "adjustment" that results in a horrific sound but the pain goes away almost instantly (by the end of the day anyway).


Yay and Double Yay!


awesome, awesome, awesome!!!! Way to GO NOAH!!!! Way to GOOOOO MOMMA!!!!! :0)


Yay Noah and family and camp and ball pits! Also, the picture of you on the look like Ezra's twin (the eyes!). (I'm sure you know this, it just really stood out to me in this pic!)


The brushing really works. So glad that Noah likes it! Are you also doing the joint compressions with it? That really helps things along as well. It is wonderful to hear he is doing well at camp too.






That brought a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart this morning. Hooray, Noah. :)


Yay!! So happy for Noah!

And waaah? Unsubscribe? That will never happen.


Yay! I'm glad to hear he's doing so well and enjoying himself.


This is wonderful news! You 'sound' :)really delighted, and how cool is it that Noah is just as stoked about the whole thing? That's got to feel great. I'm glad it it is working out!


OH!!! How fantastic!!! Do they have programs for during the year? I am so thrilled for you! And for NOAH!!! YAY!!!!


The brush = love at our house! We didn't know anything about it until Trace's IEP was put into place last October. They told us it was part of a "sensory diet"....All I know is that it works like a charm. Am considering trying it with my youngest (3 yrs old)....

I'm so glad that Noah is doing so wonderful with camp :-)


Woman, stop posting pics of your children. I start wanting to steal your genes or at the very least your children and i don't think anybody wants that, now do they? no, i didn't think so.


Who would boo a flipper baby joke? Lighten up.


Elaine: Maybe someone with a flipper baby?? Or someone who was a flipper baby and is now a flipper adult?? I know both and therefore flipper babies are just not that funny to me. But let me re-think it for a minute.....wait...disabled babies are hysterical, I change my mind.


SAB: Yessss, I figured as much. Please see part 2 of my comment.

Good-natured humor neither caused your baby or you (or whatever your relation to flipper beings is) to have flippers nor will abolishing flipper baby jokes guarantee that no more flipper babies will ever be born.

Being able to laugh at the less-than-ideal circumstances in our lives is a wonderful thing. I highly recommend it.


Having a child on the spectrum is always a challenge (my son is too). We used the same brushing technique last year and it worked beautifully.

Btw, I'm found you through Suzanne (Suzanne calling/Suzannesez)

Jessica (@It's my life...)

Hurray for professionals who know what they're doing!
Are they going to teach you to do the brushing thing? I've heard it does wonders for so many kids and even better, they eventually learn to do it to themselves, which, yay for self soothing!


Not to beat a dead horse or take away from the happiness we all share with Amy that they found a great camp for Noah, but I do want to clarify something. Are developmental disabilities funny too, or is it just the physical ones? I think the tone of this blog is one of sensitivity towards children of varying levels of ability, so I was surprised at the flipper baby thing. Seems incongruous, at least to me. Obviously I am in the vast minority so I apologize for my oversensitivity and will keep my thoughts about such matters to myself in the future. I truly did not mean to take attention away from what is a happy time for Amy's family.


above comment is in regards to previous comment from Elaine


I'm a teacher and I've had students who did "brushing" and it was AMAZING! I also realize that there are so many little things we do for ourselves as adults that some kids just need MORE of - like, who has to get up and walk around after sitting at a desk for a long time? Or if you're really freaked out, do you do something to calm yourself down? Well, I'm so glad that you've found something that is helping Noah. And something so easy! Bravo!


Woo hoo! Yay for summer camp, and yay for Noah!

Jennifer A

That's great news. Now if i can get Jimmy back on some sort of track, I'd be happy.
PS - never have seen that graph before. Explains a lot.

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