So what is brushing and what does it do?
First: the brush. Specialty SPD stores carry them. They are similar to massage brushes and have soft plastic bristles. Firm but not scratchy. Do not use a baby hairbrush..it will cause too much tickling as the brush is too soft. Order one.
Brushing is a way to reduce tactile defensiveness and provide the correct amount of stimulation to rewire the brain. What you are doing is helping to reduce the fight or flight response. When that happens your child will act out less, have fewer tantrums, calm easier and be able to withstand everyday tactile encounters.
Brushing works best when used with joint compressions. More on that in a minute.
To brush your child, have them lay on their back and start with the arms. Brush one direction firmly (have them indicate how firm) 8 times. Cover the front of the arm. Then do the other arm. Move to the legs and avoid the chest area. Same protocol...8 times firmly in one direction (usually down feels best.)
Have him turn over and do the back, neck, head, both arms and both legs. By now your child is probably very relaxed and feeling great. You can follow the brushing by pushing a pillow down on his legs firmly. He will relax further.
Now you can do the joint compressions. turn your child back over. Start with the hands and at each joint, press the joint together firmly with your fingers...Start with the thumb joints, then fingers, wrist, elbow and shoulders. 10 compressions for each joint. move to the legs and do the same..avoid the feet, since they are usually very sensitive.
You have provided the correct amount of stimulation to your child. he or she should be calm and ready for either sleep or play.
Joint compressions also come in handy when sitting for a long time. take your childs' hand and compress each joint 10 times.
Questions? I am ready to answer them...but brushing and joint compressions are a great tool to use as your child learns to compensate with this disorder. Continued consistent brushing and joint compressions can go a long way toward helping him cope.