Tactile defensiveness

16 Sep

This past week has been so horrid for the whole of the family. We really thought we had got past the school uniform battle. Things are never as they seem, far from it in fact. We have a very angry boy coming home from school on a daily basis. Last week was bad enough with supermarket meltdowns and sleepless nights! Just when things all go quite something else happens.

Little man has always had sensory sensitivity some days worse then others. When in his favourite tracksuit bottoms we don’t have to worry about it as much… That was up in till the school introduced the new school uniform policy. We spent the best part of reception class and year one constantly battling to get Little man into school. He would scream, quite literally hang on to the banister as I dragged him out of the house I knew there was something a little different about Little man. What was different became clearer as he grew older. He had no diagnosis but he sure did do some “Odd” things. Why on earth has he hide his clothing I would think , as I pulled a bundle of jeans out from under his bed. Then there was the “I’m not wearing that coat! No, no, no!” I didn’t have a clue and we must off brought him five or more coats in till I started to “get it!” He used to always try and lose his coats in school, and still does. I remember at the end of the school year when they lay out or the last property. What isn’t claimed ends up outside the charity shop. I must have looked like I was going in for the kill and getting what I could for free. I’m not kidding when I say we came out with six coats, four jumpers, two packed lunch boxes, and a ton of jumpers. I was so …. embarrassed

Discovering that Little man could be on the autistic spectrum (Our second CAMHS visit with Tony, back when little man was seven) was a real turning point. It was hard and oh my it was a lot to take in, but going home and reading about ASD and Aspergers I finally knew why he did such things. Sensory sensitivity is something we all have just those on the spectrum have this problem to a greater degree. I know that a certain background nosie like the washing machine spinning while I’m reading or watching TV drives me bonkers, but I can deal with it. My little man like many others can be driven bonkers. Certain sounds, smells and textures can get to Little man and really upset him to the point of meltdown.

It’s his tactile defensiveness that is now causing him more problems at school. Yes, his wearing the correct uniform he is just having trouble with the tucking in your shirt rule. Sadly it seems others are having problems “getting it” It got to the point where little man become so upset yesterday, I kept him home the afternoon when he came home for lunch. I’ve written a letter to school and hope that maybe from now on the situation can be dealt with in a sensitive way.

Maybe it’s hard for some people to take a child’s problem with sensory sensitivity seriously. To many not being able to tuck your shirt in because it makes you feel fuzzy is silly. You often get comments like “What do you mean he can’t” Or “Just give it a go” Would we say to someone.. “Go on stick your head in the oven and see how it feels?” Many may think it’s not the same, but it is! Somebody said to me its like making a child in a wheel chair climb stairs! It was kinda cute, as when repeating this to little mans father, Little man over heard and told me that would just be an outrage, as he would fall and smash his face. Of course I explained it was just an expression. My point is I just find it very frustrating so I can only imagine what it does to Little man.

Lately I’ve been thinking that maybe we should consider an occupational therapist, I hear they are good at helping with sensory issues. A while back I contacted Brainwave and they did agree to help. Brainwave is a two day programme, that involves you and the child meeting a number of professionals and they devise a programme for the child. The parent learns the programme and carries it on at home. The child has a review every few months. It’s a programme that cost a few thousand but the best part comes from charitable funds, the parent is only asked to pay £500 toward this. It’s a brilliant opportunity  and once I have the Money I think it will be something we will seriously consider.

Well, I took Little man in to school today with his shirt un-tucked but I had come up with a plan. He had left his over sized school jumper in school. My plan was for him to wear this and hide his shirt underneath. Good job it was cold today as Little man would be more willing to wear it (I hoped) The lovely receptionist in the school (Always polite and none judgemental) took little man off to find this over sized jumper as he left it on his peg. I was worried she may have a problem with him refusing to put it on. When I got him for lunch I was so please to see him wearing it. His TA did report there had been a few issues (Non uniform related) But it was a joy not to have him moaning all the way up the road about being made to tuck his shirt in. He even went back to school after lunch with zero fuss.

Sadly at 6pm this evening I was called by the head teacher who informs me little man is excluded tomorrow and Monday. I was so upset as I had already told him on collection from school that he would be treated to something of his choice (Of course it was a bus ride with dad) Reason for the treat was because I finally received some fantastic news (For a change) The progress Little man had made in his support group for reading, writing and spelling was fantastic. The letter stated that what he had achieved in six month was what most achieve in ten month. This meant his progress was much better then expected of him. Sadly I had no time to enjoy my Little mans good news and smile at the fact we were receiving good news instead of bad, and for once no after school drama. Two and a half hours later the bubble got popped by the telephone call informing me off his two day exclusion. I cried in putting down the phone. I was told it was for a whole range of issues, mainly name calling. It just never ends EVER! Ironic as tomorrow I planed to go swimming with him and the school and then head out to get food shopping as our cupboards are bare. Most mother do all their bits and pieces when the children are in school. Hell no not me! I should be so lucky. I’m down the school three times a day and do trips were I can I just can’t do it. So…. Now his shopping along side me…


The Sen (Special educational needs) panel wont meet till the 30th of September due to the fact the Senco put in the assess one form to late. It’s a bit of a pain as it would of been heard today. All the time his in this school nothing will get better. I just hope that this time the LEA do the right thing.

3 Responses to “Tactile defensiveness”

  1. Melania Holtham March 12, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    We’re a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with helpful info to paintings on. You have performed an impressive job and our entire neighborhood shall be grateful to you.

  2. amanda neal September 17, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    i hope the l.e.a does the right thing this time aswell claire.
    its ridiculous for excluding him for name calling and such. if every school did that we would have more kids on the streeets than at school!! bloody ridiculous. he is defo discriminated against. for all iv moaned about dylans school and the ignorant head there he has never been excluded – even the day he hit 4 other kids withing a few minutes. they will do anything to keep the kids in school . i wish you lived nearer hun. really feel for you.xxx

  3. fighting for my children September 17, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    Ugh! Grocery shopping with kids. My kids are 11 and 12 and I still try to avoid it.

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