The Sensory Battle

19 Jun

Anyone who’s child has sensory processing difficulties will understand where I’m coming from when I state this can make life trying for the whole family.

I’ve mentioned before on the blog that my Little man who has Aspergers Syndrome is very tactile defensive, certain types of material against his skin can send him into sensory overload, though it’s not just clothing he can not tolerate.

One of our biggest sensory battles so far is that of nail cutting, little man hates it and any suggestion of cutting them tends to send him into meltdown mode.

The issue of grooming is now a huge problem and one that concerns me with my son reaching his teenage years. He hates bathing as his skin wrinkles and feels “squeaky” he also hates the feeling and taste left in his mouth after brushing his teeth. So, you can imagine what mornings are like in our house… Yes, a nightmare!

Little man likes to do gardening with his father after school. The issue of him being tactile defensive means he won’t wear gloves and the reluctance to let me near his nails makes this a huge problem to contend with.

I’ve tried nail brushes and files getting the same reaction from all. The situation is now starting to get the entire family down.

Many people fail to understand how hard life can be for a child with difficulties with their sensory processing. The most simplistic of tasks for you or I can be that of the most difficult for a child like little man. Having to pin down an 11 year old boy who is almost as big as you, just to wash his face is something I do daily, something that takes most of my strength and has me longing to go back to bed by 8.50am.

Yesterday little man arrived home from school angry and tearful. A new child in his school is now sharing little mans transport, to and from school. Just like little man, this child has intense special interest and dominates conversation. Only his interest cause little man anxiety, they tend to be subjects he wishes to avoid and this is proving rather difficult!

School have given little man some ear defenders for the Journey. These have helped a little but it still seems that little man is having problems dealing with his new fellow passenger. This is yet another problem to contend with in the mornings, making the resemble something of a battle ground.

On a brighter note, his been enjoying some lovely school trips of recent, something he so sadly missed out a lot on in mainstream. Last week he went to Chessington World of Adventures, and today he went to watch horrible histories and have a meal at the harvester! His reported to have had a brilliant time on both occasions which is lovely to hear considering how things used to be.

4 Responses to “The Sensory Battle”

  1. mumofthreeboys June 22, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    Hope little man enjoyed his trip to horrble histories x

  2. Gavin Bollard June 21, 2012 at 12:56 am #

    I have overcome most of my sensory issues but nail cutting still grates badly even though I’m a 40+ year old adult. For half of my life I was trying to stop biting my nails and I was able to avoid doing so for long periods (6 months) but it would all fall apart after a few cuts.

    Eventually I decided that the sensory issues weren’t worth the “neatness” that comes from cutting one’s nails and now I’m comfortable biting them. It’s part stim and part sensory prevention.

    I don’t have answers for all of your issues but in terms of nail cutting, this is a possibility.

  3. Christine June 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    I completely understand how difficult this part of your life is. Oh how I used to dread shampoo time with my lil Aspie. He would scream like he was being murdered each and everytime, no matter what I did. As he grew older, I must say that it got easier (I use this term lightly)…I put goggles on him so that the water wouldn’t get in his eyes, and eventually he started showering and actually does a decent job. He still complains about showers (he’s 12) and brushing his teeth, but he does them. I honestly never thought that we’d get to this place, but it happened, slowly…is it perfect? Um no, but we have progressed.

    Hang in there…as your lil guy ages, hopefully he’ll become more tolerate…and you’ll be looking back wondering how you ever made it to that place😀.

    (((hugs))) from one who’s been there! :))

  4. wtfhappenedtomyreallife June 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I am so glad you posted this. We have always had issues with nail cutting! He has finally gotten to where he will do his own but it has taken a long time to get there and it is still a hassle. My little man is going to be 14 next month and is taller than I am. He has gone through a lot of the puberty stuff and we have discussed hygeine extensively and he is beginning to get better about it. I tried to get him in the habit of using deoderant as a small child, so that he would have that long standing habit when it came time for him to HAVE to use it, but sadly his grandmother would not enforce it. We still have some issues with that but since he has hair under his arms and it gets wet and gross (sorry for the TMI) he has taken to using deoderant willingly (SCORE 1 FOR MOM!)

    We are blessed to have our aspies but yes their challenges can make things a bit trying.

    Love and light!


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