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oh my god this so sounds like me! i can't even reverse if the radio is on!

Hey, we all have quirks!

I think it is great that you can totally relate to Adam on this level. He's a lucky little boy.

"Sensory integration issues occur across a very broad spectrum, from very mild to very serious"

Exactly! You have put it just right. I expect that almost everyone could compile their own list.

Mine would include any fabric that is wool or scratchy, noises as you mentioned above, and a tendancy to be uncoordinated that would fall under the "motor planning difficulty" area.

I think a lot of people have some sensory issues, yourself, myself, other commenters included. I think it becomes an issue or a disorder when it prevents you from functioning in society, or prevents you from functioning as highly as your potential.

All the things you listed are easily overcome (tags can be cut out, sheets can be smoothed, you can choose your own sleepwear). It's more challengeing if you're reacting to light, temperature or wind. I think it's harder when the kids go through it and are little because they don't have any good way to express that something very specific is bothering them or how to make it better.

I'm so glad I'm not the only one with the hair issue. I can't stand it short, but it's an act of will to let it down, too! And I can't stand FANS. Not in the car, not in anything. It blows my hair and changes how I can breathe and I Hate HATE *HATE* it. I'm split on the music though. Usually I prefer silence, but I will deliberately put on some headphones if there's something specific and repetative that I want to do (being understimulated is just as hard as overstimulated sometimes).

The best part about you realizing all of these things about yourself, is that you've made yourself aware of the coping mechanisms that you've had to teach yourself to live with your sensitivities. That is EXACTLY what will be a major part of Adam's therapy. The OT will help to desensitize him and "cure" some of his issues, but for the most part, coping and adapting is learned during therapy.

You being able to relate and be compassionate in regards to his issues will be a major asset in the process of Adam learning to live in in his environment. Parents without issues themselves, sometimes just don't "get it" and think that their child is just being stubborn and irrational. Knowing what you know, you will be an integral part in teaching him to cope. In more ways than this, Adam is a lucky little boy to have a mom like you. :)

BTW - Wookie... your comment about wind making you not breathe right; OMG!!! I am SO with you on that one. Wind in my face takes my breath away and makes me feel as though I've had the wind knocked out of me!

I really can't drive with the window open. Convertible cars are torturous. A motorcycle ride is IMPOSSIBLE. I can't breathe. Period.

Wow you just described me :)

I was on vacation last week and I'm still catching up with all my favorite blogs. I missed you! This is a very interesting topic, I can relate to the hair, the clean hands and the sheets. Cannot stand flannel sheets because they catch on my clothes and everytime I try to turn over or adjust the sheets come with me. Very irritating.

Cannot BELIEVE your boss is basing your performance eval on your blog, that is either hilarious or frightening, can't decide which. Must go read more, hope you are having a lovely day.

God damn Tertia! You and Wookie have both described me to a "T"... but, i can also add to the list:
-No running the dishwasher while i am in the zone of hearing (i must be out of the house or asleep upstairs).
-No re-winding the VCR tapes in my presence.

The hair thing and the sleeping thing both drive me NUTS! I have gotten much worse as i have gotten older. Kind of freaks me out a little bit that i have these peculiarities, but, i can say i am happy to know i am in such good company!

I have gotten so sensitive to noise, in fact, sometimes i have a physical reaction to it. I feel like i am being phyically assaulted and flinch if the radio or t.v. is too loud and my dad is hard of hearing... so, you know what that is like for me when he visits and insists on watching golf and football really LOUDLY. The A/C may be on in the car, but, it CANNOT blow directly on me.

Lucky boy that Adam is for having a mom who is so sensitive to his sensitivities. He will be fine. You and and I, on the other hand, are lost causes!! LOL!

Hmmm, I have several thoughts on this. I think everyone has sensory peculiarities and sensitivities. I hate to hear them called "issues" or "problems" or "dysfunctions", because those are all negative words. Maybe sensory differences is more appropriate. Because really, someone that has no notable reaction to any sensory input has a problem right there! Our senses exist for a reason, and normal reaction to input to those senses itself is a very wide spectrum. I think people have sensory issues/problems/dysfunction ONLY when their reaction to sensory input prevents them from living in their environment successfully.

I also think that we each have our strong senses and our weak senses. I know my hearing is my strongest and most sensitive sense - I can hear an ant burp, and if he's doing it at night, it keeps me awake. But tags have never bothered me and people touching me doesn't bother me. I have to take measures to make sure I am not distracted by what I hear - I wear earplugs at night, I often have white noise on if I am trying to concentrate. Too much auditory chaos and I want to scream at everyone to shut up! This works both to my detriment and to my benefit. Music evokes an emotional reaction in me that I think is unusual. I can hear things other people can't. I wouldn't want to give up these traits so that I would be less auditorially sensitive.

So all this is to say that I hate labels too, for things that are normal and typical and common. I think theraputic techniques to help someone manage their sensitivies is a good thing, but I don't think the goal should be to get rid of the sensitivity - it is there for a reason. I also hate the word "therapy", I admit it, I still think it has a negative connotation and I wish it weren't that way.

OMG, I know what you mean Tertia. I have many of the same reactions to bed sheets and noise. And I HATE being poked and prodded. In high-school I punched a guy in the face because he smacked my ass unexpectedly. I didn't even know I was doing it until he was standing there, with a bloody lip, in shock. So was I, I've never been the fighting type.

Add to my list: I have been nearly reduced to tears of anxiety when I was stuck in a crowd...Bourbon Street, baseball game, football game. I'm fine in the stands, but start to panick when everyone is leaving the stadium and getting rowdy around me. I feel like I am in danger for some reason, like mob mentality is going to kick in any minute, I want to just shrink against a wall or run away. Being elbowed or brushed up against by a stranger is very unpleasant. Good to know I am not just crazy. My husband doesn't get it at all.

It's great for Adam that you can relate to some of his issues.

I know exactly where you're coming from, and exactly what you mean when you can sympathize, and probably tolerate, Adam and his issues more. My daughter has some sensory issues (probably not as many as Adam) and when was in preschool I actually talked to a therapist about her (who was in the classroom observing another student and was more than happy to discuss my daughter with me). Her issues are with clothing mostly - her major area of discomfort is her armpits. Of course tags, too, and also loud noises. From the time she was 7 or 8 months old she'd cover her ears as a coping mechanism. But she has that "unexpected touch" thing too - and it is even the "fear" of being touched if someone, even a child, she doesn't know, gets too close or appears they might. I myself have tactile sensory issues as well - mine is manifested now mostly by being unbelievabley picky with bras. I hate it. I can really only tolerate one particular kind of sports bra worn inside out so I don't feel the seams :(. As a child, it was sock seams, tags, and putting pants on after a bath (I had to wait at least an hour). I do agree with you that we all probably have them to some degree and I think it is great that you have such an understanding of them to be more patient with Adam. My SIL, who has no sensory issues, and whose children don't either, has often said to me it's a good thing I did to have been able to put up with some of my daughter's!

Oh, and if your hair bothers you that badly, why don't you get it cut short? :)

[racking brain...did I touch Tertia? I'm pretty sure there was no hug or handshake...but I just can't remember! Not a touchy feely type, myself.] I have what I call "quirks," too. I would never admit to being OCD or anything, just normal, like you said. I think Adam is lucky to have you, too. :-)

Um, you cracked two of his ribs ... and he still pokes you unexpectedly? Is he nuts?


My husband tells me I am selectively obsessive compulsive because of my "quirks." I'm the same way with sheets - pillow cases can't be wrinkled and I cut the tags out of my undies. I can't wear rings that slide around my fingers or it drives me bugshit. I don't like things touching my back or belly either - sometimes even clothing. My son is like me and my husband just thinks we're weirdos - aliens from another planet masquerading as human. :-) Good times.

And these are odd features because....?

'Specially the hair thing, about it itching when it gets on your face.

Also I can't do the washing up without steam getting up my nose and making it itch.

And, polycotton sheets? What torture is that meant to be? I spend weeks trying to find soft cotton ones.

I think I may have a little bit of that too.
I can't stand touching icey pole sticks and wooden spoons. Also I can't stand people touching me and often physically jump back from it.
I'm always complaining to my husband that his relatives hug and kiss me and it drives me insane.

Don't forget the food texture thing—there are plenty of people who refuse to eat certain foods because the texture grosses them out. I won't eat greasy Asian noodles or mushrooms of any kind, and a glob of fatty chicken skin is nasty (though my husband finds it delectable). A friend of mine is squicked out by juicy plums and peaches, and a zillion other kinds of fruit. Some people won't eat bananas because they fear the stringy bit will end up in their mouth. Fresh tomatoes appall others.

My mom is rather sound-sensitive. When my clothes dryer or intercom buzzer goes off, she's inclined to shudder with alarm and yell, "Fuck!"

One of my son's big things is not having a sock seam creep under his toes. "My sock is bumpy," he whines. He usually sleeps in nothing but underwear, often without a blanket (which makes the weighted-blanket idea difficult to use for him).

You might be interested in this book.
I have not read it myself but I know someone who did and got a lot out of it, the most important of which was a better understanding of themselves and encouragement to embrace who they were - a feeling that is was ok to be a HSP.


Sorry - can't figure out how to make my link show as a link (feel free to fix it if you can edit this post for me)

Book is called "The Highly Sensitive Person" by Elaine Aron

If you're odd, I'm in huge trouble. I've got every one of your sensory issues and then many many more. But I know I have SIDs. I've been a highly sensitive person my entire life, well before there ever was a diagnosis for it. My feet are so senstivie I can't wear socks or most shoes. I can't stand ANYTHING touching my neck. I can't wear anything with buttons. Or a real waist. I can't stand light. I am now sitting in a dark room illuminated only by a single bulb in the next room that is actually bothering me, it's so light. Certain textures repulse me. I don't like anything sticky.

I'm sensitive. I don't think it's a bad thing. It's just who I am, and who I have been my whole life. I don't like to be touched. I hate hugs, even by my kids. I tolerate them, but I don't like them. I hate to be poked. I don't want anyone to pierce my bubble. That's just the way I am.

So don't feel badly about your senstivities. It's just a part of who you are and what makes you unique.

EEK, YOU DESCRIBED ME!! Ian cannot understand how I can spend all day with NO radio on - shock horror!! Hair - freak out, clothes tags - no way- cut them off. I will get put of bed to straighten the sheets, and to get my crinkles out of my 'nightie'. I hate a particular new bra I have bought, the edges have been heat sealed, then stitched together - obviously badly, or how did I know? But I am a hugger, so be warned!!

crikey - i'd never heard of this - i thought is was just me! my brother and i both have a thing about "slimy" food, eschewing anything with a slippery or leaky texture. i have a major thing about bedlinen and am compelled to touch anything soft or fleecy against my nose (plus i rub the duvet on my nose to get to sleep...).

my boyfriend thinks i'm an ocd-raddled nutter (which, to be fair, i am) although he cannot stand to be touched unexpectedly - i'd never realised that it fell into the same bracket as my sensory oddities. i shall have to be more sensitive to him from now on!

OH.MY.GOD. Tertia!!! You have just described me to a tee! Especially the thing with stuff on your hands. I loathe & detest grocery shopping because it always makes my hands feel icky! The first thing I do when I get home is wash my hands & then I wash them again after I've unpacked the groceries. Making a salad is quite an affair: shred lettuce, wash hands. Slice tomato, wash hands. Chop cucumber, wash hands. You get my drift... and avo & Danish Feta, well let's not even go there, LOL! Same thing with my feet, I can never go to bed with "sticky" feet, unless I put my feet straight into clean socks or slippers after my evening shower I have to rinse my feet again before I get into bed because they feel 'funny' on the sheets! I can't wear my Crocs on bare feet because they make my feet feel sticky – I have to wear them with socks {even in summer!}, how terminally uncool is that, except maybe in Germany of course ;o) And noise, can't stand it, my husband is a high decibel junkie with a surround sound system that could send our lounge into orbit! He is quite happy to have both TV sets on even though nobody is watching, and the radio & the CD player all going at the same time - always at max volume. Drives me fucking crazy! The arsehole actually wanted to install a home theatre, surround sound system in our bedroom. Hello!!??! So an ultimatum involving sub-woofers vs. his conjugal rights was given. Suffice to say he chose the option that was in both our best interests ;o) I thought this touchy-feely aversion thing was just me & always jokingly put it down to a bit of OCD. So I’m glad to hear that sensory sensitivity is a bona fide issue & I'm not a total nut job! I’m also thrilled to find myself in such good company, all part of being gorgeous & divine, eh?

Wow, I have the light-touch thing. My husband likes to rub his fingertips up and down on my back. It should be very sweet, but after about 3-4 passes it HURTS, even though I know he's touching me very lightly, and he has short nails so it's not that he's accidentally scratching me. My parents gave me hassle for turning to him and saying "that feels really uncomfortable, can you pat me with the flat of your hand instead please?" When I was little and my mother tried to untangle my hair she touched me TOO GENTLY, and it made my whole skin crawl, my parents thought I was being a little freaklet. I used to say that light touches tickled, but they don't tickle, they make my skin crawl like crazy. If things hit my head, especially unexpectedly, I scream really loudly and hit out. I go from 26 to a shouty toddler in a nanosecond if I bonk my head on a cabinet door.

I have the noise thing too, especially if I am tired or stressed out, I have to tell my husband to shut up, and turn the radio off to park the car. I love listening to music, but if hubby (poor hubby) plays guitar during commercials on TV I want to scream and run from the room, something about the two conflicting noises freaks me out completely. So we mute the ads and he plays guitar.

I think that it's already been suggested to you in the past, but here's another book to add to your nightstand: The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron. From what you've described, you could be one of her case studies. She's also written The Highly Sensitive Child (probably the same basic info, I am sure.)

I definitely have a touch of the sensitivity thing as well, and the worst of it comes out at night (can't have any light in the room, must have at least one blanket on even if it's 90 degrees, absolutely no noise, pillow must be the right consistency, must sleep on side, fan must be on.) I am practically obsessive compulsive about it. The rest of the day, it's minor stuff-- no tags in shirts, no loud noise (HATE vacuuming, going to concerts, and loud music in cars), I eat finger food with a fork (pizza grease- ewwwww.) My husband thought that I was "particular" (i.e. anal and weird) at first, but over time, he has realized that it is more than that for me. Most of the time, he has chosen to find it endearing, thank goodness.

oops. I read up through some of the comments and see that someone already suggested that book.

I can so relate to the feeling of being attacked when unexpectedly touched!!! In my case, it's two people that really really bug me when they do it -- my mother and a close friend! I look at them and can't help but think that they remind me of witches with their pointy fingers poking me!

My "issue" with this SID thing is that it is considered to be an "issue". To me that is like saying being a brunette instead of a blond is an "issue". It's just the way you are. Some of us cry at everything, some of us are very funny, some of us are very tall, some of us have tremendous command in a room of people, some of us blush chroncially, some of us can't tell a joke to save our lives, some of us can get lost in a walk-in closet, some of us are creative an artistic. These are not 'issues'. They are just who we are.

I so hear you on the being touched thing! I hate to be touched when I'm not expecting it, and that drives my love-language-of-touch husband crazy!

I think that it IS an issue if it affects your ability to function comfortably in society.

Surround sound makes me feel physically ill-nauseous and light-headed. I have had to RUN out of shops to stop from vomiting, fainting, or screaming because of the music. It's different from being a blonde, I'm afraid.

The good thing is that we can learn to cope, or to avoid triggers. Tags can be removed. Sheets can be chosen carefully. Stereos can be vetoed through a nookie strike. Hubbies can be trained (using the carrot or the rib-cracking stick) not to touch us suddenly.

Thank goodness you've identified Adam's situation early, and can help him to develop coping mechanisms.

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