How can I help my 10 yr. old daughter's sensory issues! Losing patience....

my daughter is 10 yrs. old. she has had sensory issues since she was 2. she likes anything soft to be against her skin ( certain fabrics are not tolerated at all) She will not wear a coat. no long sleeves. No layered clothing,buttons,snaps,zippers.... No jeans, all pants and underwear must be pulled down below her hips ( underwear is worn even lower) I have to order her uniform shirts for school in the biggest size that I can and she still stretches out the neck and sleeves to the point of ripping everyday before she puts them on.


She has always hated a carseat and the boosterseat, now she hates the seatbelt. Anything that confines her. She seems to be getting worse as she pulls all chairs far from a table to eat. She is a very strong willed child also, which contributes to all of this I am sure. I never took her for treatment or therapy, and did not do the brushing technique when she was young. No way she would have let me near her with a brush!.....She doesn't like her hair or nails cut, and won't let me brush her hair. Some of this does run in my husbands family. My husband and his parents have issues with clothing.. I am losing my patience......Please help!!!!!!

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Nov 30, 2012
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hair cut
by: barbara

my 10year old son has sensory problems and has always had them from a baby. he dosent like labels on his clothes water splashed on his face and will only wear certain underwear and socks. the biggest problem i have with him is his hair its a battle to get his hair cut and i dont know how to make it easy for him its such a big deal every time he needs it done. even getting it washed he cant stand the wet feeling but he isnt as bad with it now that he has got older. any tips from any one on the hair cut problem.

Apr 12, 2012
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I can totally relate!
by: Anonymous

My 10 year old daughter is very tactile defensive. She will wear nothing but soft cami's and silky shorts and flip flops year round. She cannot wear coats. We live in a relatively cold climate, and she has to endure endless comments and stares on a daily basis. We have a "frost bite" rule, where if she is at risk for frostbite she needs to find something to cover her body. I have a hard time convincing the recess aides at school that it is ok that she does not have a coat, and that I AM a good parent. We also struggled with a nine month bout of colic, food texture issues, and car seat and teeth brushing issues. She has organizational issues too, and gets anxiety attacks. I have found she is happiest when I do not fight her clothing choices. She also loves trampolining and watches tv while bouncing on an exercise ball. Wish I knew what SPD was when she was 4, I would have taken her for OT!

Jan 25, 2012
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sounds like tactile defensiveness
by: Anonymous

My son is now 12 years old, and he has had similar issues with clothing. However, he has also had OT since he was a toddler which has helped hime quite a bit. He prefers dark colored clothes vs brightly colored clothes. For a very long time he preferred being outside in his socks vs shoes. I think your daughter needs to see an occupational therapist because she/he will create a sensory diet for your child which will fit her needs. I know how difficult it has been to raise a child with spd, but it will get better. they cannot grow out of their disability but can adjust to it and ot will help with this.

Jan 07, 2012
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My DD is tactile defensive
by: Anonymous

She is now almost 13 and very, very, sensitive to things around her waist and has other areas that are sensitive. She still is struggling with underwear issues. But has found that the yoga style pants work best for her.

Does your daughter like to bounce? We use a big workout ball that my DD sits on an bounces while watching TV and in the summer we have a trampoline that she uses but she loves the ball. This large motor activity seems to "reset" her. Also my DD hated brushing, but loves hugs, and just rubbing with a hand-and NOT directly on the area but on around it- arms and legs. Slow and soft- see if this works- or maybe hard and fast.

Also, can you discuss with you DD how it feels on her sensitive areas? I found that when I asked my DD why she couldn't wear things around her waist, she told me and then it opened up a conversation that led to us working together to try to find clothes. And often, on bad days (my DD is also weather sensitive) she can change immediately after school into something like a nightgown, that helps her relax.

You are lucky, because you have a girl. As she gets older, peer pressure will make her find ways to desensitize to problem areas. It sounds impossible but it will happen, My DD could not and would not wear jeans- then one day she asked to go shopping and we found a pair she tolerated and then she wore then with her friends. This happened around age 11 to 12. Also beware and prepare for when your daughter starts her cycle- it maybe a struggle in the first year.

Also we have found using habitation, - wearing clothes for longer and longer times (clothes that my DD says she can tolerate) with each successful period she earns points for something that she really, really wants. The key is to make the reward bigger than the clothing obstacle. That means the reward is BIG!! and We always wash everything in cold water and Never use the dryer-hang everything on hangers to dry.

It does get better as your child gets older.

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