Hugging

by Janet
(Pineville, LA)

My 7yo is diagnosed with ADHD and the school psychologist and the social worker at his pediatrician thinks he also has mild Aspergers. He has always been one to touch, but over the last few months his hugging and touching others has increased to the point that it's causing problems. Even I am getting tired of it because it is so much it is interrupting needed tasks, such as getting ready in the morning, walking through a public place, etc. His teacher said his unwanted touching seems to have gone down when a few kids at school would hug him voluntarily. I'm not sure how that is working now. The bus driver, however, told me that no one wants to sit with him because he will not keep his hands off of them and always wants to hug. A seat to himself is not an option as she is out of seats. The only way I can keep him off the bus is to be late for work in the mornings and leave early in the afternoon. That's ok occasionally but not everyday.


Does anyone have any suggestions on what can be done to help curb this? I do cuddle and hug him fairly often to help satisfy that need. Is it possible I should back off? He wears Under Armor type compression shirts which he had said feels like hugs when he first got them but now says they don't. Would therapeutic compression shirts work better?

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Jul 10, 2016
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shirts work
by: Anonymous

Very similar situation with my 5 yo son. Got him a therapeutic compression shirt, and the changes we have seen between the shirt and eliminating all artificial food dyes is amazing!

Aug 29, 2014
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Hugging alternatives
by: Anonymous

Try compression shirts...they work



Nov 15, 2013
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Hugging boy
by: Alison

Since before my son could walk, he would take your arm and squeeze with his little hands. Not hard but I used to say he was having a testosterone surge. He is a very sweet, highly intelligent child. Hugging is a daily thing for him. The tighter the better. He sometimes adds a running jump to his hugs which causes some to brace themselves and wince. He is 9 now and is starting to become an issue at school with smaller kids. With the same gusto as when he was little, his size and weight packs more of a punch. He tries to control it but can't. He has been getting in trouble for it and now has been told he cannot touch others at all or will sit on the bench for recess..

This usually happens on the playground. If he is reading a book, he is as calm as can be....

Oct 28, 2011
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to be continued...
by: Anonymous

we have had to make home/school rules (about 4 of them-and they can change as different issues arise) and post them on our door and a little take to school paper (reminder) as well. of which he was included in making the rules and making them in a positive light. our rules don't have the word 'no' in them. like 'no hitting'. instead they say, 'kind hands' or 'be respectful' or 'speak kindly'.

he also drew a picture for each one so he was involved that way as well. one of our rules is in relation to 'personal space". we have frequent conversations about this and have to stay on top of it. this is one thing that an ot could help with. there are games to play, tools to teach our children about self control, videos, books, etc. that can help.

i can relate to your concerns. and kudos to you for being plugged in and for seeking help/ideas for your son. he needs you to help him figure it out. :)

Oct 28, 2011
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darling boy!
by: Anonymous

sounds like your son is a sensory seeker?

i have a son with mild spd and he is a sensory seeker through and through. i wondered for quite some time as to whether he also had a touch of adhd and/or aspergers. what i have come to conclude/believe/learn is that these diagnoses are so difficult to accurately make. there are so many facets that overlap and things that can be one issue and look like another.

for example, a sensory seeker who may struggle with sensitivity to noise or crowded places, can also be the child that appears to be out of control, bouncing off the walls with energy and no boundaries an impulsive. when in fact, his neurological system is on overload. when put in the same situation with less going on and fewer triggers, does much better and doesn't appear 'hyper'. make any sense?

the tip off for aspergers includes difficulties understanding humor, understanding emotions/facial expressions or challenges understanding social clues, eye contact is often difficult, etc. if your child struggles with some of the social things mentioned here, then perhaps. but adhd doesn't = aspergers. i also believe that sensory issues can appear like aspergers, especially in social settings.

it's a journey isn't it?! you're not alone! this is a great website to get feedback, ask questions, exchange ideas, etc.

with the hugging/tactile issues it may benefit you to get him to an occupational therapist (ot) for a sensory eval, in fact the checklist is available on this website - if you haven't already done it. it can be very insightful. and the ot can be a sounding board for concerns and a wealth of resources. we have benefited from regular work with an ot for the last couple of years and it's made a huge difference. it has given us the tools we need as parents to help our son deal with his challenges in an effective manner, to be happier and get along better in his environment and with others.

with our son, we have found that he has to have hard work/play outlet every day. the days he doesn't, he has more difficulty with self regulation/control. ie- keeping hands to self, hitting, etc.

to be continued...

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