So many questions...

by Ashlyn Mills
(Kansas City, Kansas)

First off thank you for taking the time to read my email. Second I really appreciate what you are doing on this website to help people. Personally I am a 15 year old who has had trouble making contact with water my whole life.


The earliest sign I can remember is when I was in preschool and I washed and dried my hands then had a total freakout. My mom had to come pick me up from school but brushed it off saying that I "put too much soap on my hands." Ever since then I have hated going swimming, taking showers, washing my hands, or even getting the slightest drop of water on me. My mom tells me that everyone has dry hands but I'm just "addicted to lotion." It's really hard to hear that when I know I'm not addicted to lotion but I NEED it.

Time to time I'll go swimming with my friends then when we're done I'll sneak off to a private bathroom to put lotion on in an effort to keep my skin problem an secret. I have complained for years to see a dermatologist or someone that can help me. My dad has psoriasis so dry skin runs in the family but his isn't nearly as bad as mine. I use Aveeno but it says that if dry skin symptoms continue after 7 days I need to seek a doctor. Well it's been 7 years and I still don't have any answers.

Reading all the stories on this page have really let me know that I'm not the only one but I don't know how to decide if this is something really serious enough to see a doctor (or whoever I would see for this type of problem) and how I should go about telling my mom that I seriously need to see a doctor.

I filled out the adolescents symptom survey for sensory processing disorder and below are my top problems.
4 __ excessively ticklish
3 __ distressed by others touching you; would rather be the "toucher" than the "touchee", difficulty "snuggling" with your partner
4 __ have to fidget and "fiddle" with things all the time; change in your pocket, your keys, a pen/pencil, paper clip, rubber band, ANYTHING within reach
3 __ very sensitive to pain, especially as compared to others
5 __ dislike the feeling of showers or getting splashed
5 __ difficulty going to the beach; the sand blowing on your skin or getting on your body
4 __ avoid touching anything "messy"; if you do, you have to go wash your hands right away and/or only touch it with your fingertips
3 __ can not wear new or "stiff" clothes that have not been washed or soaked in fabric softener
4 __ hate to be barefoot or hate to wear shoes and/or socks
3 __ a thrill seeker; loves fast and/or dangerous rides, leisure activities, and sports
5 __ seek out fast, spinning, and/or upside down carnival rides
4 __ will often rock or sway body back and forth while seated or standing still
3 __ frequently tips chair on back two legs
4 __ restless when sitting through a lecture, presentation, or movie
5 __ constantly chews on ends of pens and pencils
3 __ prefer very bland foods, dislike anything spicy
5 __ frequently shake your leg while sitting or falling asleep
5 __ love to sleep with multiple or heavy blankets on top of you
5 __ cracks knuckles often
5 __ frequently have gum or hard candy in your mouth
5 __ has an "endless" supply of air fresheners, scented candles, odor masking sprays, etc.
4 __ identifies objects by smell, have to smell everything, judge whether you like something or someone by smell
5 __ very high or very low energy level
3 __ avoids crowds and plans errands at times when there will be fewer people
4 __ notice and bothered by noises other people do not seem bothered by... clocks, refrigerators, fans, people talking, outdoor construction, etc.
3 __ sensitive to loud sounds or commotion
3 __ easily distracted by auditory or visual stimuli

Once again thank you so so much for even reading my email.
Sincerely, Ashlyn

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