Emotional and hypo-smell

by dejay

Recently my dad has become terminally ill. He has become a very angry hateful man to all of us who love him.

He has always been critical but he is being down right mean now. He has always had issues with smells and just tolerating "stupid" people in general.

I see some similarities in my 10 year old son and I would like to find ways to help him cope with these irritations without becoming full of anger and hate.

I have explained that his brain processes sensory information differently sometimes than other kids his age.

His sensory awareness is more like an adult. He complains about things any adult would understand in another adult but are not used to seeing in kids.

Offended by people with food on their faces.
highly irritated when other kids talk with food in their mouths and if some of it comes out of their mouth he would love to punch them... though he has learned to control this urge.

Being crowed in line will often be handled by pushing people away from him.

He seems to interpret other peoples actions as much more aggressive than they intend them to be. this is especially true of teachers. Some seem to have a nagging scorn to their voices most of the time and he has a lot of trouble getting along with this kind of person.

He will say he hit a kid because they spit in his face when actually the kid was talking and a tiny piece of spittle came out of their mouth and landed on his face.

This is just a sample of the kinds of things he deals with.

I would love some advice and ideas on ways to help him learn to emotionally handle these stressful situations.

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Dec 06, 2008
Strategies for Normalizing Smells
by: Marie Hendrix

Your father and son as well as all other humans have much in common. Our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all based on our perceptions which are directly related to our senses.

When our senses are "out of balance" and "over react" to sensations such as smells then our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors can be atypical or even inappropriate to those who process sensations differently. The goal then should be to identify the systems that are over reactive and gradually implement change to a more normal response.

As a speech language pathologist and mother of a child with a different processing system, I understand the challenge. I have also seen the progress. Begin by talking to your son about a variety of smells and what he thinks about them. What is pleasant and unpleasant to him. Make a smelling kit, placing a fragrances like vanilla, cinnamon, mint, chocolate, alcohol, various fruit smells, and such. Place them in containers like small film canisters ( use cotton balls with drops of fragrances if needed). Make up fun games to play. Matching odors or identifying the smell and naming things that smell like them. He may find that some smells are very calming to him and he may want to keep those handy to help him when he feels out of control.

I will be launching a blog by Jan. 1 on similar issues. Until then, contact me at marie@decodingkids.com and let me know how it's going.

To your success!

Nov 07, 2008
I have the same problem
by: DJ

Hi Deejay,

I am much like your son, except all through my childhood and adult life, I dealt with my emotion by bottling it up inside. It did help me immensely to engage heavily in contact sports, and of course I was always the one crashing, diving, sliding, whatever. I also took up martial arts - I am now a black belt, which has also helped instill the discipline not to knock someone's teeth out for wearing too much cologne. However, the bottling up thing has come to an end... I find I cry easily and have not "really" learned to handle my emotions. My therapist has recommended a technique called "mindfulness." Perhaps that would aid your son as well.

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