Hyposensitive and hypersensitive to touch?

by Jennifer

My 3 1/2 year old daughter may have a sensory processing disorder, but it seems mixed.

She loves: tight tight squeeze hugs, cuddling, rough play, getting messy, playing in dirt/sand/mud/play doh, running barefoot on the grass, isn't bothered by vaccinations at all, etc. She loves to be massaged...and prefers a hard massage. I try to hug her tight a lot and massage her daily. She often will say "but I HAVE to!" (..please don't lick me/play so rough, etc..."but I HAVE to!").

She HATES (very uncomfortable for her/tantrums): socks, her car seat 1/2 the time, many clothes (strong preferences for skirts and nightgowns, never shorts or pants) She often complains that her shirt "isn't staying down!". She loves to be naked, recently hates her panties unless they are really big. She will only wear one pair of shoes (boots one size too big, without socks). She often struggles at night with her blanket being "not right". Some days it seems fine, and then for several days in a row it is awful.

I don't notice any other symptoms...great balance, very athletic (monkey bars, soccer, great swimmer and climber) and she does not seem overly or under cautious. Loud sounds and crowds are not too concerning for her.

Sometimes I can distract her away from her discomfort (reading a book in the car, changing the subject), and I try to be sensitive to her touch needs most of the time, but find I am getting frustrated more and more. She is starting preschool in a few days and I am dreading mornings and praying I have the patience to help her!

Does this sound like something an OT could help with, or is the mix of all her behaviors just normal phase? Am I inadvertently reinforcing this behavior?

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Aug 22, 2011
sounds like my son
by: Anonymous

my son has mild spd, but has had (and still does, although he's better with therapy and age) these same issues you list here. but i too wondered from time to time if it was 'just me' and what really was 'normal/not normal' (for lack of better word). in talking with others and doing some major reading to educate myself, i know now that my son has sensory issues, a lot of them deal with hypo/hyper sensitivities.

i would suggest seeking a professional who can be a wealth of resources and also a great sounding board for your concerns. the sooner you address the concerns the more time you have to work through them and help your child learn and implement effective ways of self regulating and coping with challenges. :) good luck!

ps- there are many many great books out there on this disorder that have been insightful and helpful for us. a few, the out of sync child, raising a sensory smart child, too loud-too bright-too fast-too tight, parenting a child with spd, and there are many children's books as well that have helped my son to understand what his body is trying to tell him and different ways to learn to deal with it.

good luck. he's lucky to have you! go mom!

Aug 16, 2011
by: Anonymous

She definitely exhibits all the signs of sensory processing disorder. OT will more than likely help her out tremendously.

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