Please help me

by Richard Sweeney
(Suffolk, VA)


My wife an I have three boys, Two 3-1/2 year old twins and a 4 month old. One of the Twins, Carter, is a handful and the topic of this email. His hands have to be clean, he does not like the sun in his eyes, he refuses to be potty trained, he only wants to eat junk, he holds his ears periodically during TV shows or when outside saying he is "scared", he is stubborn, and HE ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT WEAR SHOES! He is an absolute angel early in the morning or when alone with us.

He started preschool this year--on the second day the school administration is already showing signs of impatience. They called me at work just to tell me he kept kicking his shoes off, and if it continues he will be's only the second day! He has been to OT and is seeing a behavioral therapist--both have ruled out autism. They are certain it's behavior/ADHD, but I also believe it to be sensory. We don't know what to do. We feel like horrible parents because we are always yelling at him when he will not do regular day to day activities. We need help. Any techniques we can utilize at home?

Thank you,

Carolyn and Richard

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by: Antoinette


Judging by the way you explain your son, sounds a lot like mine.

Does your son struggle with heat intolerance? Does he refuse to toilet train as he's not interested or as he struggles with bladder control? If you say he only wants junk, does he prefer sugary junk or salty junk?

My son is 7yrs old, he has heat intolerance- he is hysterical in the car if the sunshine touches his skin or shines in his eyes. He also struggles with toileting as he can't empty his bladder properly, and he just hated sitting on a potty, I eventually bought a toilet seat with a small ladder for him, toilet training was fun after that. My son prefers salty bland food, so chips are salty and junk. He is also super sensitive to sound, he covers his ears all the time. He is insecure so he is always scared. He will not wear shoes either as it touches his skin, it's tight and restricting and he says it feels like his toes are being strangled! He knows how all of this makes him feel, and it scares him.

He was also diagnosed with Asperger's and ADHD. He does not have Asperger's tho he does have Asperger's symptoms and he does have ADHD, however his symptoms are not typical of ADHD. He has been through many dr's rooms and OT and Speech too.

After much research he has been diagnosed with Dysautonomia- Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction, it also affects your sensory systems. I'm not saying this is your son's challenge. We have exhausted all avenues with my son and it all seemed like SPD and CAPD at first, however SPD and CAPD are only symptoms in my sons diagnosis.

These tactics helped my son- I would give him a treat if he could keep his shoes on for 2 mins, and then for 3mins, and so on... Try giving incentives for everything you need to do. Or do a reward chart. My son loves pizza so it worked to keep shoes on, to bath or to keep clothing on etc

I hope this helps!

by: Anonymous

first rule out food allergies/intolerance. seek out a pediatrician that is aware of diet issues and young children's behavior. Many physicians are not up to date in this area. Research Stanford Newmark MD for ADHD information. Feingold is another source of information regarding diet.

Newmark recommends a parenting technique by Howard Glasser (the nurtured heart approach) very effective for highly sensitive children, though your child is quite young, some of the techniques could be helpful. consider onset of issues as it relates to new baby? Carter is a twin with a new baby at home, he might be a highly sensitive child that needs more than the usual child. The Explosive Child is another good book. good luck

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