The apple does not fall far from the tree...

by Kristen

I've always known that I was a little different when it came to certain things, but after researching what was ailing my daughter I have come to find out I have the same disorder. We both have Hypersensitivity Tactile Dysfunction. I'm a 26 year-old woman who still wears my socks and underwear inside-out (shirts also while sleeping), can't stand the touch of newspaper, dirt, tennis shoes, air blowing on my skin, dirty feet or hands, tags, seams, etc. I constantly put lotion on my hands 40+ times/day to keep them from being dry. I have just learned to "cope."

My daughter has a horrible aversion to socks, underwear, kisses, pants/jeans/shorts, light touching (like hair or tickling her back,) lotion, etc. She really started acting up when she was 3 and we would try to get ready for pre-school. Everyday was a heated battle of trying to get her to wear certain clothes. Now, I try to let her wear what she can stand (if it is appropriate) and we haven't had as many meltdowns. She only likes to wear dresses and when it is cold she usually wears stretchy, soft pants, and the girl boxers for panties. My husband doesn't understand why even after many hours it still seems to torment her if she is "made" to wear something uncomfortable to her. It is interesting that I am able to understand what she is going through and emphasize and sympathize because I have it also.

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Mar 31, 2009
5 year old with mild/moderate symptoms
by: Anonymous

My 5 year old son definitely has some sensory defensiveness issues. He is in Kindergarten and we have been called many times regarding his behavior. He becomes upset easily over seemingly small things. He has meltdowns and has a difficult time with transitions and change. He is an extremely picky eater, can't stand certain smells, hears and is bothered by noises that wouldn't register with most people. He has a meltdown if he gets caught in the rain... and while on a beach vacation he would instantly disrobe when he got out of the swimming pool.(hated the feeling of the water on his legs.) He also doesn't like the feeling of some clothing/tags etc. On top of these issues, he is shy and anxious.

Yet, as extreme as some of these things sound, he functions very well. He doesn't cause much problem at home at all....he is funny and sweet and extremely bright. He seems to be finding his own coping mechanisms. I'm guessing an OT would be helpful to him, but getting him into one where we live is difficult.

What kinds of things can we do to help him and advocate for him at school? Difficult to know what his triggers are at school because different things seems to set him off on different days! Most outsiders seem to think he's just a "hard to handle" kid who is spoiled because he's an only child. I want to help him in any way possible, yet hate the thought of him having to deal with a "label". What's the first step in diagnosing this disorder?

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