Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘tactile

Wordless Wednesday 13 Jun 2012

with 5 comments

Happy Wordless Wednesday, and an early Happy Father’s Day to Spectrummy Daddy, who has had to put up with a whole lot of head rubbing from Pudding since he decided to shave off his hair on a whim.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

Wordless Wednesday 19 Oct 11

with 9 comments

Only a pinkalicious messy tactile activity would keep her (mostly) occupied during the flat pack fiasco.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

Wordless Wednesday 11 May 11

with 13 comments

Funprint book + washable ink

Pudding provides the thumbprints

I add the details

And write the word next to it.

Pudding learns to spell the word.

We see if she can write the word the next time.

Look at all these lovely feelings!

Using Pudding’s love of art (and a visual/tactile/proprioceptive method) to help her to learn.

Happy Wordless Wednesday everybody!

Wordless Wednesday 16 Mar 11

with 8 comments

Sensory Integration- my girl can never get too much at once. Right after this she went for a swing.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 16, 2011 at 7:40 am

Hair brained

with 17 comments

When Pudding was first handed to me in the delivery room, her tiny hand reached out and grasped onto a lock of my hair, and didn’t let go.  This was the beginning of her love affair with my hair.  Any time she nursed, her hand would reach up, and grab hold.  I’d joke that she was making sure her food supply didn’t wander off.  If I carried her, her fingers would lock on.  There was something primeval about it, clinging on gave my newborn a feeling of security in this confusing world.  I didn’t mind.

That changed.  As the months passed, it became clear that she was very dependent on my hair.  She needed to hold onto some to go to sleep, or while nursing.  She was strong, and I got tired of having my hair pulled all the time.  I knew nothing of sensory processing disorder at the time.  All I knew is that she had a thing for my hair, and I didn’t like it.  I’d put my hair up in a pony tail to keep out of her way, but then she started moving on to other people.

Any woman with long hair was her target.  Time after time I’d pull my toddler off unsuspecting strangers, hoping that one day her sense of boundaries would kick in.  As she got bigger, other kids became her preferred victim of choice, as she could tower over them and touch their hair easily.  Of course, if they tried the same, she would hate it.  Only she was allowed to do the touching.  I didn’t think that was particularly unusual at the time, but I tried to intervene, and give her dolls with hair to pull and twirl.

Finally her own hair started to grow in.  Just before she turned two, she finally had enough of her own hair to play with, and she would stretch the same piece out, and smooth it over with her other fingers in a bid to get to sleep.  She touched my own hair much less often, and began to leave her friends alone too.  Occasionally she would meet a stranger with long or interesting hair, and her old compulsion to touch it returned.  Once she had done so, she was sated, but she needed to get her fix first.

After we moved and her hair continued to grow in, she developed a habit of twirling a section around her fingers.  She continues to do that to this day, and when she is particularly overwhelmed, she moves back to my hair, the original source of comfort.

Cubby has developed a similar habit.  Mercifully he never had the same interest in touching other people’s hair, but he adores mine, Daddy’s works in a pinch too.  His sister will occasionally let him play with hers, but she has to be in the right mood for that.  Several times a day his hands wind up around my tresses, and his tiny nails scratch my scalp.  I feel like an ape being groomed.  Just like Pudding, his hair has taken a long time to grow in.  Only now does he have enough hair to be content to play with to go to sleep, though he still prefers mine.  I’ve tried to cut his hair so he still has enough left to pull.  Admittedly, it looks a little strange.

This hair-pulling or twirling is one example of a “stim”, or self-stimulatory behaviour.  Hair-twirling is a very common habit, especially for young girls, but like hand-flapping, humming, running around in circles, or bouncing up and down, its purpose is to provide appropriate sensory input to calm and regulate, and ultimately cope in a disordered world.  One of Pudding’s therapists mentioned to me that she didn’t like Pudding’s hair stim, to which I responded that she didn’t have to.  She has the ability to twirl her hair and do other things at the same time, so I see no reason to stop her at this point.  This particular stim is about as typical as Pudding can be.  Removing it would likely cause a replacement stim to begin that might be much more socially unacceptable, and potentially harmful.  Instead I advised the therapist to instead reward the use of two hands for an activity if necessary.

I can think of no better way to encourage her to pull out her hair until the point of baldness, than to make her stop touching it.  Though well-intentioned, preventing a stim can be harmful.  My girl needs all the coping methods she can find, and a replacement may be  more stigmatizing, or even harmful.  Hair twirling we can live with, though I may need to order a wig just in case she ever wants to move on to other people again.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

Wordless Wednesday

with 22 comments

My tactile sensory-seeker getting a hit from the texture of a tree trunk.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 15, 2010 at 7:30 am