Friday, January 29, 2010

Tactile Defensiveness

I've been a bit worried lately. Some of Olivia's sensory issues (especially tactile defensiveness)seem to be getting worse. . .either that or she is just able to communicate her frustration a bit better. While at the Thunder game last week, I saw children about Olivia's age who were getting their faces painted. It seems like a normal childhood thing to do, but it would be devastating for Olivia. Certain things, like face painting, we can just avoid, but others we can't. She can barely stand to have her teeth and hair brushed. I'm scared to death to take her in for another haircut because it was so awful for her. Olivia can't stand to wear certain clothes and some days I change her multiple times to find something that doesn't cause big tears. And, it is hard for her to show physical affection. She is often very resistant to touch. I think this is also contributing to her reluctance to eat many types of food.

I guess I'm worried because I don't know if I'm doing all that I can for her. I don't know everything that I can be doing for her. I worry about how this will affect her as she gets older. . . . especially if I don't get her the treatments that she needs. It's hard to explain my concerns to people. Olivia's doctor acted as if she was just an anxious child and I don't believe that. There is much more to it. If anyone has any resources on this, please let me know. I feel like I need to be doing more to help her.

***To answer some of your questions (and to thank you for all of your comments) Olivia is seen by Rainbows, but her primary teacher is a speech pathologist. She has had an OT eval done which identified her as having some sensory difficulties. I was given a few suggestions, but I'm still unsure of other things to try. She sees a developmental ped, but doesn't go back until summer. I think that there are OT therapists available there. . .maybe I will check into that. I know she is doing fabulously, but I don't want this to be overlooked and I truly appreciate all of your help.


McTriplet Mommy said...

My kids got better only with exposure. We'd find fun things that they wanted to do with a hidden motive of some sensory play (sneaky :)). Our OT was wonderful about this - is O still getting any therapies?

Good luck - this is a hard thing for kiddos!!

Take care,

RyanAndrew2007 said...

Kara has the right idea. With our daughter our therapists said to expose her to as many different things as possible in "pleasant", songs, etc. With Ryan we never really discussed it with any of his therapists, but that's what we've done. He still has some tactile issues, but he's gradually getting over some of those. We don't do face painting either. He hates hair cuts, but he has to have them, so we try to make it as fun as possible. He HATES having his hands dirty...totally freaks out, but hopefully that will get better with time.

Olivia just gets cuter by the day. I hope for the best for you in all things!

jaglunt said...

You still won't catch me getting my face painted!

I know you want the very best for her. Unfortunately she is showing signs of being her father's daughter. Her dad would wear sweats and only sweats every day until he was in Jr. High??? Sorry Ryan, had to let that one out [:-}

There also may be something about birth order. Speaking from my own experience and our experience with Julia, I think the oldest child tends to be less interested in being physically "constrained" by anything or anyone. Laura (9th) and Rebekah (2nd) like to be held tighter for longer.

Hopefully that is a little reassurance.

Love you guys,


Sherri said...

I would be more than happy to help you if you want some ideas. You know Gannon had MAJOR sensory issues, hense the extra DX of Sensory processing disorder(SPD). That was something I had to work with him daily on. He would also get OT weekly, and then we do hydrotherapy also to overcome sensory issues. Today, Gannon HATES tags on clothes and doesn't like certain materials. I can explain more if you want...just let me know girl! :)

abby said...

Like McTriplet mommy, I wanted to know if Olivia was still receiving OT? If so, is her OT trained in sensory processing stuff (Not all are)? If yes, have her do a sensory profile for Olivia and recommend a sensory diet. If not, then is there a good developmental pediatric practice (my preference is for University/Hospital-based) nearby? I'd advise bringing her in, either to see OT there for an eval, or for a developmental ped to see her, not because I think anything is hugely wrong but because it would be useful if for no other reason to get a holistic view of Olivia and, consequently, a holistic treatment plan.

23 Weekers said...

I can't remember if you have Sarah for OT or not. She's our OT and she is wonderful. She can do a sensory profile on Olivia and then suggest things to help with the tactile fefensiveness. Kinnick is the same way. Carver isn't so much. However, he doesn't like being restrained. Carver will let us brush his teeth all day long. I swear that we're only brushing lips and gums on Kinnick - and that comes with a huge fight. Kinnick still touches very few things. She doesn't seem to care about what clothes she wears, but takes her socks off often. My term kids were much worse about what they would or wouldn't wear. When Kirsten was Olivia's age, I had to hide her clothes when whe was in the bathtub. Otherwise, she would put the same outfit back on AND wear it to bed AND try to wear it a SECOND day to daycare. It was the end of the world if she caught me putting them in the washing machine. I actually had to let her wear the same dirty clothes to bed and daycare a second day until I figure out how to hide the clothes. And trust me, once she figured out that I was going to hide them when she got into the bathtub, the war was on.

Anonymous said...

Jade is pretty bad about some things, too.

One thing I would mention that works really well for us when trying to cut nails or toenails, fix hair, etc...

We let her watch Sesame Street. She is really attached to a song called "If Elmo Had a Dinosaur" that we DVRd over a year ago. But, you might try just any Sesame Street thing and see if she will focus on that while you try to cut her nails? I'm sure you have tried this...but for some reason, Jade will sit still as a stone when we do that.

Our big tactile thing is eating...she just WILL not eat solid foods. I'm the only one that worries about it. It has been improving greatly lately, but some days...I just want to cry.

Other days she will eat everything you give her. I'm just so ready to be off baby food, but without it, Jade would barely eat!

Also, Jade is still really skittish about noises. The vacuum cleaner makes her cry. I have talked to our PT about it and she just says you have to keep exposing her over and over to it.

I think Jade will never be able to GO to hockey games, concerts, etc...because all the noises make her scream. My biggest fear, that fireworks at Disney World will terrify her, not enthrall her like they did me when I was a kid.

Anyway, I didn't have very much advice, but I can defintely commiserate.


PS: We are starting Jade in Daycare this terrified, but its time.

Open Arms. I've only heard good things there.