Once again, Sensory Processing issues interfere with life

These sensory issues are absolutely killing me as a parent and I’m not even the one having to physically experience them. I can’t image what it’s like for Emmett. 

We tried and tried to help Emmett work through his sensitivity to anything on his feet but we were unable to make it happen this morning. 

It’s extremely frustrating for Lizze and I as parents because we know that he needs to be at school. It’s even more frustrating for Emmett because he wants to be at school but his body is making that very, very difficult for him. 

We were somewhat pressed for time this morning because we were already late, Elliott needed to get to school and Gavin needed to have his bloodwork done first thing. 



The bottom line is that Emmett didn’t make it to school today. 

When I dropped Elliott off, I spoke with the school and no one’s overly concerned about him missing right now because this isn’t something anyone has any control over. 

Academically he so far ahead, these misses don’t impact him one way or the other. There’s no social concerns either. 

Having said that, this is still an obvious problem and in the back of my mind, I’m worried about things like truancy or how he’s going to manage this when he gets older. 

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adriannecollee
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adriannecollee

Did you have issues with him yesterday morning when he had a field trip? I know that his issues are very real, but it really does seem like he has at least a tiny bit of control over them. It might be worth setting new ‘daytime’ rules in the house for when he’s home for sensory issues. You can stay home, but there is no tablet or tv until the time when school is out. And I asked this before and it got buried in the comments, but when he’s home, why not have school at home? Surely his teachers… Read more »

Gracie
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Gracie

Hey Kim, I hope it’s okay to nest this comment under yours – I can’t seem to post otherwise. I love all of your suggestions, by the way! I know this has been frustrating and exhausting for all of you. I’m wondering if, while this is partially due to SPD, is it possible that – whether consciously or otherwise – what started as SPD has morphed into a combination of that, plus the “secondary gain” of all of the attention that he gets in the morning/the bag of tricks, and the attention and whatever other benefits he gains from missing… Read more »

Jimmy Rock
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Jimmy Rock

Interesting suggestion by Gracie above. Although my guess would be that there’s not really an attention seeking component here, I do think, generally speaking, that Gracie (and Kim too) is on to something regarding your approach to Emmett’s sensory challenges. If you feel you’re doing all you can with the SPD, then turn your focus to the component of the challenge which may be within your control to help him change — the psychological component. I know you have a handle on the understanding of SPD, and because of that understanding, the fact that you would resort, at times, to… Read more »

paulinabisson5
Member
paulinabisson5

Okay. It’s like this. Emmett has $100 to spend on coping throughout the day. Every night he goes to sleep and the balance is generally replenished. It’s these days that he tends to do okay with sensory stuff because he’s got resources to cope. There are however, some days where we wakes up bankrupt and there’s absolutely nothing that can be done to help him through it. These are days like today. As I mentioned above, they are more frequent lately but still the exception to the rule. You’re right about the psychological impact and that’s why we handle it… Read more »

Jimmy Rock
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Jimmy Rock

The $100 analogy is an interesting way to explain it but I’m not sure it applies in its entirety. It doesn’t seem like you’ve ever described his sensory experience as a gradual wearing down over the course of the day until he succumbs to sensory issues. In other words, it doesn’t seem like Emmett is more likely to experience sensory issues later in the day, when his “money” would more likely to be depleted from the “expenses” of the day. Rather, I think it is as you’ve generally described – you simply don’t know which morning will be a tough… Read more »

paulinabisson5
Member
paulinabisson5

No. There are nights when he doesn’t sleep or has bad dreams and wakes up depleted before even starting the day. Do a Google search for fibromyalgia and spoons. That’s a really good example… No one’s given up on anything but the situation is as I describe it. We fight one battle at a time and sometimes live minute to minute. What we’ve accepted is that Emmett comes with certain challenges and he may or may not overcome them at some point. Our OT is top notch. We’re at Akron Children’s Hospital and there simply isn’t any better in our… Read more »

Jimmy Rock
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Jimmy Rock

Thanks for the response, although I think you might have missed my point. I’m familiar with the spoon theory which is basically the same as your $100 analogy. I’m not doubting in any way that some mornings he wakes up already “depleted”, as it were. That’s good you have a top notch OT. I wasn’t challenging the quality or ability of your OT. If you’re satisfied with your OT that’s awesome. Just keep in mind that even the top 2 people in any discipline might look at the same issue with a different perspective. And of course there’s a big… Read more »

Jimmy Rock
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Jimmy Rock

Rob, don’t feel compelled to comment again. I just think it’s good you write about these issues. I think in this age of emerging autism awareness I think the sensory processing component is still one of the least understood by the general public.

paulinabisson5
Member
paulinabisson5

This has been an issue since he was born. It’s very consistent. There’s no attention seeking anything here though. He really wants to be at school and we usually try for at least an hour or so. Sometimes it works and other time it doesn’t.

Not working through it is becoming more common but still the exception to the rule.

paulinabisson5
Member
paulinabisson5

That’s a good idea. He doesn’t think it’s fun and games though. He doesn’t want to be home. He just can’t wear anything on his feet.

mathewpenny648
Member
mathewpenny648

Interesting. My girlfriend’s son has sensory processing issues. He’s grown now, but she was just mentioning to me that sometimes when combing his hair when he was young, he got upset and it hurt him and he cried and cried. Reminded me of your situation.

kimmy gebhardt
Guest
kimmy gebhardt

Did you have issues with him yesterday morning when he had a field trip? I know that his issues are very real, but it really does seem like he has at least a tiny bit of control over them. It might be worth setting new ‘daytime’ rules in the house for when he’s home for sensory issues. You can stay home, but there is no tablet or tv until the time when school is out. And I asked this before and it got buried in the comments, but when he’s home, why not have school at home? Surely his teachers… Read more »

Gracie
Guest
Gracie

Hey Kim, I hope it’s okay to nest this comment under yours – I can’t seem to post otherwise. I love all of your suggestions, by the way! I know this has been frustrating and exhausting for all of you. I’m wondering if, while this is partially due to SPD, is it possible that – whether consciously or otherwise – what started as SPD has morphed into a combination of that, plus the “secondary gain” of all of the attention that he gets in the morning/the bag of tricks, and the attention and whatever other benefits he gains from missing… Read more »

Jimmy Rock
Guest
Jimmy Rock

Interesting suggestion by Gracie above. Although my guess would be that there’s not really an attention seeking component here, I do think, generally speaking, that Gracie (and Kim too) is on to something regarding your approach to Emmett’s sensory challenges. If you feel you’re doing all you can with the SPD, then turn your focus to the component of the challenge which may be within your control to help him change — the psychological component. I know you have a handle on the understanding of SPD, and because of that understanding, the fact that you would resort, at times, to… Read more »

BeckyW
Member
BeckyW

Interesting. My girlfriend’s son has sensory processing issues. He’s grown now, but she was just mentioning to me that sometimes when combing his hair when he was young, he got upset and it hurt him and he cried and cried. Reminded me of your situation.