Recently Butterball was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder. I am so glad that I finally took him to the doctor. I initially took him in for anxiety, which he also has. But the other disorder was like a light bulb. And I am still finding light bulbs with learning about this. It is so amazing and relieving to understand some things.
Here is an example of some of the things that we have learned.
When he was little we would have sunglasses on him and also put blankets on the windows of the car. At the dentist he has sometimes had to wear two sunglasses.
They can be sensitive to lights.
He has always wore his belts so tight that I was sure it would cut off his circulation or be very uncomfortable.
Tight clothing is very soothing and relaxing to people with this. He has been sensitive to the length of clothes on his arms, or his waist. Part of that is that he is more comfortable in tighter (smaller) clothes. Now I don't get rid of clothes when they are too small for him, unless they are ridiculously small. And then it is a battle when he realizes it. He has always had a hard time finding "comfortable" socks. Now we know that seamless socks are the best. I now stock up when/if I find something that he will wear. He usually wears his shoes tied so tight it is crazy but for some reason shoes are bothering him lately. There have been days when he can't have his shoes tied all day because it "feels weird".
Some foods will make them feel like they are gagging, even when it was fine the day before.
Ohhhhh, that explains the fit he had when he wanted triangles with cheese, which he had the day before, and then refused to eat it as after one bite it "taste weird, I feel like I am going to gag."
He is very uncomfortable in other places. I have not tied down whether that is the noise level which can bother them, or the lighting, or just plain anxiety.
I have learned that massages, lavender, bubble baths, chewy foods, and "squishies" all help him. Squishes is me tightly squeezing his upper legs or arms. When I can tell he is getting elevated or bothered or whatever, then I will do squishies which I have noticed can help.
This has been a learning process that is for sure. So yes, I will leave places when he is uncomfortable, yes I will let him wear his shoes untied, and yes I will be more relaxed about what he wears to certain places, like church. Because if he feels better then he behaves better. And as difficult as this disorder can be, I love this smart, creative, funny, caring, loving, sensitive boy. A boy who wants to build robots and make prosthetic limbs and make flying shoes. This is my sweet Butterball.