Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sensory integration and the toddler

I want to start this post of by saying I DO NOT THINK THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH GIANNA.

I do think that she has some issues integrating/processing various sensory experiences.

For example: when we were at the beach she WOULD NOT put her feet in the sand. She had to have her crocs on or dear.gawd.melt.down and end of the world as we know it.  Same thing if it got on her hands – she would wipe her hands on me saying “dirty” do whatever she could to get the sand off of her. Needless to say, we are not getting a sandbox at our house anytime soon.

Another example from the beach – which translates into her regular life – the sound of the ocean and the kids water features (those mushroom looking things that the water comes out/off of) – FREAKED HER OUT.  She feels the same way about the shower. She does not like the water hitting her like that.  We are just now able to wash her hair without major meltdowns.

As we all know, she has a limited diet. She won’t eat anything with a texture (think pasta, rice, cottage cheese, some veggies). Not only will she not eat it – she won’t touch it.  I have tried feeding it to her myself and having her use utensils, but no dice.

She doesn’t mind snuggles and hugs – but she normally does not like you to rub her back or light touch. If you are going to hold her, she needs to feel your presence.

The binky. The beloved binky. She is quite literally addicted to it.  She does fine if you take it from her most of the time, but she would have it in her mouth all day long if you let her (I don’t).  The thought of ever taking it from her seriously gives ME hives because I can imagine the torture it will be to break her of it.

Again, I do NOT think there is anything wrong with her. I have just been making some mental notes (which I am sure there are more of, but I can’t think of them right now) and wonder if these are things she will just grow out of or if there is anything we can do to help her – or if it’s really anything that she NEEDS help with.  Do all toddlers have quirks like this? Will they change/increase/decrease over time? 

I am also certain I overanalyze shit.



Rebecca said...

Matt was big into hating loud sounds and too many people. Hailey still doesn't like to be cuddled. It's just a thing, I'm sure, but it's fine. They also hated the feeling of grass, but grew out of it. The texture thing with food is also huge for Matt (and my brother who is 31 years old)! It's good to document and even better not to overreact...which you're not!

Danifred said...

Tot was/ is EXTREMELY sensitive to so much- sounds, textures, just stuff in general. She couldn't tolerate the sound of tape ripping off of something (????). She has outgrown it, but she is still a very sensitive kid.
Tot doesn't like to have her hands dirty, but is much less sensitive to sounds, textures, etc. than Tot was.
When Tot was around the same age as G, I read a book called Raising Your Spirited Child- it really gave me a great perspective on her and reaffirmed that everything is okay, she's just a little more 'spirited'

Heather said...

Charlotte hated grass on her feet, or even sitting on it. Now she rolls in it. She doesn't like loud noises, never has. I agree with previous commenters... reassurance is key.

Also, you asked about the whole allergy thing. Have your doctors ever tested her? A lot of peds don't supplement with anything. Ours was kinda "strict" and wanted the girls getting the extra calories from the formula... which is why they are still on it at almost two. He actually told me that if they weren't 75% for weight, he would absolutely keep them on it another year!

Hope that kinda helps...

Mel said...

Generally, I think toddlers are just hilarious little beings. After having one for 18 months and hearing stories from other moms, I am amazed by how silly and different they all are. There are certain sounds that L cannot hear without immediately busting in to tears or if "people" (esp people she doesn't know well) look at her too close or too quickly, she shrivels up in to a ball and hides her head away and refuses to look up at them. I think they are just learning/experiencing the world in the best way they can and they will grow and change out of these things as time passes.

The food texture thing is SO common. We don't have much of an issue with it, but I have heard more people complain about the same than I think I can count. I have learned to just roll with the punches in mommy-world!

Esperanza said...

I was definitely very "picky" not only about my food but touch as well. I could not STAND when I could feel the tag (or any remnants of it) in my clothes. Also, the balls on the sides of my socks (where the seam ended) drove me crazy. My mom said I'd put take my shoes off dozens of times a day to try to fix them. I had all that and I turned out (relatively) unscathed. I'm sure it's just toddler stuff - figuring out the world and all that. It probably is good to keep tabs on it though, just in case...

Esperanza (ICLW #95) @

PS - I'm having a book giveaway this Friday. It's really easy to enter - details are in every post this week!

Anonymous said...

Her mother is STILL like that!!!! Sticky hands Andrea????? Food that "touches"??? But your mamma still loves ya!

Sarah S said...

Here from ICLW!

I was a very sensitive child as well. My mom actually jump started my walking by placing me on the grass. Dhe said I hated the feeling of the grass on my hands and knees so I got up and walked.

To this day I don't like being touched and hugged, although I have learned to cope with it.

I still have texture issues with some foods, but I think I have turned out perfectly okay!!

ICLW #100