Sensory Integration

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Sensory Integration
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 9:06pm
Have any of your Aspie's been evaluated for Sensory Integration problems? The developmental ped is recommending it because DS 9 years old is so sensitive to smells, sounds (his own loud voice doesn't bother him, but loud sounds bother him), textures, etc., his threshold for things that annoy him is so slight. His anger quickly rises the more discomfort he's in. Pretty soon everyone knows he's not happy.

For example he suddenly won't go in the camp pool because it hurts his ears. I've translated that to mean there are too many kids in the pool and too many sounds at the same time for his comfort level.

If any of you have any success stories or opinions about sensory integration, I would greatly appreciated it.



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 4:07am
Hi Leenie, yes, I've had some of my kids eval'd for SI issues.

Ayla has a hard time when too many people are talking at once. At first we thought that she was getting upset because she was getting confused, but at one point she said "the background noise is louder to me than the person talking to me". Of course, the other voices weren't actually louder, but she picked them up that way. So we concentrate on speaking to her in private for most things. That way everyone else is in a sperate room all together. If we can't arrainge for that (like when we're out in town) I talk to her in a normal voice and don't try to make myself heard above the 'squal'. She hears me much better when I blend in with the back ground and she doesn't become overwhelmed by having to force herself to concentrate on the 'odd voice out'.

Jade has more SI issues than I can keep track of, she actually has SID, not just issues. To make matters worse her issues seem to constantly change from one day to the next. I know that isn't actually happening, but so far, we haven't been able to discern a pattern. For instance, she really likes Jell-O but she can't handle flan or most 'jiggler' puddings. She plays with Slime and sticky hands all the time, but just thinking about snails makes her vommit (litteraly). She goes into a tizzy when her younger sister, Eva, is talking but has no problem with the baby crying (other than emotional at least....always wants to help the baby). Sometimes she likes to listen to bells ringing and other times she goes straight into meltdown, even if they are the same bellss she was listening too happily the day before.

Eva has a hard time with foods. She doesn't like 'hard foods', only 'soft' ones. She won't even eat a chocolate chip cookie unless it's really chewy-soft, and preferably kinda gooey. She doesn't like crispy anything, not even fries. She will only eat the really soft, saturated ones. She also has problems with clothing. In her opinion clothing is made by child abusers who delight in torturing little girls by making the seems scratchy and the tags so itchy they hurt. When she finds an outfit that doesn't 'rub her the wrong way' she tries to get away with wearing it for several days on end. Little to say, I have two sets of all of her favorite outfits. That way she can wear oone while I wash the other.

One more thing that Eva has a hard time with. This one was the first thing that came to mind when I read your post. She has a hard time with water, it hurts her ears. She isn't talking about the noise other people make at the pool, per say. She has no problem with the noise when her head is above water. But the way things sound when her ears are submerged really hurts her alot. This is her biggest issue, infact. Just the 'sound' of water on her eardrums sends her into a terrified panic. She cries horrably and proffesses to no end that her ears are broken, the water broke them. Just trying to get her to put her head underwater will bring out her violent side in a heart beat. We had to buy a shower massage thingy in order to wash her hair, that way we don't get water in her ears. Thank goodness Wal-Mart sells cheap ones for $9.

Well, that's my experience with SI issues. I don't know if I helped any. But you're deffinately not alone on this one.



iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 2:29pm
Christopher (age 10, AS, diagnosed 4 yrs ago) has many sensory issues, but they have lessened over the years (or else he's learned to cope better with them). When he was little, he wouldn't walk barefoot in the grass, play with sand in the sandbox, or use fingerpaint (too poky, too scratchy, too messy). Loud sounds sent him into orbit. (I haven't used an electric can opener in 9 years, and only just began using a blender and electric mixer again in the past year.) The hand dryer in some public restrooms would send him screaming. For the longest time he would only wear sweatpants because jeans were too stiff. He could hear a bird chirping that no one else could and it would drive him up a wall because he couldn't concentrate on anything else as long as the bird was chirping. We run a fan in his room in the summer and a humidifier in the winter not so much for their actual uses, but for the "white noise" they provide to block out other distractions. chris can also smell things other people can't, and is bothered by many smells.

We do some joint compression and brushing, which seems to have helped a lot of his sensory issues.


Avatar for maresgood
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 6:50pm
Hi, My dd (10) AS has sensory issues as well. Since she was just diagnosed last yr. I couldn't figure out what was going on with her. In 3rd. gr. the teacher had her ears checked 'cause she was plugging them all the time. She hates loud noises esp. group noise & has done this since she was a toddler. She hates when the shower pressure is too high. She likes certain foods, not into fruit, chicken, pasta, the list goes on & on. She is a messy eater & eats like someone is taking her food away. (BIG bites). She will only wear soft cottony clothes & isn't really into style or fashion just COMFORT. Anyway, I can relate!!! MaryAnn
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-23-2003 - 1:36pm
Hi Leenie!,

My son has been diagnosed with a sensory disorder for about a year now. We also think that he has Asperger's but are waiting for a diagnosis. He is 4 yrs old and he is in preschool. He has a teacher that works with him. She does brushing but he will not allow his father or I to do it so only the teacher does it to him. It is a soft surgical brush that they use slow and steady pressure on his arms, legs, front and back. We also have him wearing a weighted vest 3 times a day. It seems to be helping him. I don't know about your son but mine hates to be held or touched. Even when he was a baby. I could never hold him and rock him. It would make it worse. He only will wear jeans and certain tops. Socks seem to always "hurt" him. But once there on he's okay and he will only wear grey ones! He has always hated water and especially hair washing. What a chore it is to get his hair washed! Bathtime used to be 5 minutes litterally!!! Enough to get him washed and out of there. He screamed the whole time. He hates big crowds. We recently brought my 13 and 12 yr olds to a carnival with rides and games and he walked around with his hand over his ears. Needless to say we only stayed about 1 hour. He is four and he still has major meltdowns. At least two a day. I don't know if this helps but I do know how you feel. Best of Luck to you and your family.:-)

There are 4 things you cannot recover.
1. The Stone.......after the throw.
2. The Word........after it's said.
3. The Occasion......after it's loss.
4. The Time.........after it's gone.
Avatar for rissc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-23-2003 - 3:34pm
A year ago Tim was put into a sensory "camp"....5 days of discovering what his issues were and how we could help him. He gets easily hyped by physical activities so we tried to find ways to help him stay under some sort of control. They discovered that if he is busy with something in his hands, he hears what is being said even though it looks like he hasn't heard a word. It still surprises me when he can seem distracted and yet he can tell you word for word what you just said:) His hearing is acute so things bother him that I'm not aware of. Music, of his choosing played is an incredible soother. He listens to music at bedtime and during the day with headphones when he needs some peace. He used to spend his time with his hands clamped over his ears whenever the wind blew. He permanently wore a hat as any breeze brought him to a meltdown. He likes to sleep in a sleeping bag at night on the floor. He says that it feels a lot better than sleeping under the bedcovers in bed. Fireworks are something that he desperately wants to see but everytime we have attempted it he shrieks and ends up begging to leave. He literally shakes in his skin during and after a haircut. We buzzcut his hair for summer so that we don't have to touch it so much. When he's feeling antsy for whatever reason, eating crunchy foods, like carrots and for some reason pickles soothe him. Mushy foods turn his stomach so we try to accommodate him. Swimming lessons can be a chore for him if there are lots of kids in the pool. He starts freaking out when there is a lot of noise and water in his ears makes him crazy. He doesn't like earplugs but can't stand water in his ears. Any suggestions on that one? What do we do, duct tape his ears?:)

Tim has changed dramatically in the last 12 months. As he gets older he is learning to cope better and that makes it easier on him to be open to new experiences. We still take it really easy with things. One baby step at a time. I've found that talking to him calmly asking him what it is that is getting to him seems to work the best. I talk and it calms him enough that he can get his needs through to me.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Wed, 07-23-2003 - 11:53pm
My 9 year old son loves being hugged and kissed,I'm thankful for that. His major problems are with sound,textures, and smells.

Certain textures of food make him gag. Same with smells. Haircuts are getting better but he always had a huge meltdown because the hair was touching him. Labels in clothes drive him crazy - they must be removed NOW! Large gatherings that are noisy are a double whammy. First the social thing that he can't handle and then the loud noises. It's a meltdown waiting to happen.

It's almost like he has super sensors when it comes to sounds, textures and smells that no one else but him can hear, smell and feel. It's very comforting to know that I'm not alone.

Thank you all