View Full Version : Sensory issues in childhood


seraphynx
01-15-12, 11:45 AM
After reading a lot of this forum, I'm curious as to this topic.

What were your symptoms and behaviors in childhood, if your sensory problems have been present for that long?

How did your family respond? What about friends?

What were some ways you coped as a child?

Do you have any specific memories of severe/traumatic sensory experiences?

sighduck
01-15-12, 12:16 PM
while still mild compared to most of the folks on the forum here, i did have a lot more sensory problems as a child than i do now (specifically of the tactile kind) i couldnt stand any type of clothing that was made of synthetic fibres, and i always had the lables cut off, now im not so bad with that... lables will only bother me occasionaly... however, i still cant stand synthetic fibres

seraphynx
01-15-12, 03:03 PM
Meant to respond, haha. Whoops.

As a child I was 'picky' about food, clothes, bedsheets, hated loud noises, bright lights, etc, and especially about being touched. The whole "over-response & overstimulation" side of it guided most of my behavior, except for movement. I loved (and still do) rollercoaster, rock climbing, sliding down stairs, spinning in circles, swinging...anything that was fast or crazy.

My sister was similar so my family adjusted pretty well. For my early years, I was pretty much a nudist child (hated the feeling of wet underclothes and most baby clothes).

One particular incident I remember was when my parents had their house remodeled. The workers brought in a large saw to cut part of the wall out, and when they started it, my sister and I cowered in the corner and cried/screamed in terror until it was over.

It was interesting to see similar traits in one of my nephews who has ADHD.

known_guy
01-15-12, 03:46 PM
I have various hypersensitivity (and in rare cases, hyposensitivity) involving sounds and touch, but I'll focus on my major sensory sensitivity.

I am hypersensitive when it comes to taste. I cannot tolerate or am sensitive to spicy, minty, heat-hot, mixed, and acidic (pineapple produces sharp pain on my tongue) foods.

ADD, huh?
02-09-12, 02:02 AM
noise sensitivity was always at the top of my list. i hated the classrooms, the cafeteria, the baseball games i played in on the weekends.
the loud noises just ruined my concentration, and i could hardly function.
i'm 32 years old, now, and just registered 5 minutes ago for this forum.
amazing to read about all this, after all this time.:cool:
i've been down the rabbit hole with self-help books trying to figure out why, at 32 years old, i still feel this way.
better late than never.
:eek:

mctavish23
02-09-12, 10:06 PM
Mine were first apparent in the first grade,which would have been in 1956.

Yes I'm old, deal with it.

It was evident in my (left handed) handwriting, delayed gross motor skills and general

clumsiness; compunded by multiple accidental injuries with stitches,beginning at age 4.

I've been through OT twice as an adult and loved it.

I've also included a non-diagnostic / non-standardized, Sensory Screen in my own

Evidence Based ADHD Screen I use at work.

It can be the catalyst for a pcp referral for a kid to one of the several excellent OT's

we have around here.

Very interesting topic.

Thanks for raising it .


tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

known_guy
02-09-12, 10:50 PM
It was evident in my (left handed) handwriting, delayed gross motor skills and general

clumsiness; compounded by multiple accidental injuries with stitches,beginning at age 4.


Hey, I'm left-handed too! :D

StoicNate
02-09-12, 10:54 PM
If my clothes were itchy or made me feel uncomfortable, I would take all of my clothes off and rather be naked. (This was when I was a toddler)

It would make my parents go crazy whenever we had to be on time somewhere. :D

CheekyMonkey
02-09-12, 11:26 PM
I still have many of the same sensory issues now that I had when I was a kid....I've just learned to tolerate it better.

My feet were usually the main issue. If I could feel ANY little thread in my socks I would not be able to wear them. So seams, loose threads, sock that didn't fit snug, would all really irritate me. Then, I always tied my shoelaces reaaaally tight. And if one was more loose than the other, I can to re-tie both.

Also had to take the tags out of all of my clothes.

I also have a hard time touching ceramic things, or having dry skin on my hands makes me insane.

I'm sensitive to light, wearing my sunglasses outside almost all the time even when it is not particularly sunny.

I was also incredibly clumsy, constantly covered in scrapes and bruises from running into things or falling down. My mom kept sayin, "They are going to think I beat you!! Stop falling!" hahahaah

sammyscion
02-09-12, 11:28 PM
As a child, I was not aware of many physical sensitivites, (that came as I got older, clothing tags, lotions, wool even over other clothing, etc) and actually have a high pain tolerance.

However, I was emotionally hyper-sensitive. I would cry at a cross look and cringe at a negative, critical tone of voice. It was confusing to me if the tone of voice didn't match the words and instinctly relied on what the tone of voice was saying. I was seldom wrong about this, which might have been a good thing, if I had not over reacted, drawing even more negative attention: targeting, taunting, teasing, exclusion.

I soon learned to keep my tears and fears to myself for my own protection.

seraphynx
02-10-12, 06:57 PM
Thanks for all the interesting responses. It's interesting to see that something like this really does persist throughout life, it's just that we develop better coping mechanisms and tricks as adults (which is true for most behaviors, whether disordered or not).

plank80
02-10-12, 07:24 PM
I still cant stand tight socks, I have to keep the seems away from my toes, hate anything touching them. Tight underwear or collars, bright lights, some materials, strong smells and people hugging me. Never been too bad with sounds and have a high pain threshold, used to dive on concrete doing goalie in the street and get shouted at for being covered in cuts and bruises but I couldn't feel it. I was easily emotionally hurt tho.

plank80
02-10-12, 07:51 PM
I still cant stand tight socks, I have to keep the seems away from my toes, hate anything touching them. Tight underwear or collars, bright lights, some materials, strong smells and people hugging me. Never been too bad with sounds and have a high pain threshold, used to dive on concrete doing goalie in the street and get shouted at for being covered in cuts and bruises but I couldn't feel it. I was easily emotionally hurt tho.

Anna B
02-10-12, 09:31 PM
Wow, funny little similarities, socks-ahhhh,
I wear flip flops until it snows and as soon as I can see grass,(and we have three seasons here,all some form of winter).
Tags too, hate turtlenecks, wool,
fur on fruit like peaches and kiwis has to be scrubbed off or we can't eat them,
chalk drives me crazy,
dry hands,
wrinkles in sheets,
a hair inside clothes,
bright lights,
any fabrics that stick to hands,
toques,
cannot walk on grit and wear shoes inside even though I clean constantly.
Other childhood discomforts car sickness, some smells of cooking, nearness of people, the way large groups of people smell, feeling overheated in summer...

known_guy
02-10-12, 09:57 PM
I can't tolerate anything on my hands for an extended period of time.

After I apply lotion, I have to wash my hands. [Oy, even thinking about the feeling of lotion on my hands makes me shudder.]
I refuse to write on or let anyone write on my hand(s). [I've gotten funny looks in response to this one with my "exaggerated" response.]

When I was young; finger-painting? Forget it.

mjoy79
03-05-12, 05:41 PM
Wow. The more I read about ADD and how much of life it can affect, the more it blows me away sometimes. So today I've been reading about ADD and sensory issues.
My whole life I've been sensitive to loud noises - especially sudden sharp ones (balloons, fireworks, guns). As a little girl I remember one of the first firework shows my family went to - I asked my dad to hold my ears since my hands were getting tired. Even to this day I wear earplugs and/or listen to loud music (with earphones) to block out the noise.
Balloons are worse for me though because I've gotten to where I hate what they look like and feel like when they're blown up and the fear of them popping.
I have cut quite a few tags out of clothes - more in the past than now but still every once in awhile. Also suffered from migraines and wonder if that is somehow related in some way. I was told as a child that I was allergic to a lot of things (chinese food, chocolate, caffiene, etc) which was supposedly causing my migraines.
I hate dry hands and chapped lips big time. I have to have lotion and chapstick. if not it drives me crazy!

Hypoactive
03-07-12, 02:14 AM
i have always had a severe problem with sudden noises...even noises that aren't that loud will startle me like crazy if i'm not expecting them...as a child, family/friends just thought i was "overly sensitive" (translation: PITA).

traumatic memory: 45 minute wait for a table at a restaurant, and they're blowing up balloons for the kiddies in the foyer where we're waiting -- every so often, a balloon would pop...BANG -- the third time it happened, i started crying hysterically and hyperventilating...they let us have a table immediately..

hey, now there's a silver lining, eh?

(btw, i wasn't a kid -- i was like 28, LOL)

KronarTheBlack
03-07-12, 03:27 AM
I wear earplugs at work because its too noisy for me.
I dim the lights in my office because it is too bright.
I have a miuch better sense of smell than other people (not a good thing)
I hate having anything on me jewelry or watches. My wedding ring ****** me off so much but I have to wear it.
Wool has got to be the most uncomfortable material ever its just itchy

mjoy79
03-07-12, 10:55 AM
i have always had a severe problem with sudden noises...even noises that aren't that loud will startle me like crazy if i'm not expecting them...as a child, family/friends just thought i was "overly sensitive" (translation: PITA).

traumatic memory: 45 minute wait for a table at a restaurant, and they're blowing up balloons for the kiddies in the foyer where we're waiting -- every so often, a balloon would pop...BANG -- the third time it happened, i started crying hysterically and hyperventilating...they let us have a table immediately..

hey, now there's a silver lining, eh?

(btw, i wasn't a kid -- i was like 28, LOL)

Interesting your story with the balloons. Just a year or so ago (I'm in my early 30's), my family was getting ready to throw my mom a surprise "birthday" party the day before my dad's birthday and a couple people were sitting near me blowing up balloons. We were also playing a card game. Of course my brother in law and my sister's boyfriend were sitting right next to me blowing up the balloons as big as they could. At first I was getting sweaty/nervous. My sisters could sense I was uncomfortable. but when my brother in law just about put a balloon in my face, I just couldn't take it anymore. I freaked out and ran to the bathroom and cried. It was awhile before I made my way back to the group and felt like a huge freak. It was embarrassing :(

Spacemaster
03-07-12, 02:40 PM
As a child, loud noises and small irritating noises, like chewing or tapping or whatever. I still have the small irritating noise thing. Some noises just send me into a rage.

My son was just in for a normal checkup, (he will soon be five) and on top of some behavior things, he has a severe loud noise intolerance. He is very scared of dogs just because he thinks they'll bark at any given time. The phys. assistant said she'd set up a consult for my son, and someone was supposed to call, but nobody has yet. I'm going to set up with a local mental health clinic instead myself.

He happens to be mostly left handed too!

ponychompers
03-08-12, 07:33 AM
I still have a bunch, most related to certain sounds, and also fabrics. And cardboard--can't stand to touch it unless my hands have lotion on them, and if my nails scrape cardboard, the world is doomed.

Lea Ann
03-14-12, 11:03 PM
I too wear my sunglasses all the time whether sunny or not. The sun gives me a crazy headache. I am usually covered in bruises from running into walls doors kicking things in my way. I can't tolerate tags on clothes, itchy clothes, blankets! I especially hated when I got my hair cut and had to war the itchy clothes until we got home. I would rather run around naked! I wasn't sociable, missed out on that BIG TIME!! I kept quiet and distant. Don't honestly know what I was thinking at the time, my mind was mostly saying, "I am quiet and happy leave me alone." I remember one time my family went to take family pics, I was about 5 years old and i didn't want to cooperate. I frowned in all of them and finally everyone gave up and was tired of the frustration. and we never got our pictures developed. I will always regret that. I honestly think I was reaching out for some love or support from my family and still have never got it....... from anyone!!

known_guy
03-14-12, 11:22 PM
I feel like I always need my sunglasses and music with me when I'm outside. I walk quite a bit and really want to shut out the world as much as possible.

cyonce
03-17-12, 05:02 AM
My feet were usually the main issue. If I could feel ANY little thread in my socks I would not be able to wear them. So seams, loose threads, sock that didn't fit snug, would all really irritate me. Then, I always tied my shoelaces reaaaally tight. And if one was more loose than the other, I can to re-tie both.

Also had to take the tags out of all of my clothes.

I also have a hard time touching ceramic things, or having dry skin on my hands makes me insane.

God its nice to finally not feel like a total mutant for having this experience, especially when I was young.



I had the 'shoes had to be really tight so I couldn't feel the socks and had to be the same pressure' experience, so tight they left deep pressure marks on my feet at the end of the day.
I actually wore only classic vans with no socks from age 5-6 to 12 or so when they quit making them. At that point I had to start wearing socks and the compulsive shoelace tightening started
Ceramic (unglazed) or similar rough objects, ewwww!
I hated having dry hands but couldn't stand lotion (that's gotten better)
Tags: hell no

Some others:



I was usually naked given any opportunity up until 5 or so like many others have mentioned. I don't actually remember this but it's been retold to me many times.
I HATED almost all fabrics except things that at least felt like cotton
My parents had to buy me used clothes because the I couldn't deal with the smell of new ones
I still can't wear boxers or go commando to this day, gotta have briefs.
I refused to wear long pants around 5 when the naked phase ended and wore only short pants, rain shine sleet or snow pretty much until I was 14/15 I still would rather wear shorts if I could 90% of the time.
All my shorts had to have drawstrings and I tied those tight enough that I had a welt around my waist at the end of the day. The pain was actually comforting
I couldn't handle with most tv shows from age 3 until 8 or so. Things like sesame street were overwhelming, I could only deal with Mr. Rogers
I'm still overly sensitive to the texture smell and taste of food. There's a lot of things I refuse to eat.
I can't stand anything bitter
Crowded, noisy places made (and often still make) me feel claustrophobic and overwhelmed. Part of it is the feeling that its really hard to tune out anyone's conversation around me
I was emotionally way oversensitive as a child and often still can be (although much less so with medication)
Approval, attention and praise, especially from adults, were critically important. I think that's part of how I was able to get through school without much trouble. In the few classes where that was lacking I did very poorly.