Friday, January 20, 2006

ADHD: Attention Disaster Hypersensitivity Disorder

I came across a great article over at Focused Distractions. They covered what it was like to fall asleep with AD/HD. I encourage all reading this column to jaunt on over and give it a read. The article wasn't about insomnia per se, but more about this little symptom of AD/HD called Hypersensitivity and how it affects common activities. They did a capital job explaining the types of thoughts that race through one's head when one attempts to sleep when they are hyperaware of everything around them.

For me, the greatest sensitivity is odor. I must have a dog's nose. I sure don't have a human's nose. I can smell milk going off a week before it thinks about it. I can sense which room my neighbor is sneaking a smoke in. I can tell what my wife had for lunch when we kiss hours later. If there was a superhero team that needed someone with a super sense of smell I'd be their man. I can see the costume now - bright green black checkered spandex covering my entire body except for my amazing nose. Olfactoryman! Wondernose! Mr. Nostrils!! Sometimes this is a gift. When meat is going bad, you want me fighting the good fight by your side.

"Have no fear! Mr. Nostrils is here! Stand back, miss! That meat is manky!"

Most of the time it's a pain in the neck, especially when people don't shower or wear swampy clothes. Then I can't focus on anything but their odor filling my flaring nostrils.

I did a test a few months ago. I had been developing a theory that perhaps I was the only person bothered by these odors. Not that the odors were only imaginary, but that for some reason other people didn't notice them or could ignore them. So when a friend came over and I couldn't concentrate on the movie we were watching because his clothes stank, I studied everybody around me. Nobody was wrinkling up their nose or glaring sideways. After the friend left I decided to throw caution to the wind and reveal my secret identify as Mr. Nostrils. I explained that I was usually hypersensitive to scents and found them distracting. I wondered if anybody else had noticed our friend's odor. Very risky, but superheros are bold and brave! Or I have AD/HD and a compelling urge to destroy friendships that span millennia. Fortunately, I had been practicing on strangers on the bus so my friends weren't offended in the slightest. They also confirmed my suspicions that only I had noticed the odor.

So much angst over odor. It seems a silly topic, doesn't it? Especially if you don't have AD/HD. You probably can't imagine what it's like to have cogent thought pushed off the stage while seemingly insignificant events steal the spotlight. And yet, that's exactly what happens. It's like trying to listen to your favorite radio station on the beach when the guy next to you is listening to another station at full volume. There is cacophony. Frustration. Noise. Likewise, odor becomes noise. Touch becomes noise. Taste becomes noise. They crowd out the other thoughts - like when taking a test and reading the questions over and over again because you can't tune out the guy four seats back tapping his pencil quietly on the desk. It's a problem of magnitude or amplitude. Something in the AD/HD process gives greater weight to background noise.

With effort we can train ourselves to either tune out the noise, or find a way to reduce it's effect. We become such finicky and particular creatures as we learn to cope with these tiny distractions, however. I could completely relate with the authors over at Focused Distractions. My bed sheets have to be just right. Shirts have to fit me a certain way. I don't enjoy wearing contacts because I can't forget that they are there. I can't drink milk that has been warmed to room temperature then rerefrigerated. I don't enjoy food that's been slightly scorched. I can't tune out my neighbors subwoofer at 2am even when I'm tired. In fact, I can still detect the vibrations of his subwoofer even with white noise playing on the stereo, a CPAP blasting in my ear, and my head buried under the pillow. Such hypersensitivity seems unfair and useless at moments like that. Couldn't I be more like my wife? She could sleep soundly if my neighbor was moshing in our clothes closet.

There's no real solution for it. As Spidey says, with great power comes great irritability. Or something like that. Fortunately one can train oneself to ignore sensory distractions. If I learned to sleep with a CPAP mask strapped to my face while being inflated all night long like a balloon in a Macey's parade then I can learn to ignore other things as well. The trick is to not let the distractions irritate you. Don't sit there suffering and irritated and abused. The hypersensitivity that can encroach on our thoughts also gives us an intense life experience for all the positive sensations as well. No matter how much my bed sheets bug me when I try to sleep, I wouldn't trade away this hypersensitivity for a more "normal" existence. Would you?

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Finnish girl said...

Hey Douglas! About hypersensitivity... I have been told that I hear things more clearly than "regular" people do. For instance, I was visiting my parents and told to my mom that her cellphone must be ringing. It was in other room and the ringtone was at the lowest possible sound. My mom couldn't believe that I heard that.

That can be also very annoying thing. As you said, the background noise becomes somewhat untolerable. It prevents from focusing on the thing I am supposed to focus.

About other senses, the sense of smell sometimes does trics to me too. Certain types of perfume and aftershave and detergents can give me a headache of a lifetime.

The sense of touch is a thing for me too, not always but sometimes. A mild touch to my upper arm can be like painful, hurts really much...

About vision... Certain types of colour can make me feel dizzy. I saw this really bright orange colour piece of paper and I had to look away because the room started spinning for me.

Ok... after typing all these things down, I am even more confirmed that I either have AD/HD or ADD.

Douglas Cootey said...

I suppose I should consider myself lucky. I don't experience headaches from colors - a very hazardous condition for somebody who is an artist. ;) Also, I don't find touch painful, but soft, tentative touch will irritate instead of soothe. On the other hand, I enjoy deep massage. I can actually fall asleep while my wife pounds into my back with her elbows. :) Somehow it relaxes me.

I can totally relate with the hyper hearing. I hear sounds all the time that my wife cannot. That is a very useful gift.

My greatest hypersensitivity besides smell is taste. Certain foods simply taste terrible to me, like onions. A friend suggested to me once I am sensitive to metals. Not sure what that means, but I do know that there are few vegetables that I enjoy eating. And I am hypersensitive to burnt flavor. I can't enjoy food that was cooked with anything that was slightly scorched or burnt.

Thanks for your comments.

Suzanne said...

Suddenly I'm channeling Alexander Pope...

Why has not man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
Say what the use, were finer optics giv'n,
T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heav'n?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at ev'ry pore?
Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain?

--from Essay on Man, Epistle 1

Douglas Cootey said...

Suzanne - Very nice. We often don't see the forest for the trees. Likewise, we can focus only on the negative aspects of AD/HD and miss out on it's majesty. Thank you.

Dave said...

Hello Douglas
I have found that telling parents of children that it is not the taste that puts ADDers off their food, but the texture - that includes odors - has a dramatic effect on their understanding of the condition. I too wrote a piece on my blog, "Conversations in my Head" following on from Terry Matlen's article on Focused Distractions. I included the other super-sensitivity that we often battle with, emotional sensitivity. My audio clip "The Sound of an ADD Brain" illustrates how focus follows distractions.

THanks for another good piece - emphasising the positive is always good.

Best wishes

M said...

Hi Douglas. First time I post here but this post caught my eye. I don't have AD/HD as far as I can tell, but I can relate to Hypersensitivity. For me and it's mostly smell that becomes a problem, especially at work.

For example, I'll have to sit next to a colleague that, in my perception, hasn't showered in what seems like weeks, or who has a really bad breath. I am incapable of focusing on any kind of conversation and I involuntarily pull back or put my hand over my nose/mouth (as tactfully as possible) when they talk to me. People must find me very rude. I can't tell however whether others can smell what I can, because nobody else seems to have any problem when sitting in close proximity to the same people.

I have the same problem with other types of smells as well - clothes like you said I can find impossible, curtains or towels, someone having eaten garlic as far as two days ago, cigarette smoke etc. I used to be a smoker and that in itself saved me in part in that it dulled my senses and made me oblivious to the smell of tobacco itself, but since I quit it's been almost crippling.

I have days when my sense of hearing sharpens considerably as well but it's never been a distraction. My skin is also extremely sensitive to practically anything it comes in contact with. I'm allergic to a great deal of jewellery, fabrics, beauty products... the lot.

Not a pleasant thing overall, but to be honest for myself it makes up for it when I can experience a pleasant smell or touch just as sharply! :) The smell of a good perfume sends me to heaven.

Melissa said...

I can not stand for my feet to be touched. Even someone looking at my feet makes my skin crawl and get all prickly. The slightest touch sends me into a blind rage or a panic attack, depending on who touched my foot, and if they knew they shouldn't but thought it was "funny" anyway. Sleep at night is nearly impossible. I hear the kids everytime they roll over or shift in their beds, and the radio in the house four doors down. So glad to know I'm not just crazy! No one told me when I was diagnosed that this was part of ADD. Thanks Doug!

r said...

Ahhh, so that explains why my mother had to take the batteries out of the kitchen wall clock every night when I was a kid because I couldn't fall asleep with all that ticking. That also explains why I could not sleep if my roommates were so much as whispering behing closed doors on the other side of the apartment.

Not trade away the hypersensitivity? I think not. I don't see any advantage to it, just a source of major frustration and annoyance.

Douglas Cootey said...

Dave - I wouldn't think that specifying texture would make such a big difference. Thanks for the tip. Why do you think that is so?

I'm interested in hearing that audio clip. I'll try to get over to your site this weekend.

M - Thanks for posting. Hypersensitivity isn't just found in people with AD/HD. My Mum has many issues with hypersensitivity. Whether it is due to muscle atrophy caused by polio as a child or simply genetics, she definitely doesn't have AD/HD.

I love the smell of a good perfume. ;)

Melissa - I think I always knew this was part of AD/HD, but haven't really pondered about it. I mostly have looked at it as annoying, but writing this column has intrigued me and made me wonder what advantages hypersensitivity has to offer me. I'm sure that swampy clothes and my neighbor's sub woofer will still bug me. But it would be nice to have a list of pluses to utilize to offset the negatives.

r - :) Sounds like you had a nice mother. As long as I can manage the downsides of hypersensitivity I will want to hold on to the upsides. Of course, the downsides are a major frustration and annoyance. They're not easy to manage.

Bekah said...

Douglas ~ Thanks for the link to that article. I read it and surprisingly can relate to it in almost every aspect. I know my son is the one with adhd, and he deals with some hypersensitivity issues too, but I feel like I am undiagnosed ADD. As for my son, they give him a "brushing" every day at school twice. This is done by brushing a soft brush rapidly over his entire body, and they do joint compressions. I have to admit I am not exactly sure what the reasoning is behind it, but they are sure it helps him.
As far as getting to sleep at night, I still haven't conquered that nightmare, mostly I fall asleep out of pure exhaustion after lying in bed for literally hours with my brain going 100mph.
Again, thanks for the link. You rock.

done said...

Hello:) I couldn't for some reason post another comment on your last post, so I'll do it here. My daughter who is getting cognitive therapy is going to be 15 years old this Feb. Right now we are trying to get her into a hospital, because she's not doing well, and her bipolar is like taking over, and she's needing help, so she will be getting intensive therapy hopefully soon! Take care, and if you pray, could you please pray for her, Thanks:) Elisa:)

jeanjeanie said...

Hey, Doug,

It's funny, I just blogged this morning about my fiance's super sensitive nose and some of the arguments it's inspired. He doesn't have ADD, but I think his exposure to chemotherapy made him especially receptive to any type of chemical odor. I guess I'm pretty used to my own hypersensitivity so that I never think about it anymore, and now I'm thinking of all the times I fidget when we're trying to snuggle up and watch a movie because I just can't get comfortable and my clothes don't feel right, or how he'll be talking to me and I'm too engrossed in watching his cat to hear what he's saying, or any of the myriad other annoying ways my ADD presents itself that he takes in stride. I s'pose I should be a little more understanding about his reluctance to cuddle after I've washed my hair with stinky medicated shampoo. Hmm.

Thanks, Doug. Ever think about a side career in pre-marital counseling? ;)

the pope said...

I've been reading your blog since Dec. 13 and am amazed at how often you feel/experience/think the same things I do. Especially because I am a female college student without kids, and the only thing with have in common is ADHD. I especially identify with the criteria you have listed for ADD in adults, like speaking without thinking, and procrastination.
About hypersensitivity to smells, I too am way sensitive to smell. I always thought it was a hormonal thing or a side-effect of depression medication. I can smell everything and it is so annoying. I can smell the water coming out of our bathroom faucet, I can smell food hours after its been cooked and put away, scented shampoos make me naseous, and I always pick up funky body odor.
As to whether I would get rid of my hypersensitivities, I don't know. I wish every day that I could be more normal, even though I've been told my weaknesses will be made by strengths. I read a quote recently by Henry James. He said "Feel, feel, I say. Feel for all you’re worth. And even if it half kills you, for that is the only way to live." I have felt so strongly though that it did half kill me, and I didn't like it. I would rather have no feeling at all than feel with such intensity again.

Slain said...

"I will be Spiderman no more!!"
((fellow-ADD discarding super-powers)) LOL

Melissa said...

Hey doug... I had to take the baby to the doctor today and had one of your smell moments! I walked in the door and came face to chest (yes I'm short too) with some guy who I swear must have marinated in Old Spice for at least three days! I probably looked like I was having a seizure, as I ran into a wall AND nearly dropped the baby backing away from hin as fast as my short little legs would carry me! Once he left and I could think straight again... you and this post came to mind.

ScarletSphinx said...

Its the Smellenator! Smellman!?

Sleeping with strange, rank smells about doesn't appeal to me, either. Like you, I learned to tune out certain noises, but honestly.....bright green checkered spandex? Have mercy on my mind's eye! I beg you, Doug.


KristieSue said...

Ok the part about your wife being able to sleep even if your neighbors were moshing in your closet, made me laugh out loud.

rochelle said...

Great post, Douglas! Both me (ADHD) and daughter (Aspie, ADHD), have hypersensitivity. Poor girl, I've seen her gag from just the sight of meat, and it's horrible for her when I boil a chicken or fry meat. I have noise sensitivity, sometimes light (but I also get migraines-I'm convinced it's all linked). Some days I find it impossible to filter out sounds and find myself intruding on conversations because I hear everything going on around me. My sensitivity extends to moods, feelings and energy as well. Sometimes it's difficult to be at work when things are bad because I absorb all the unsaid, unseen, (unsmellable?) crap that's floating around.

Poetwoman said...

HI Doug,
The sensitivity you describe is called "Sensory Integration Disorder". It is treated by OT's who do special things to try to calm down your sensitivities. That is why the woman here wrote that her son gets "brushed" every day and gets joint compressions.
I wonder also if some people here have synesthesia: when two senses are combined. For instance, when you hear a word a color comes to mind, or when you smell a certain smell it has music to it. Look it up!! I have some smell sensitivities too, and god they are distracting!! I also have attention issues, but my therapist doesn't believe I have ADD or ADHD, but rather it is due to PTSD. Who knows? All I know is I have a hell of a time concentrating, and my level of concentration lasts 10 minutes.

Douglas Cootey said...

Man, have I been busy. I do apologize for the lack of column last week. I'll have one up for later today. I don't have the best immunity system and I've spent the past 5-6 weeks moving from virus to virus. In between time I've been helping my thirteen year old with her American Idol blog. She's trying to win a contest and with my help may do just that by tomorrow. She's already the most popular blogger over there and her closest competition hasn't blogged since 9 days ago. The winner gets some cash and my daughter wants to buy a new mic for her podcast and song production. Any spare energy I've had has been spent on that. I wish I could say that it's been a chore and I've hated every minute of it, but then I'd be lying. :) Too bad I can't share it with you. Since she's thirteen we're keeping her identity secret. That means I can't say anything about her blog or podcast (or the other podcast I do with my 11 year old...)

Douglas Cootey said...

Bekah - I've not heard of "brushing" as a treatment. I'll have to look that up. As for falling asleep only when you're exhausted, look at the time stamp on my post here. Bad bad bad...

Elisa - I'm sorry. Because of the large amount of comments being posted here I've decided to shut comments off on columns older than a month. That way I can keep up with comments on new columns. Good luck with your girl. I do pray and I have done so for her. All the best.

jeaniemarie - Distractibility caused by oversensitivity is a pain, isn't it? A double whammy. Not only are you missing out on something going on around you, but you're not having a good time either. As for pre-marital counseling...hahaha. It's more likely I'll be driving people apart. ;)

the pope - First of all, may I say that I am honored to be typing in your presence... LOL Let me tell you something about hyper-sensitivities. Last night my daughter lost her $300 retainer. It was less than a week old. They spent hours trying to find it. At last they came into my studio, apologized for taking me away from my work and begged me to help. In my family, if it's lost I find it. I spent 5 minutes looking and found it in the back seat of the minivan under a seatbelt in the dark. Super powers? Spidey sense a-tinglin'? Or just more sensitive to colors and shapes? I believe it is simply the latter, and all in thanks to my hyper-sensitivity. I've spent sleepless nights tossing and flolloping only to launch out of bed exasperated and remake the bed around my sleeping wife to get the sheets "just right" again. But would I want to lose this silly little gift? No. I'll take the good with the bad. It's what makes me unique. The trick, therefore is to learn how to diminish the negative sensitivities and accentuate the positive ones.

Love that quote, btw. It's a new favorite of mine now.

Sol - :) Fight the good fight!

Melissa - LOL I love the imagery. This column helped my wife understand some of my eccentricities. For example, I can't stand it when I walk down the stairs with my hand on the railing only to run my hand over a dried, bumpy, icky patch. I had just complained of that the other day and she tried to experience it the way I did. She thought it was unpleasant, but not as intensely as I found it. I told her it is like putting my hand on a hot plate. I violently experience the sensation. Total invasion and sensory overload. I instantly see my four year old, sticky hands, gobs of goo and the emotion of having to clean it. So I can completely relate with your experience. LOL Glad you didn't drop your little one. ;)

ScarletSphinx - LOL yeah, I had to abandon the outfit. It made me look fat.

KristieSue - Made my wife laugh too. :) Thanks for reading.

rochelle - I can relate with that a bit. I can usually enter a room and suss out who likes me and who doesn't within moments. But I wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to work the room to my benefit. We seem to miss the slow, obvious social cues that "normal" people pick up on to have enriching business and personal relationships because our receivers are tuned into higher frequencies. LOL Thanks for commenting.

Poetwoman - No, the sensitivity I describe truly is part of the AD/HD experience. However, I wouldn't be surprised if other disorders also included hyper-sensitivity. My mother suffers from Post Polio Syndrome and she's fairly sensitive to touch despite not being diagnosed with AD/HD... I wouldn't know about synesthesia. I can't speak for others, but I don't experience either condition. Thanks for posting, though. Perhaps another reader might enjoy researching these conditions.

Incidentally, I looked up brushing techniques and found No mention was made there of WHY this technique is effective. If somebody could point me to an authoritative source for further information? Seems like voodoo to me without understanding the principals and effects involved.

done said...

Thanks for your prayers, she needs them. I was wondering, do you know or heard of Discovery Academy in Provo, Utah? I've been trying to do some research on what we are going to do with our bright and talented, but sad young lady. My daughter has so much going for her, but she just can't see that now. Take care, Elisa:)

Poetwoman said...

I just wanted to say that many people with ADHD also have sensory integration issues (or disorder if you want to call it that!) They seem to go hand in hand. (I think maybe I didn't explain myself well in my last post). I used to work at a residential school and many kids had both issues, as does my neice. The OT's would say that the brushing would be either calming (if needed) or stimulating, whichever was needed to the nervous system. The OT's would gauge the pressure they would brush with based on the child's need. BTW This blog cracks me up! You really have a way with humours words!

slö said...

thanks, poetwoman for pointing me towards the marvels of Synaesthesia
fits me.

lots to study, but very satisfying

Sylvana said...

Geez. That's funny. I could have sworn I left a message on this post. Oh well, I bet I just forgot to hit publish.

I am very sensitive. I was the teenager that would always be turning the music DOWN! Some fabrics will literally make me gag - like almost throw up by the mere touch of them.

I have always said that I have the "Princess and the Pea" syndrome. Tags will drive me insane. Wrinkles in the bed sheets - I have to smooth out the fitted sheet and adjust the blankets every night before I go to sleep. Wrinkles in my socks. I will be completely miserable until I get it fixed.

But I find that my sensitivity comes in very handy too. It is one of the reasons that I am a good cook. I can smell something and tell what it would go well with and how much I should use.

nessie said...

I love your blogs and this one has to be my favourite so far! I could definitely join the sensory superhero brigade! I have spent 36 years thinking I am just weird! I was diagnosed with ADHD last year after both my children were finally diagnosed as ADHDers and not mini weirdo's too. Reading your blogg and the comments had made me realise how "normal" I am in the ADHD world! My husband has even called me "olfactorywoman" in the past. I can't focus on people talking to me if there is the slightest trace of odour on their breath for example. This odour may well be inperceptable to the most sensitive cat but Nosealmighty here has to utilise her best acting skills just to not show my distaste. And if the poor person really does have halitosis I have to concentrate so hard on surviving the conversation that I don't actually listen to a word they say. I have even been known to make myself dizzy because I have unconciously been holding my breath!Boy, now you've got me started I could waffle on all day. I promise I won't though. I do empathise with all you hypersensitives out there though as I am emotionally hypersensitive as well as to noise, touch and smell. The one positive thing I can say about it all is that I can sympathise and empathise with people so much better than most and am very intuitive with it. This doesn't help me much but can only be a good thing. Keep up the good blogs!

Douglas Cootey said...

Elisa - I'm sorry. I haven't heard of the Discovery Academy. I wish I could help.

sylvana - I can definitely relate with that Princess. LOL I can't think of any fabrics that bug me specifically, but there is the sensation of my tongue on wooden popsicle sticks that sends rolling waves of shivers up and down my spine. It doesn't make me gag, but I am paralyzed by the sensation - so strong is it. I don't know why but your post made me think of it! LOL I got shivers just typing about it. :p

nessie - Welcome to the family. It's a gangly, unsightly group that doesn't sit still very long for family pictures, but it's a warm family nonetheless. :) I'm glad you're enjoying my columns. Part of my need to feel "normal" is to connect with people like you who can relate with what I'm experiencing and laugh about it along with me.

Audi said...

I love your blog. I myself am ADD and my son has been recently diagnosed as AD/HD. I have tought myself to blog out the sounds that bother or disract me so much that it drives my husband nuts. I have what I call tunnel thoughts. I get so set on doing something and know it has to be done that I block out the world around me. Your site has helped me with my son and myself. Continue the good work.

Terry Matlen, ACSW said...

Hi Doug,

Thanks for citing my blog article on AD/HD and Hypersensitivities. I think I'd like to write more about the topic, because it really does make huge problems for people.

Keep up the great work here- you have a great blog!


Douglas Cootey said...

Audi ~ Thank you for the kind words. AD/HD sure has its quirks, but once we understand how it affects us individually we can start working around certain quirks and capitalizing on others. That's the plan, anyway. I think it's working for me. I look forward to what the future brings now with only a touch of dread now. ;)

Terry ~ Thanks for dropping by. I look forward to your next write up on the subject.


Douglas Cootey said...

Found another blog on this subject:

Ritika said...

I can totally relate. I have HYPER-HYPER sensitive smelling. I too can smell milk going "bad" long before its due date. When I bring this to my family's attention, they dismiss it as 'another one of my crazy ideas' and continue while I research the net for hours about the negative effects of consuming 'old milk.' Btw, I've been diagnosed with ADD as well and I've been told I'm a "poster child for ADD."


Douglas Cootey said...

I'm sorry your family disregards your amazing abilities. What is it they say about prophets in their own home?

I was told I couldn't be the poster child for ADD because I have such terrible teeth. :p

Anonymous said...

I googled hypersensitivity and noise to see if there was anyone else in the world who reacted as I do. And douglas I just read your words about how you can hear your neighbor's subwoofer at 2 am and not be able to tune it out, and I had a big sigh of relief.

I like my apartment but I have to move because every step the neighbor upstairs takes - I can feel it reverberate in my body. I also play the TV and the fan and the a/c and the CD player and I can't tune it out.

Nobody understands. They think they understand, oh you are bothered by a neighbor. But they don't understand. I feel like I am going to go crazy. I can't think. I can't read. I can't talk on the phone. I am actually sick from it- my stomach is all churned up.

well I'll stop griping and look around your web site. You say one can train oneself to be otherwise.


Douglas Cootey said...

Hey, local. I can definitely relate.

Hope you find what you want on my site. If not, drop me a line and I'll do my best to help you find it.

Charity A. said...

I just wanted to say thank you. I'm a 27yr old, ADD single mother, with an ADHD 5yr old son. When we go driving in the car, he has a set of 'silent' Ear phones that cancels out all of the 'noise' from the vehicle.

When we woke up this morning and went into the kitchen, Grandpa was cooking bacon with the fan on. My son immeadiately colapsed with his hands over his ears and started screaming that it was too loud. Being ADD myself I understand, somewhat the 'loud' noise. But every so often it just hits me how much more sensitive he is to it than I am. I'm more touch and texture sensitive than noise.

I also wanted to comment about the compression and brushing. It does help. Many times we get going and 'loose' ourselves. The joint compressions, allows the kids to focus on thier bodies, It gives them something to focus on, gives them one on one contact, and it helps to calm them down. My son 'falls apart'--or completely looses control--and it helps to bring him back into focus. Now he's to the point that when he starts to loose it he'll come to me and say "Mom, I'm falling apart. Would you put me back together?" and we're able to avert disaster before it starts.

I know its abit late to post a comment, but like I said, I just wanted to say thank you. It's nice to know that we're not alone. So thanks!

Douglas Cootey said...

Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feed back, especially about compression and brushing. I suppose those methods are a form of ritualistic focus that help the mind reset itself if you program yourself - a little routine that we can go through to get ourselves ready. If it works for him I see nothing wrong with it. Good for you for finding something that works!


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Annie said...


Wow, it is so nice to finally find someone "normal" & who actually understands. I can completely identify with the sheets having to be perfect w/out any wrinkles, sensitivity to touch, smell, and noises. Some days it is almost unbearable for me. One day at a time though I suppose (that's probably what my husband is thinking too-hahahaha) I was curious, do you have any suggestions for organization? (you may have talked about this already but i just found your site tonight) I swear I pick up after myself more than I have to for anyone else in the house! I forget appointments and can never seem to get any of my items on my "lists" completed. I just don't feel like i accomplish much in a day. I spend so much time getting ready to get ready to do a task, that I never actually get it done. It's probably not a big deal to anyone but myself, but it's so frustrating. Thanks:)

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