Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Forget a Pacifier I Need Lip Gloss!

It isn't news to those who know us that two of my three children have sensory issues. Sometimes this means nothing at all and our days are calm. Sometimes this means meltdowns in very public settings. I have become very good at reading my children's signals/cues and determining what they can and cannot handle on any given day.

Along with meltdowns my children also fixate on items, tv shows, and activities. Sometimes these fixations make sense. Who doesn't love candy or the park? But there are times when the kids truly surprise me with the items to which they attach themselves.When my second daughter was  baby and young toddler she held as many pacifiers as her little hands could handle. Her record is six pacifiers at once. They went everywhere she went for about two years.

My son, on the other hand, always loved clothes hangers. He spent hours on end, beginning as a six month old, taking hangers out of a laundry basket and then putting them back in one at a time. The hangers are not his only fixation. His most recent focus is on chapstick and lip gloss. He began by insisting on using his sisters' chapstick when it was cold out. Within two days he wanted his own chapstick. Fine, I can handle that. But then he began holding the chapstick when he was upset or tired. He refused to set it down. This progressed until he insisted on holding the chapstick while asleep. Parents out there may understand how annoying this is to a mother who just wants to put small items away at bedtime so no one accidentally puts it in their mouth and chokes while sleeping.

As of now he still insists on chapstick or lip gloss, yes lip gloss, in order to calm down or sleep. He holds it or uses it while watching tv, playing, riding in the car, and more. I am not a sensory person at all. I have never had any compulsions like these so it can be tough for me to humor him BUT he needs me to humor him so I will weather this fixation and any others than replace it as he grows. I will continue to honor his needs while working to help him calm himself without his chapstick or lip gloss.:)

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