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Volume 13

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Hi, I'm Craig Kendall, the author of The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide. In today's newsletter we are going to answer the question ...

What treatments help with sensitivity to touch or having problems with the feeling of clothing?

There are many other things, often referred to as a “sensory diet,” that can help kids with sensory issues. 

Simply put, some kids are under receptive to sensory information, and need to engage in activities like spinning, balancing, running, rolling on a ball and so on to get themselves going and start “feeling okay.” 

Others are too sensitive to this information and there are activities that can help re-engineer the brain so that they can process it better. Often something that looks like play can actually be changing the way a child’s brain works.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy helps a person learn to cope with their specific difficulties in a way that works best for them. They work a lot with kids and adults with Aspergers.

One area that kids with Aspergers have many problems with is sensory issues. Things are too loud, too bright, too chaotic, clothes are too tight, etc. Occupational therapists can do different forms of sensory integration therapy to help the child with these issues.

When we say that kids with Aspergers have sensory issues, we mean that they have trouble processing sensory information. All around us, every day, we receive tons of sensory information. People with a normal system will tune out most of the things they do not need to be aware of at any given time. People with sensory issues, though, cannot process or filter out ANYTHING. Everything is too loud, too bright, too tight, too distracting, their nervous system reacts over and over again to all of the sensory stimuli in their environment. There are some techniques a therapist can use to help kids better modulate sensory information that they are receiving.

Wilbarger Deep Pressure Technique

Another thing that can help kids who are sensitive to touch, or have problems with the feeling of clothing, is something called the Wilbarger Deep Pressure technique. 

Basically, the child’s skin is brushed in a certain way with a certain type of brush. This helps stimulate certain nerves and receptors in the body and brain and, over time, can make the child more tolerant to the feeling of certain fabrics and more tolerant of things touching him or her. 

It also helps the child mentally organize himself, and improves mind-body communication. Since many children with Asperger's Syndrome crave deep pressure, this can help them relax. 

Generally, this is done every couple of hours for a certain time period, by someone who is trained in the method (most occupational therapists who work with kids on the autistic spectrum are).

Specific Suggestions with Clothing Problems

If your loved one has a lot of problems wearing certain clothing, here are some suggestions.

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Try and try again. Buy different clothes. Materials make a huge difference. Maybe cotton is bad but a blend of multiple fabrics works OK. Wool should be avoided.

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How tight are the clothes? Looser fitting clothes often work much better than anything tight.

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Short or long sleeves? My son cannot stand long sleeve shirts—so we buy him short sleeve shirts. The same can be said for pants.

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Skirts in stead of pants. Perhaps your daughter can wear skirts and avoid jeans (notoriously scratchy).

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Buy used clothes. Many parents have shared with me this secret. They go to second hand stores or thrift stores to buy their loved one's clothing. By this time the clothes are well worn, have been washed many times and are much softer.

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Wash, wash, wash. If you buy new clothes, you may have to wash them many times before they become soft enough to wear.

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Socks can be a real problem. Clinging to ankles can be very distracting. But again, there are white sport socks that are very short. They are barely visible above the shoes. This may not be very appropriate with dress shoes but works fine with sports shoes.

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Wear beach "flip flops". Sandals may be a solution for the chronic shoe/sock hater.

Above all, use creativity. If one set of clothing does not work, try something else.

These are just a few of the answers you will need to successfully survive and thrive with Aspergers. If you are looking for additional answers immediately, go to the following site: www.AspergersSociety.org
 

Note: my newly released book on Aspergers for Teens and Young Adults discusses bullying, anxiety, depression and what to do about it. Click here for more information:

www.aspergerssociety.org/teen_book.htm

 

Note: my newly released book on Aspergers for Adults discusses how to make and keep friends, building relationships, employment, depression and the meaning of life, therapy options and much more. Click here for more information:

www.aspergerssociety.org/adult_book.htm

Some of the many questions we will be covering in future issues include ...

  • How can I help my son understanding jokes, kidding, hidden messages, anything that is not extremely literal and explicit?

  • My Aspergers child has terrible social skills. What should I do?

  • My AS teenager is depressed because he is not making friends. What treatments can help?

  • Should I try to stop my Aspergers kid’s obsessive behaviors?

The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide Book Image

For immediate information on Asperger's Syndrome go to the web site  www.AspergersSociety.org. There you will be able to sign up for the free Aspergers newsletter as well as get additional information on the best selling book, The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide.

Craig Kendall is the father of an Asperger's child and the author of "The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide". You can find more information about living with Asperger's Syndrome by contacting him on this site: www.AspergersSociety.org

 

 

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Thank you,

Craig Kendall, Author