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Becoming concerned with son's "slippery hands"

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am really having a hard time figuring this out and wanted to see what other natural-minded mamas might think.

My son is 3 yrs old and over the past year especially I've noticed a few things with him that I've filed away in my 'that's odd' part of my brain.

Clothing, it has to be short sleeves or 3/4 quarter sleeves, no collars and preferably cotton material otherwise he crumples in a heap or shrugs his shoulders repeatedly, tugging at the sleeves and crying.

Food is now becoming an issue as everything is too "itchy" or "squishy" and he pretty much lives on the same thing every single day (oats with a handful of chocolate chips and made wet with hot water from the tap)


Odd things, but not too abnormal. I myself struggled with clothing issues all my life to the point my Mom used to get angry because I could feel the seams in my socks and would cry about it. To this day I wear very limited basic clothes.

Food has never been an issue for me though. So I figure maybe some of it is hereditary.


Thing is he has been going on and on about having slippery hands. I can't say I know what he means obviously because nobody knows but him. I know certain fabrics, textures or even sounds will make my hands, specifically my fingers tingle and feel weird. It's uncomfortable but it's just one of those odd things I've always dealt with.


If my son is experiencing the same thing he definitely handles it differently. He will throw whatever he is holding, fall to the floor and run his hands palms down repeatedly across the carpet and cry that his hands are slippery. To be fair this is almost always something he does more of when over tired but it can also happen at other times you wouldn't expect it. He has broken so many toys doing this and is always sorry/upset/angry when it happens.

For example he will be holding a toy car and suddenly rip the wheels off and then fumble it all over the place and cry "My hands are too slippery!"


I've checked his hands and they're not wet or sweaty. I've tried having him wet his hands to see if that helped, I've tried giving him a towel to hold to see if that helped. It's extremely frustrating for me and I imagine same for him.


Has anyone else had their child do this or have suggestions as to help him? I really don't think it's behavioral.

post #2 of 7

Ooh, it sounds like Sensory Integration Disorder or a similar thing.  I don't know too much about it, but I know I've seen a lot of moms here talking about kids with sensory issues, so I hope you'll get some good help!  The sudden panic over the "slippery hands" feeling, and the fact that it's so overwhelming that it causes him to break things, is very worrisome.  I would look into tactics you may be able to use to help him yourself, but also look for a professional who can evaluate him and help you figure out what to do.  Maybe there is a physical therapy that can help to control the nerve sensations that are triggering him by getting him accustomed to certain types of sensations, or something like that?

post #3 of 7

Because this is so upsetting for him I would seek an occupational therapy evaluation. My experience is that in therapy children are slowly and gently exposed to stimuli that they do not like so they can build a tolerance. OT can also give you tips on things to do at home and how to gently deal with when these type of upsetting things occur. My ds does not fit any criteria for a dx yet OT was very very helpful for us.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks both for the advice! Yes, it's definitely upsetting for him and generally (though we really try not to let it) leads to frustration with us and then raising our voices or telling him to stop. Neither being helpful at all but some days are harder than others.

My husband and I were talking after I posted and he said that he wonders if it would work to buy two of those stress ball things so when he complains his hands are 'slippery' we can hand him the balls to squeeze or something.

We just lost our primary family Dr as she switched to a different field of work and the clinic she was working at was one only went to for her so we're Dr shopping right now but as soon as we find someone who fits our family we'll definitely inquire deeper into it.

post #5 of 7

Unless your insurance requires a referral you can begin OT with out an doctors supervision. My experience is that doctors are not very knowledgeable about sensory issues.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Oh! I wasn't aware of that. Our son is through the State's health program so not sure if that would be an option or not. Looks like I need to check into it!

post #7 of 7

Sensory Processing Disorder? 

About the socks, try turning them inside out.......so that the 'seam' doesn't rub up against his toes. (yeah, ask me how many years :flippedit took me to figure out that one . 

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