My daughter has sensory issues (suspected SPD along with ADHD, speech and social issues). She's four years old now and her sensory issues are getting to be very disruptive at home. She's always been a poor sleeper and requires "cuddles" (hugs/deep pressure) to go to sleep. This isn't a problem at night but we've seen a real uptick in her demands for cuddles and it's becoming more and more disruptive, particularly during the day. When she begins to feel stressed, she will demand cuddles but sometimes, we just can't give it to her. If she possibly could, she would be in my lap, with my arms tightly around her 24/7. Not possible! I can't seem to get her to hug her teddy bears or sleep under a nice, heavy blanket. Would really love some ideas for more deep pressure.
Also need to vent -- her asking for cuddles is really running me ragged. It seems like every 15 minutes or so, she's screaming that she "needs cuddles" but when I've just spent half an hour cuddling her, during which time she's squirming all around the place, and then I have to deny her more cuddles because, well, I do have other things to do than sit in a chair/lay in bed and just cuddle her 24/7... argh!! I love my daughter so much but when she's screaming that she "just wants cuddles" and I'm busy and frankly, cuddled the eff out, I feel like the worst human being in the world. Everyone assures me that I'll miss these days because some time in the future, she will not want ANY hugs from me, and I know that's true, but it's driving me NUTS.
Michelle -- geeky homeschooling mama
How is her diet? Have you tried gfcf, feingold, anything? My son's sensory issues massively improved when we addressed diet.
Also, look into a weighted vest (google search will find it). Perhaps it would help to have the tactile input while doing other activities.
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
I get the vent about the cuddles being disruptive. My son goes through periods like this too. You aren't the worst human in the world, but I understand why you might feel that way.
Would send you an electronic hug but that might not be want you want right now
Our OT has what she calls a "hug". It is a stretchy wrap that velcros around their belly. It is about 12" wide and provides deep pressure around their middle from under the arm down to just above the hips. (If you can picture that!). It kind of reminds me of wet suit type material (with velcro at one end) but it is just a wrap without sleeves. It looks like it would be simple to make. If you try it, I would use it along with getting a hug from you too, then see about weaning her off of the physical hug and using just the velcro hug. She usually lets the kids wear it at the beginning of the day for 30 minutes or so to calm them and make it easier for them to pay attention to structured activities. Occasionally she gets a child that comes in and asks for the "hug" becasue they like it so much! In your situation, I would let her wear it when she requests a cuddle.