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SID fingernail HELP

917 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  The Lucky One
I am so stressed about my daughter's long filthy fingernails. I cannot cut them, she freaks out and sobs. I wonder what the sensation is like for her, but what can I do?

The only thing that has worked is manipulating her by lying that they will turn green and even then I only get one at a time. She is almost five years old and has been diagnosed with sid.

Thanks for any help.
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Okay what about doing it in the bathtub? Does she like baths? A lot of kids tolerate things in the bath better. Or wait until she's deep asleep. Or maybe give her a pair of clippers to hold and practice on her doll so she won't be so scared of them. What about using a nail file instead? Bribing her with pretty polish if you can cut them first?

Good luck!
My suggestions:

1. Cut them while she is asleep. It's hard to catch that exact stage of REM, and difficult to manage without standing on your head practically, but I have resorted to being the "nail fairy" more times than I can count. The therapist says it's a bad idea, because I should be helping him deal with overcoming his sensitivities, not bypassing them, but I get desperate (he is 10). And I usually leave a coin under the pillow for "reparations" since he hates the way his fingers and toes feel afterwards.

2. Let her do it herself. This has only been possible for a few years, so I don't know if 5 is too young, but giving my son this control really helped. He was afraid I'd go too close. It still takes an hour to talk him through the process (encourage, bribe, threaten, whatever), but it gets done occasionally without tears.

3. Make your threats honest, so she doesn't call you on it later. They won't turn green, but the will break and hurt. And the dirt underneath could make you sick or give you worms (BTDT). State the truth, empathize that you know she hates it but it is your job to take care of her, and do it. Expect tears. Be strong, because you are doing your job as a mama. Be loving, but don't feel guilty. (easier said than done, I know...)

4. Get some OT. An experienced therapist will help her cope with sensitivities, in her nails and other issues. She is the perfect age for OT.

Good luck!
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Brushing, jumping on a trampoline before and after, deep pressure, chewing gum while you cut them.

Thank you for your posts, my computer has had problems for a few weeks since I posted it. She starts OT in a few weeks (just waiting for my flex spending account to recharge on Sept. 1). The worst was in Suzuki violin, which was a group class. I knew everyone was thinking about how horrible they looked and wondering why the heck I didn't bother to clip her nails. Of course, I just found out about the SID a few weeks ago. Which reminds me, shouldn't her preschool teachers have noticed the SID?

I'm going to try all of your suggestions. Thank you so much. The gum sounds promising.
CHEWING GUM WHILE cutting nails works wonders. I mean, wonders. Also, if you have 2 pairs of clippers, letting her cut her own nails while you do hers too might work. I have the opposite prob in my sid kid..he freaks when his nails get long, and they have to be either pulled off or cut ASAP.

Originally Posted by FEDUP
I have the opposite prob in my sid kid..he freaks when his nails get long, and they have to be either pulled off or cut ASAP.
ugh... us too. Actually, one of the first signs of SID in ds (ok, not really, but the first one that made us realize it.... oh the things you over look as just "normal") was ds's obsessive nail bitting at a young age (well under two.) We eventually conceided to letting him just bit them because he was completely horrified of those clippers (And horrified of the nails!) I should try the chewing gum..... he doesn't bite his toenails
..... *anymore*.... but he hates them growing.
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Can you use scissors or a file? A lot of people I know--and I mean non-SN adults-- can't handle nail clippers at all. Can you teach her to do it herself with scissors?

Otherwise, can you get into a routine of keeping the long nails scrupulously clean? Maybe teach her to clean under them with an orange stick, or soak them?
our deal is dd can watch a video while we cut- it both distracts and bribes her!

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My 4.5 yr old son absolutely can't stand the way his nails feel after they are cut. He has sensory issues and says it hurts because air gets to his fingers. I have found that he will tolerate it though if I make up a story that involves one of his obsessions...for instance, trains. Like the train is running out of coal and needs to get some more....and then clip one and say it still needs more. Or we make up names for each of the nails that we clip...something really silly to get his mind off it.
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Well, if she won't let you cut them you could try doing what I do for my sid daughter. When I soap up her hair during her bath I ask her to really scrub the shampoo in like she is scratching her hair. It really gets the gunk out from under her nails.
Brandi, I used to go to Abilene at least once or twice a month for years -- to work at the Abilene State School (I worked out of "Central Office"). I used to stay at the Embassy Suites, work out at the Gold's Gym, and then hang out at the little mall. I love Abilene!

I'm going to try that hair washing thing. Thanks!
Now, at 10, ds clips his own nails, albeit with much prodding, reminding and nagging. But until a year or 2 ago, I bit them for him. Oh - I've never admitted that in public before!!! I found I could casually get them into my mouth, amid many kisses and much gigling, and bite then without him fully noticing. Only 1 or 2 a night. Weird, but it worked...
Although I don't think my ds1 has SID, he has always hated having his nails cut. But, about 6 months ago, I began cutting the nail half-way and letting him pick or rip it off the rest of the way by himself. He actually enjoys getting his nails cut now. I'm not kidding, he went from screaming and crying during the nail cutting to being completely happy, as long as I let him pick!
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