Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
Around the time when Matthew was first diagnosed we would often visit Kmart. This would be to get the Thomas the tank toys and Winnie the Pooh videos both boys liked. That summer Matthew took notice of the large round gray vents on the ceiling within the store. This is where the air conditioning came out of and produced a loud noise he could not tolerate.
Whenever we would be in the vicinity of one of these vents Matthew would immediately duck inside the shopping cart in anticipation of coming closer to the vent. His screams were chilling and caught most shoppers off guard. We stopped shopping there until it was deemed safe and no longer an issue for Matthew.
Several years ago the local grocery store we shop had an extensive remodel. When it reopened there were large advertisements hanging from the ceiling down into the checkout aisles. Matthew refused to get into the checkout and would have to walk around the front of the store through the other side to get to the end of the aisle. The actual store aisles were free from these large banners that caused Matthew such discomfort. He would look up at the ceiling and crouch around them in fear. It certainly did look very busy in these checkout lanes and they soon did away with them.
Throughout the years I have worn my hair at various lengths. Matthew was distressed when I would emerge from the bathroom with a towel on my head. I changed the routine to do this at night when he was sleeping. He had already shown distress with the blow dryer and I stopped using one for that reason.
Since I have been plagued with eczema most of my life I have come to wear white cotton gloves on my hands to stop scratching them raw. I started by sleeping in them and then would put them on earlier in the evening. One time when Matthew woke up late in the evening and needed a diaper change he had a tantrum upon seeing my white gloved hands come toward him.
He does get agitated whenever I have the gloves on since various times of the year require wearing them more often. At one point I purchased the gloves by the dozen on ebay. I try to win the battle whenever he shows disapproval of wearing the gloves. However it does not sit well with him when I put cream on my face to combat the itchy rashes that appear. I end up having to rub it in versus having the cream sit awhile on my face to work its magic.
For a few years I had a Therapist that came to the house on a weekly basis. We would have our sessions in the kitchen with Matthew always lurking nearby. He would step right in whenever the Therapist had her legs crossed. He would take it upon himself to move her leg off of the other one. He did this to whoever came into the home and happen to cross their legs.
Another disturbance to Matthew was when the Therapist would keep her purse on her shoulder. Matthew would take it off her shoulder and place it on the table. He also would approach either of us if we had our hand touching our face, like holding your chin in a pose. For quite awhile Matthew had a hard time with those who wore glasses and would try to remove them from their eyes.
I started wearing glasses a few years ago for reading small print and far away signs. The other day at Walgreen’s he tried to grab my glasses while I was reading the ingredients on a tube of Lipstick.
None of us like to wear button down shirts and the tags are cut out of all clothing before being worn. I find the tags bothersome to my skin and it irritates immensely. Due my my skin condition and asthma I do not tolerate many variations of clothing. We also do not like the type of jacket or shirt that requires wearing over your head with a short zipper. I prefer to wear three quarter sleeves over long sleeves.
Matthew cannot handle layering of clothes so if it is a cold day in the morning I will place a short sleeve t-shirt in his backpack for his aide to change him into. The same goes for early in the school year and toward the end with shorts and long pants. Nicholas can handle a shirt underneath a loose long sleeved shirt. We tend to prefer clothing from Old Navy where they do not have tags on their shirts.
Matthew wears mostly pants and shorts that have a stretch waist with no zipper or button to snap. I even have that listed as a favorite search on ebay since I have purchased many over the years through that site.
When school requires the students to wear a plain white shirt for a holiday program, we have a hard time complying with that request since most sold at that time are long sleeved with buttons all the way down.
As far as hair cuts, cleaning ears, cutting finger nails and toe nails and cleaning the ears goes, well there is nothing ordinary about these tasks, but not unusual to the child on the Autism Spectrum or the child with Sensory issues.
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