Sometimes I just don't get the sensory thing

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SylviaLynn
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30 Dec 2011, 11:29 am

Yesterday I went with my 10 yo DD to the local roller skating rink where we met up with my eldest daughter and her family. KB was fine. She skated around as best she could and had a good time.

I, on the other hand, came as close to utter meltdown as I've ever done in public. Flashing lights, multicolored carpet, loud music, people yelling, kids going every which way on skates...my eldest kind of understood.

I have no idea why I meltdown in noisy, hellish places like this while she has fun. She can't tolerate a classroom, but I can. Ah well, it is what it is.


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BTDT
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30 Dec 2011, 11:39 am

She is "working" in the classroom. You are working when you have to bring her to noisy places--work is stressful, play is not.



Bombaloo
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30 Dec 2011, 12:04 pm

I too have been surprised at what doesn't bother DS. He started K this year and they eat lunch in the gym. I thought this environment, noisy, lots of kids, echos from the large room... would be intolerable for him considering the fact that he would get overwhelmed in the Preschool classroom whenever they had free time and the kids were all doing different activities. To my utter amazement, he tolerates lunch in the gym fairly well. He also loves PE in the gym. So maybe BTDT has hit it on the head - when the stimuli are associated with something fun then they are more tolerable than when they are associated with something not so fun.



Eureka-C
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30 Dec 2011, 12:14 pm

My DS loves noisy, flashing lights, highly stimulating places. He loves the gym, cafeteria, recess, and game places like chuck-E-cheese, main event, and the bowling alley. Yet he complains about soft sounds like erasers on paper, kids moving in their chairs, the lights buzzing, the clock ticking especially when he is working on something. (most often during tests) While he loves the highly stimulating places, I have found he is often overstimulated by them. He is more likely to display hyperactive/impulsive behaviors. He is more likely to have a meltdown to minor events. He has trouble listening and following directions. I am not sure how it all works together, but this is what I have noticed since I have become more aware of his sensitivities.



seekingtruth
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30 Dec 2011, 12:42 pm

She was rollerskating, movement. I'm guessing you were sitting watching?

My son uses movement to calm his anxiety. Gym class, noisey as hell, echos all over the place. But he loves it. Gym teacher however has trouble keeping him still as he's bouncing all over the place and can't listen to instruction to save his life.

Put him in that same gym, sitting for all school meetings and he needs the head phones on and even still sometimes breaks down in meltdown because it's just too much.

Classroom his anxiety is up severly, he complains how much he hates it. He can't move around to 'release' the anxiety. We've gotten him a gel seat but it's not enough, next will be a ball chair if we can find one small enough for him.

But that could be the difference at the roller rink, she's allowed to keep moving to 'release' the overstimulation.


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KakashiYay
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30 Dec 2011, 1:04 pm

DD is like this. She *loves* the mall play area (naturally, since I hate it and it ruins my whole day bc all the noise, noise, noise, noise!) as long as she can do what she likes, but *hates* any structured activity in public- library story-time, gymnastics classes, etc.

I agree with others- being able to move about freely helps cope in stressful sensory environments tremendously.


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Kailuamom
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30 Dec 2011, 3:31 pm

Eureka-C wrote:
While he loves the highly stimulating places, I have found he is often overstimulated by them. He is more likely to display hyperactive/impulsive behaviors. He is more likely to have a meltdown to minor events. He has trouble listening and following directions. I am not sure how it all works together, but this is what I have noticed since I have become more aware of his sensitivities.


THIS is one reason why dx was so slow for us. Because DS didn't resist these types of environments, we weren't connecting them to the reactions later - meltdowns over practically nothing. However, once I started calendaring meltdowns, I started realizing that they were often connected to this type of sensory environment.

I am exhausted after an hour at a mall or skating rink - it's amazing to me how much they just sap me of all strength. Thank goodness for amazon.com, I barely ever go to the mall.