The Curse of the SLEEVES

November 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm 2 comments

As I work with clients who have sensory integration difficulty I try to have empathy and put myself into their shoes.  I envision a cockroach in my bedroom or the sound of nails on a chalkboard.  Both examples evoke a physical reaction in me.  So, any information from your senses can cause chills, fear, joy, nausea, etc.  From the various experiences that we’ve had, we form a memory and then hopefully next time, we will know what to expect.

Yesterday, I proudly put on my new cottony winter shirt.  As I cut the tags off, I slyly thought, “It’s about time you bought something for yourself!”  After feeling quite confident that I would be stylish as I did my errands, off I went!  It was about thirty minutes into my trip that I realized I was getting warm.  After cranking up the A/C, I still felt un-comfortable and a little itchy.   Soon, I tried to push up my sleeves with no success.  You see, they were tapered down  my arm and were going to stay that way-like it or not.  The situation become dire as I felt sweaty, irritated, and a bit nauseaus from the lack of control I had over my own body temperature and sleeves!  After hours of this torture, I cut my day short and returned home to throw off this terrible shirt and put it into the Goodwill pile.  Ahhhhh..sweet relief.

Now, I will not be forcing my son to wear anything he doesn’t want to wear.  Think of this situation or your own similar one when you work with or live with someone who has sensory integration difficulty.  Every seam, bump, or roll on clothing may cause an unexpected reaction.  You just never know what someone else is experiencing!


Entry filed under: Aspergers, autism, Occupational Therapy, parents, Sensory Integration. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

What is Sensory Integration (SI)? Resources/Fact Sheets

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mrsputput1  |  November 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Glad we are not the only family who does not wear long sleeves! I’m not sure why this drives others crazy but I figure if my son was that uncomfortable in the cold with short sleeves he would but on long. Thanks for shareing!

  • 2. marleystop  |  November 12, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I choose to ‘pick my battles’ too, especially when I’m dressing my 4 yr old with SPD & ASD. She cannot stand glitter, embellishments, socks, long sleeves, or anything too ‘tight’. For now, a tank top or short sleeved shirt that she can tolerate is layered with a hoodie, but I know that soon it will be too cold for that to work– and since another of her ‘triggers’ is “Cold”, this should be an interesting winter. I have found that buying clothes in a size or two too big has been helpful as well.


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