another blowup

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by myfirstandlast, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Okay, two in a week is definitely a sign to try something new, the old ain't working. Just called and made an appointment with the psychiatric office daughter-14 is going to.

    daughter-12 stayed home from school yesterday, "sick." Didn't seem to have any symptoms, but he does NOT like to miss school, so I have to believe that he wasn't faking. No computer/video games all day, the rule is too sick for school, too sick for play so he stayed mostly in his room and read 4-5 books. Seemed fine when I got home.

    Can a kid have a sensory problem with showering? What concerns me about his "sickness" yesterday is that it seemed to come on after I told him he needed to shower, he had strong #2 odor from a likely "leak." He tried to say he could just wipe clean, but when I insisted on a shower, he suddenly had a stomachache. He did NOT want to miss school because of at least three legit reasons he gave me, I believe that ... so, can he manifest a physical ailment due to his psychological aversion to showering?

    He fell asleep early last night, so did not use the bathroom before bed, and woke up wet. Very wet. Tried and tried to get him to get up and shower. Nothing. Started out nice, comforting. Second time I went in and he wasn't up, I was more firm, but still reassuring. Third time, I was insistent—still calm, but advised him there would be consequences if he did not get up. This is pretty much my breaking point, where I start to lose my cool. daughter-14 also has to use the bathroom to get ready for school, and he's wasted over 20 minutes. I know I am triggering his outbursts—yet still can't seem to change my actions. I walk away and say he can just ride his little sister's bus (it comes about an hour later, and he'll be late to school), now it's daughter-14's turn to use the bathroom. I knock on her door and tell her she has 15 minutes until we leave.

    He blows. Everything is always, always MY fault. I WANT to make him late for school. I don't CARE about him, etc. He runs for the bathroom, takes another 10 minutes playing and/or sitting on the toilet (he fell asleep without taking his nightly mineral oil as well) and then tries to wash up with a washcloth. I try to explain that doesn't get rid of the smell, but he's totally switched off at this point. Grabs his stuff, bolts outside, and sees that he has just missed his bus by less than a minute. Comes back inside, screaming at me. Screams at daughter-14, now on her way to the bathroom to get ready, that I already ruined both of their mornings, that the bus is gone. (I had already told husband and daughter-14 that I would drive them to school, when daughter-12 went over his bathroom time limit, so that daughter-14 would not have to try and get ready in just 5 minutes.) She tells him I'm driving her to school. He turns back to me, so do I still have to ride the little kids bus? I ask if he's going to shower. NO!!

    husband and I both try to explain that it only takes ONE kid to notice that he has an odor, and then everyone will know. He's switched off again. No response. daughter-14 is almost ready and I have husband start my car, daughter-12 runs for the door and gets in the car. Forgot his medications. Won't come back in for it because he says I'll drive off without him if he does. OMG. Get in the car, hand him his patch, tell him to put it in his pocket. NO, if he does that, he'll forget to put it on. That's just what I want him to do... forget his medications and have a bad day!! (remember, EVERYTHING is MY fault, always... I've long believed he got that mindset from his dad, xMIL)

    I'm so exhausted. Last night was a nightmare of appointments and meetings, can't imagine adding another one to the mix. But don't have much of a choice. I'm nauseated with upset and stress. I'm back to seeing my IC weekly, and started Ritalin to help me be less zombiefied all day. Hubby tries to help, but he's already complaining about being "stuck at home" all the time. I'd like to crawl into a hole until spring.
  2. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Oh Hon, you just described my EVERY morning. I wish I had words of wisdom. This morning I took my cell phone and did a video of him torturing the dogs (as he does daily), so that I can show him at another, more calm, time. And THIS is a twelve year old?? It won't change anything. He got me so confused on Tues. that I forgot to take him to his twice monthly therapy appointment. Great...that probably cost me $76 for nothing since we haven't met deductible for 2008. *Sigh* You aren't alone and I have no help in me to give you. HOW many more years of this????
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Is this DS-12.5 you're posting about? Does he have a diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism (HFA) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified? If so, sensory issues and not understanding or caring about societal expectations go with the territory. What kind of interventions is he getting to work on these issues?
  4. Yes, this is DS-12, sorry I didn't realize I skipped that part ... he has been seen by a specialist (Clinical Neuropsychologist) who ruled out Asperger's — although by my reports (questionnaire results) and those of several teachers and counselors, he exhibits many of the same symptoms. PPD-not otherwise specified is my best description of him at the time. Plus the ADHD, exhibited since age 3.
  5. PersonalEnigma

    PersonalEnigma New Member

    Showers can seem very "prickly" so maybe he's sensitive to that? Maybe get him to have a bath. It's not as good as a shower, but might do the job. Does your shower head have multiple types of spray? That might help. Let him see the different sprays and try the feel of them on his hand or arm before showering. A sensory fear could certainly set him off - anxiety does have physical reprecussions like feeling sick :(
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! I agree with PersonalEnigma. A bath can be very soothing to what we call "sensory overload". It could be the feeling of the water hitting him, the sound that the shower makes (difficult child 2 didn't "do" showers for years - only baths - the loud "pssssssssssss" that the water made hurt his ears).

    Give him the option of a "soothing hot tub" like on the commercials and here's the best: add bubbles. See, sometimes the smell of soaps with strong smells gets to them and they literally feel like they're smothering from the overkill of the sound, feeling and "smell" of a shower. Pick up some of the Aveeno Body Wash for babies. It's unscented!

    Let him bring an old paperback in with him or even one of those foam basketball hoops that sticks to the bathtub wall. Make it an enjoyable experience. Hell, if it'll get him clean and keep the peace, sit on the toilet while he's laying in the tub and let him talk to you about his day. It will give him 1 to 1 time, and if he's nervous about laying in a tub of water, you can tell him how much you enjoy just unwinding in a tub full of nice warm water and that it lets you "soak out the stress" of the day.

    Hope this helps!

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified son doesn't even like baths. He simply doesn't like the feel of water. At fourteen, I still have to force him to take a shower and he doesn't care if he smells bad. This is a very common Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) trait, but I don't know if your child had a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) diagnosis or not. I wouldn't rule it out though. 12.5 is old to be fighting over showers and smelling good...unless the kids have very poor social skills. My autistic spectrum kid is my fifth child and the only one who didn't care about showering at his age. It's not really the norm at all. Most "get it" by then. Any form of autistic spectrum looks a lot like extreme ADHD, but the kids "get it" less than ADHD kids (which is You can't rule out Aspergers. The opinion of the professional can be that he doesn't have it, however he can still have it. Same with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. I would see a neuropsychologist. If you already did, a second opinion is always good. "Better to be safe than sorry" (my motto)
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hate to say this. I went to a support group for people who had kids/adult children with aspergers or High-Functioning Autism (HFA). MANY of them said their kids just could not handle one or more of the sensory issues in showering or bathing. For many, the shampoo and soap felt slimy and they just couldn't take it. It pretty much broke my heart to hear a couple in their late 70's talk about having to herd their adult daughter into the shower and help her. It took both parents, and they were both upset that the dad had to see his daughter undressed. daughter did not care, but it upset them. Their other adult kids would NOT help, and they were very fearful of what would happen when they died. It really hit home.

    Nearly every parent in the group talked about this. One mom had her daughter come from her group home twice a week and get her hair washed. Child just could not handle the texture of the shampoo, or the feeling of it going through her hair. REally creeped her out, but she would let her mom wash it in the kitchen sink.

    I think many of us struggle with this. Would the presoaped baby washcloths that are disposable help? I know sometimes thank you is really having a bad sensory day and it helps him. They are in the baby section. Otherwise, would soap on a bath puff, or a bar of his fav soap (let him sniff them in the store, even at a place like Bath and Body Works to find a scent he likes?j) sewn into a washcloth help?

    Otherwise, would a showerhead with different sprays help? I know each of my kids has a different preference. But now we have the "can't get him out" problem with thank you. He has discovered body wash made with real lavender essential oil. And LOVES it.

    I am just reaching for solutions. I do know, long before I really knew what we were doing, I did give 2 warnings, then you did it MY way. It wasn't the best way, but I was at my wit's end. I would give warning 1 - a request to go get your bath. Then 2 - a firmer directive. 3 didn't happen, if it came to 3, then you did it MY way. I still remember the shock when I dumped difficult child into the shower with all his clothes on. REALLY hated it, but he remembered after about 3 of these that the feel of wet clothes was worse than the feel of the bath or shower.

    I don't recommend this, but I did it out of pressure from the school, my parents, and absolute frustration. I was calm while I did it. I think if I had been angry or yelling it would have been a bigger mistake.

    Hugs, I know this has to drive you crazy!