Sensory Processing Disorder…the brain having trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. I am 98% certain Brandon has SPD. It isn’t an official diagnosis, but he has so many sensory needs.
Everyone who knows Brandon knows he smells everything. And I do mean everything. People. Food. Animals. His iPod. Everything.
He also has many other sensory needs. Today, let’s talk about Brandon and clothing. When he was much younger, he loved to run around naked. Clothes were not his friend and he took them off at the first possible moment. All. The. Time. We would find him in the back yard, running around, completely naked.
A child running around naked is a bit different than a teenager/adult running around naked. We knew we needed to tackle this issue first and we have learned some of Brandon’s preferences along the way.
Tags in clothing are a real issue for Brandon. He hates them. Whoever started making tagless t-shirts is a genius. We know that when we get new clothes, the tags must be cut out before they go in his dresser. Even jeans must have the tags cut out. If we don’t cut the tags out before giving them to Brandon, he will rip them out, usually ruining the item of clothing. It didn’t take us long to figure that one out.
Brandon much prefers sweatpants and track pants to jeans. He will wear jeans, but usually changes into sweats or shorts the minute we get home from somewhere. And he will not wear a belt.
It there is a hole in any of his clothing, no matter how big or small, he will tear it to shreds. Socks, jeans, sweatpants, shirts, whatever has a hole. I have learned to not put hole-y clothes in his dresser. Those become my dust rags.
Brandon likes hoodies. Something he can cover his head with. And he wears his headphones outside of the hood. It works for him so we just go with it.
When we went to the Tuba Christmas at a local mall this past winter (Josh was playing), there was a sign that hoods on hoodies had to be kept off the head. Regardless of why the rule is in place, we made him follow it because rules are rules. He was not terribly happy about it, but did it after much prompting.
When it comes to underwear, boxer briefs are all he will put on his body. He prefers the silkier kind, but will wear others when the silky ones are dirty. And no tags. Or holes.
We now have a pretty firm handle on the clothing issue. He has other sensory needy challenges that we struggle with, but that is for another post.