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Sensory Seeking Behavior?

Posted by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 7:23 PM
  • 19 Replies

I sent the below note to my sons psychologist and she said she will address "sensory seeking behavior"... have you had this come up with your children?  I always thought he was just very affectionate but it has been getting more and more lately.

... "DS has a tendency to be really touchy with people around him, not just adults.  Where some kids might have an aversion to contact, DS seems to need it.  It is getting to the point of being inappropriate and other kids don't like it.  Not that he touches anybody inappropriately, just doesn't seem to know when it is ok.  We have been talking to him about using his words instead of his hands.  It's hard though because he just craves the contact."

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 7:23 PM
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by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:43 PM
My older son hugs and touches others a lot. It's sensory seeking for him. He's a seeker. My younger son is an avoider. Ugh!
OFIH - Controller of chaos, laugher at children's antics, creator of messes, lover of God.
by Jen on Apr. 4, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Yes. My son was a sensory seeker. He would lay on top of other kids during circle time. He'd bump into kids, sometimes on purpose and had no clue it bothered them cause he really enjoyed it. He would constantly run his hands along the walls of the school to feel the bricks. He chewed on his clothes until it had holes. And lots of movement and activity would stimulate him so much that he would be flipping out (having a GREAT time) and lose all his senses....he would just be in his own world having a great time all the while jumping around like daffy duck that he wouldn't notice if he was upsetting other people. He had NO CLUE. I always knew he was in crazy mode once he started making verbal stims like ticka ticka ticka and that was MY cue to stop him.

You will want to fill out a sensory profile. Usually done by and OT. That is going to pinpoint for you which areas for him are challenging. The OT should have some other ideas to help you as well.

by Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 11:02 PM

my daughter is very sensory seeking and has a high pain tolerance. she is always physically active and tends to be agressive when she plays, sometimes being too rough and mean without realizing it.

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 11:07 PM
My son is a sensory seeker he craves deep pressure and can be very rough at times because he just doesn't understand that he is being that way. Have you looked anything up about it? I don't know too much about like touching but if you look up "sensory integration" you should find some activities that might be helpful to your son. Also there is s book by Carol Stock Kranowitz called The Out of Sync Child that has very useful information about sensory issues. She explains what they look like and gives suggestions for things to try.
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by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Maybe he would be good candidate for the tight stretchy fabric they use under clothes for autism, it would give him some more sensory stimulation and feel like a hug. Bless his heart, he's reaching out socially how he feels is right, its too bad they can't just let him.

Violet's Mom

Twitter @autismnotebook

by Darby on Apr. 5, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Hugs mama!  My son is the opposite...he doesn't want to be touched.  Good luck!

by Kari on Apr. 5, 2013 at 7:26 AM

I hope I can ease your mind by telling you that my son went through a stage like that and is now a perfectly appropriate 9 year old when it comes to touching others. He was a big hugger and kisser and many times other kids (and moms) didn't like it. We just gently worked on it and talked about how I always love his hugs and kisses but some times other people are more shy about that stuff. When he was in kindergarten he had a little pal and they held hands and that was bloody cute! Try not to worry too much, this too shall pass :)  XO

by Bronze Member on Apr. 5, 2013 at 8:08 AM
My son is a seeker and avoider.
For the longest time (infant and toddler ages) he refused touch, would wear only fuzzy material clothes or nothing at all, and heaven forbid the clothes have any form of tags. About the only touch he would allow, would be a back scratches that was his soother. Hated anything on his hands, be it water, sand, crayon, or paint.
One day, he flipped, he was now a seeker, always wanting hugs, would chew his zippers on jackets and shirts, would sprawl out on my lap wanting back scratches, arm scratches, knee scratches, elbow scratches.... But would still avoid contact of others. Everything fuzzy, clothes, blankets, pillows, animals, etc. now and then he bumps himself in a rocking motion against something (sitting in a chair, will rock so he bumps the table). But he still avoids contact with others, unless he knows them, he avoids most white noise sounds (music, TV on as background noise, fans, etc.) still does not care for anything on his hands, it is a chore to get him to finger paint, hold crayons, etc. but he flicks at the cover of his ipad when he is zoning out to a show or is getting frustrated with work.
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by Gold Member on Apr. 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Keep telling him use your words or say "No, we do not touch now, we talk."  Repeatedly teach him.  It is the same way when kids hit or throw blocks for example.  You tell them to say "I'm angry or sad."  By the time they are closer to age 5 they use their words more. 

My son was very angry when he was 3-4 but now he uses his words and he is more calm.  He will be 5 in June.

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM

My son is definitely a sensory seeker too. Thankfully most of the real affection he tries to get from me, he went through a phase where he kissed and pet me constantly. He also taps toys, crashes into things, can be rough. Our behaviorist said its something we can address in thereapy.

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