Advanced search

Anyone have a young child that won't be touched?

(31 Posts)
Prusik Sat 26-May-18 07:00:26

Dressing, nappy changes, washing face, 'round and round the garden', 'this little piggy', socks, shoes, kisses, cuddles, physical comfort when distressed, his baby brother accidentally putting his foot on his leg.

Anything, basically.

He's sixteen months and just hates being touched. If i touch his arm, he will physically push my hand away. He moves away if his baby brother touches him in any way.

He's otherwise ok developmentally but he's adamant about most kinds of touching.

Anyone else have this from such a young age? He's such a sunny boy but he definitely knows the power of consent.

ivenoideawhatimdoing Sat 26-May-18 07:06:10

Has this come on suddenly or has he always been like this?

He’s probably just going through a phase or simply isn’t a touchy person and can’t work out his boundaries yet.

If you’re worried mention it to the doctor when you’re there but personally I’d give it a few weeks and see if it passes.

Prusik Sat 26-May-18 07:36:13

It's been forever. It doesn't seem to be based on person either. Although he's slightly more tolerant when it's me. He's needed restraining for nappy changing since about six months and that's never faded

Prusik Sat 26-May-18 07:38:42

I'm not worried. I guess just wondering if it's common and if it'll be forever

JustAWestcountryGirl Sat 26-May-18 07:42:21

I'd say not common and probably worth mentioning to a health visitor, just for some more input.

twinnywinny14 Sat 26-May-18 07:49:01

I would definitely mention to healthvisitor I work with toddlers and this isn’t at all common esp as it has always been this way x

Prusik Sat 26-May-18 08:13:22

This sounds pathetic but i worry that if I speak to the health visitor about any more worries she's going to start getting concerned

frasier Sat 26-May-18 08:16:11

Never heard of this before. Do mention it.

What other worries have you mentioned? She’ll surely just think you’re a panicking mum like the rest of us?

DottyDotAgain Sat 26-May-18 08:24:26

Yes our ds1 was like this and still is. He's 16 now and doesn't like to be touched at all. The only thing he liked as a toddler/child was 'rough' contact - so he liked being put in "hug prison" where we held him very firmly and made a game out of it. Now he's older he just avoids touching - will tolerate hugs from grandparents because he has to and every now and then he'll sometimes out his legs on our laps on the settee - I feel like we're very honoured and we mustn't actually touch his legs...grin. It makes me feel sad that I haven't cuddled him in years and I worry that he'll never find someone he wants to be in a relationship with - but we have to respect his very firm boundaries and he's happy with who he is. If I had to guess, I would say he's further along the autistic spectrum than lots of us, but we've never had him assessed- he's got other querks along with the no physical contact but no single issue that is such a huge issue that we've wanted to take him to the docs.

Ds2 is the complete opposite - now 14 and still likes cuddles and holding hands grin .

Prusik Sat 26-May-18 08:34:45

I just wrote a whole long reply and lost it by accidentally clicking on the advert!!

He's been tricky in terms of minor health issues. Dietary problems, early hospital admissions. He took his first steps in Dec but still isnt really walking.hv has referred for hearing and eye tests to rule that out. They had some concerns about his development due to the amount he sleeps but that's ok now,. I think.

Also there are the inevitable judgements anout how much I may or may not be struggling due to the fact that I also have a 4 month old

Jammiebammie Sat 26-May-18 08:39:26

My youngest dd was always like that and she has sensory processing disorder and asd. I’m not saying your dc has this, it may just be he isn’t a touchy person, or a phase, but I do think it’s worth mentioning to the heath visitor.
What is he like with noises?
My dd finds gentle touches almost painful, she does like deep pressure though but at 9, there’s still parts of her (ears,head,feet,stomach) that we can’t touch at all

Prusik Sat 26-May-18 08:46:57

He's not great with people who talk loudly but is ok with his brothers noises. He doesn't like anything loud or sudden.

He's definitely weird about having his clothes on and is now mastering taking them off!! He often lifts his top off his tummy.

I'm not sure he would have asd. I don't know how it presents in one so young but he's sociable, engaging, plays up for comical impact (shows off). But does like to play on his own and potter quite a bit. He's initially quite shy around new people and places but not abnormally so.

I can't think of anything else relevant

Notonthestairs Sat 26-May-18 08:56:28

Talk to your health visitor - if it is sensory processing issues she will be able to get things moving to access support.
I know that sounds scary but it's all about making his life as easy as you can. And understanding why he might not like certain things will help him and you.
Honestly the HV won't judge you.
My DD has ASD -NOT SAYING THAT YOUR CHILD DOES TOO SO DONT PANIC - I resisted getting help for so long and it just made our lives and most importantly hers more complicated. Once I understood why she was doing things differently lots of things made sense and we could adjust things to suit her. I have a similar age gap between mine.

Nevth Sat 26-May-18 09:10:10

Hi OP, I was exactly like this when I was little. I still have a strong sense of private space and although I don't like being touched by people in general (unless I know them well), I am very tactile with my DP and love cuddling with him. Dating etc has never been a problem, because it is on my terms. I recall struggling when I was maybe ten when relatives wanted to hug, kiss me etc and I couldn't say no (my mum did step in). It was not about the actual touch but the blatant disregard for me saying no. My mum often jokes about how she could never hold or touch me for more than 2 secs ever since I was born!

I have no sensory processing issues or other ASD indicators - I have just been very private since I was a kid!

junebirthdaygirl Sat 26-May-18 09:20:49

I know a little boy like that and after 2 sessions with an OT he didn't cry and scream when having his hair washed. He is continuing with the OT and it is really helping him. It can be a sensory thing and the sooner you get help the better as he is so young. This can also account for food issues as they feel the texture of food much more than regular and also hear noises much louder. Its all to do with having very sensitive senses/ very heightened senses. Read up a bit online but don't go jumping to conclusions. Get help as you are doing nothing wrong and don't have to apologise for getting your little guy everything he needs.

DottyDotAgain Sat 26-May-18 09:28:24

Nevth thanks for posting - I know this isn't my thread but it's good to hear you've got a dp as thisnksnwhat I sorry about the most with my ds - really want him to find someone when he's older that he wants to be close with!

Prusik my ds also used to have issues with clothes - he didn't like certain textures on his skin - liked soft things mainly. I still remember the traumas of his pre-school airtex too which he hated! That's gone these days, thankfully! He was incredibly fussy with food and eating in terms of textures- is tons better but still the most fussy in the family - he can pick out microscopic pieces of onions and mushrooms, no matter how small we make them! But at 16 he is much more content than he was as a young child. He said a while ago that he's always felt like an old person - so the more he ages the happier he is. He's also never liked other children- they've always seemed childish to him even though he's the same age hmm - other children have always been noisier and dirtier than he's ever been (he's s bit OCD about dirt/being messy or sticky, which was quite tricky when he was little!).

Sorry - wittering on - but you're not alone smile

museumum Sat 26-May-18 09:35:28

OP definitely mention this to any hcp you see about his other issues, it could be part of a picture that means these things are a single thing not lots of different issues. It might be that understanding the touch thing helps him with his walking or vice versa. Please don’t worry they’ll judge you or your parenting.

Notonthestairs Sat 26-May-18 09:38:51

Could the clothes sensitivity relate to the labels? We cut out labels and will trim down seams. Seamless socks are quite tricky to find but might be worth trawling the internet for.

Noise sensitivity is quite common in small children I think. As he gets older you can try ear defenders for very noisy situations. My DD trialled white noise generators but it wasn't for her.

Prusik Sat 26-May-18 09:58:33

He doesn't have any issues with food - just allergy/intolerance related.

Thankyou all for the advice

Prusik Sat 26-May-18 09:59:15

I don't think it's particularly labels, mostly just the process of getting dressed

laurzj82 Sat 26-May-18 10:00:57

My daughter is like this. She has SPD and is awaiting an assessment for ASD. I wouldn't necessarily be worried at this stage but would keep it in mind if you find continued problems with dressing, tooth brushing etc as he gets older

sashh Sat 26-May-18 12:05:07

Apparently I was like that.

A chilled happy baby unless someone tried to cuddle me.

As an adult I do have some sensory processing ie music at a certain pitch hurts and I don't really do hugs.

I am better with clothing but I really prefer cotton to anything synthetic although I CAN wear it.

One thing I CANNOT stand is a light touch, it makes me want to scratch my skin off.

I have a few things that people say I'm 'on the spectrum' but no diagnosis.


OMG I am so your son, well not really but I know exactly how he feels, I couldn't stand children, they always wanted to do silly things.

DottyDotAgain Sun 27-May-18 15:06:21

sashh grin I'm glad he's not alone and it's so lovely hearing from grown ups that have been like this as a child! Ds1 really does despair of being a child...! At least now he's 16, and 6'2" he looks like a grown up and gets treated more like one by most people.

littledinaco Sun 27-May-18 15:30:24

I thought sensory processing difficulties too. If it is that, there is LOADS you can do. If you can find an OT with sensory intergration qualification, they can give you a ‘sensory diet’ to follow, not a food diet, but activities to do with your DS every day. It can be things like deep pressure touch, rolling him up in a blanket, getting him to push/pull a heavy cart, carry a heavy backpack, roll on a sensory board, jump up and down, spin, hanging him upside down.

There are lots of activities but an OT will work out which ones will help your DS.

For some children with SPD, clothes and touch hurt them as the brain registers the feeling as ‘pain’. The sensory diet can help them tolerate touch. Some children struggle with the transition, so going from a wet nappy to no nappy to clean nappy can be stressful for them.

The sooner you can intervene, the better really.

Games you could play could be painting each other with dry/clean paintbrushes (get all different sizes, etc so it’s fun for him), even if it’s just letting him paint you for now. Let him do your arms, face, over your clothes,etc.
Throwing soft balls/cushions at each other.
If he tolerates deep pressure touch rather than lighter touch, roll him up tightly in a blanket and press on him all over - turn it into a game like you are making a hotdog, putting sauce on him or something else daft.
If you’ve got wooden floors, sit him on a big blanket and drag him across the room.

littledinaco Sun 27-May-18 15:49:28

Meant to add even if it’s not SPD, those things should still help him to be able to tolerate clothes/touch better.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: