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She really won't get ready in morning (poss sensory ASD)

(14 Posts)
Blossom4538 Mon 20-Feb-17 09:37:22

DD (almost 6) poss ASD, sm, sensory issues, is getting worse and an hour and 40 mins later, she's still not dressed as doesn't like feel of clothes and is sat in soft onesie. She's refusing to go out so abandoned this mornings plans in last day of school hols.

We had to do same yesterday and all day she either wore onesie or stripped off, walking around in knickers. She wouldn't brush teeth, which used to be perfectly looked after, now they're turning yellow. Wouldn't brush hair.

I'm at my wits end. We have problems before school too. I calmed her down this morning but as soon as we attempted getting dressed again, she got worked up and refused to wear anything.

Incentives/rewards don't seem to work.

I'm so stressed. Dreading back to school. sad

Blossom4538 Mon 20-Feb-17 09:45:01

Feel useless, can't even get my child to get ready in morning.

We had awful day yesterday and I can't do a whole day stuck at home again today

MayorMayhem Mon 20-Feb-17 10:01:51

I have very similar issues here, my DD is nearly 7. In the holidays I completely reduce my expectations - we went out yesterday with her in a soft onesie and wellies. We sometime get funny looks but she doesn't care and if it makes life easier that's fine with me. She has "favourite" clothes that she can be persuaded to wear eventually (on a good day!) but it's a nightmare buying new clothes and finding Ines that aren't itchy/ uncomfortable. I have to be inventive with teeth brushing - just bought a flashingtoothbrush but that still doesn't encourage her so I feel your pain there.
Getting ready for school is a daily battle though - we still have to dress her as she won't do it herself. Tried visual timetables and reward charts but they haven't worked. What does work is distraction - she can have the iPad whilst I dress her and I talk about anything other than getting dressed! Works 50% of the time. The other 50% I have to threaten her with taking her to school in her pants!

MayorMayhem Mon 20-Feb-17 10:04:42

Where are you going today? Can she wear her onesie? Or dress as a superhero? (My daughter went out one day in swimming costume and wellies - I took leggings and jumper and when she was cold she agreed to put them on.
Sympathise with refusing to leave the house too. I am just going to have that battle. Is it that she's anxious about going out too? I find if my DD is anxious about what we are doing she is more resistant to getting dressed too.

Blossom4538 Mon 20-Feb-17 10:21:37

Oh my goodness, they sound so similar! Does your DD have a diagnosis at all?

I think she can be like it even if relaxed about where we're going really.

Distraction and making her laugh occasionally works for us but seems to be getting harder. I've just written a note to hand into school tomorrow as it is becoming such a challenge getting her ready in the morning. We have to leave for school at 8:10 and we allow 2 hours to get ready in morning.

Yes, dressing up (costumes) to go out help sometimes here too.

It's becoming really stressful and I'm finding it hard to keep my patience now. I'm trying to be understanding.

MayorMayhem Mon 20-Feb-17 10:26:53

I know that feeling. Some days I can channel my inner calm and other days I feel like screaming "just bloody get dressed, it's not that bloody hard!" Like you we have to have at leave 2 and a half hours in a morning for what should be a 10 minute job that is getting ready!
DD has a diagnosis of ASD with traits of PDA but hey don't formally diagnose PDA in our area - we were advised to try PDA techniques and they do seem more successful (sometimes!) We think her refusing to get dressed is an anxiety thing - avoiding the demand of both getting dressed and having to leave the house. And sensory stuff too of not liking clothes. Nightmare!
Does she have favourite clothes?

Blossom4538 Mon 20-Feb-17 12:00:39

She has a few dresses but it's getting harder. She's currently sat in her knickers and is refusing to drink anything.

MoMandaS Mon 20-Feb-17 13:27:33

I know it sounds counterintuitive but have you tried her with an electric toothbrush? Only thing that got DS1 back into brushing his teeth - I think maybe the vibrating sensation distracted him from or covered up whatever sensory problem he was experiencing with the normal toothbrush.

Blossom4538 Mon 20-Feb-17 14:57:09

Thanks, tried that and she wasn't keen!

MoMandaS Mon 20-Feb-17 15:26:05

Hope you've managed to get out today. I can totally sympathise with losing patience despite best efforts to understand why it's happening, especially when there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it flowers

littledinaco Mon 20-Feb-17 15:46:13

Have you tried warming the clothes on the radiator/ironing them first. Sometimes that can make the transition easier.

Does she have a sensory diet? Daily activities like deep pressure touch and joint compressions can really help with tactile defensiveness.

You might have to lower your expectations, so depending on where you are going, let her go in the onesie and take clothes incase she changes her mind.

Toothbrushing - have you tried different flavour toothpaste, if you haven't already, you may have to experiment with a few until you find one that's not as bad.

Hairbrushing - have you tried a tangle teaser hairbrush?

Getting ready to go out is really difficult for children with SPD. Incentives / rewards often don't work as the things she's got to do (getting dressed/hair/teeth) are probably so distressing to her.

Blossom4538 Mon 20-Feb-17 19:27:30

Thank you, your replies are hugely appreciated!

We did manage to get out at around 3:30 after a little more fuss about getting ready. She was happy as allowed to go out in dressing up costume! We had issues with socks and I had to search for a soft pair and lots of fussing around, so took a while.

We are aware of her sensory needs/dislikes and what can calm her but need to focus more on sensory diet I think.

She is starting to brush her teeth slightly better after trying sooo many toothpastes etc.

Will def try warming her clothes, thanks for tip!

Do you think sensory struggles can go up and down over periods of time? Is this linked to anxiety? I know there are certain things that our little girl cannot stand (usually auditory). The tactile defensiveness has been there for a long time but worse over past few weeks. Do your children also not really let u near them/have physical contact to help, e.g. With clothes?

Also, mornings getting ready for day are usually worse than evenings, getting ready for bed.

I do often feel, as you said, so distressing for her, it is beyond the point of rewards/incentives making any difference. I tried explaining that to someone today.

littledinaco Mon 20-Feb-17 20:37:14

Socks-you can try desensitising her feet by rubbing/massaging/deep pressure touch. Do this before putting socks on and as soon as socks are on. Also do at other times if she will let you. You can get a special brush to brush feet with (some children don't like this tough). I had huge success getting my DD to tolerate socks but it did take months of doing this every day. You can also buy sensory socks without seams/soft material but they are expensive.

Yes, definitely go through phases with struggles over periods of time. I think it can be anxiety but it can also be that the sensory input in other areas is not right. So, for example, my DD needs lots of prepoceptive feedback to help with tactile defensiveness (we do joint compressions, jumping up and down, etc) so if she has not been getting this, her system will be all out of sync, her tactile defensiveness will be worse and she will struggle to get dressed. Hope I've explained that properly and it makes sense!

This could be why your DD struggles more in the morning (mine DD is same) as she gets sensory input during the day so it's easier at night. Or it could be that she prefers her pyjamas to clothes, you're less stressed as there's no pressure to get out or a mixture of a few things.

When my DD wouldn't let me near her to help with clothes, it was usually at the point where she had gone 'past it' so she was in a state of extreme anxiety by this point and we usually had to abandon.

If you can find an OT to assess her, they can work out what areas she is under/over responsive in and give you a sensory diet to follow. This will help to regulate her whole system so then things like auditory defensiveness become less of a problem.

Well done for managing to get out, it's so difficult and so frustrating. I think the struggles getting dressed is one of the hardest things I've had to deal with. If it gives you hope, my DD is 7 and for the past 6 months or longer we have turned a corner and now have minimal issues with getting dressed. I honestly never thought I would say that. What helped was her being able to dress herself (which came really late due to other issues), lots of propreoceptive activities and we did body brushing on the advice of an OT.

Like you've said, I'd just abandon rewards altogether as it's not something she is choosing to do and some days, no matter how hard she tries she just may not be able to get dressed regardless of the reward so it can just be setting them up to fail.

Blossom4538 Tue 21-Feb-17 14:00:41

Thank u so much, really helpful!

She did great this morning, first day back at school after half term!! The only thing she couldn't tolerate was any headbands/clips in her hair. She was relaxed and she responded well to distraction and being made to laugh (this doesn't always work). Praised her and she got gold star on her chart - will give her a little treat after school too.

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