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Autism and fingernail picking(5 Posts)
I’m hoping for advice from anyone else who has experienced this.
Ds (8) has autism, doesn’t stim very much but instead will pick at his fingernails when anxious or just not really thinking about it (during assembly and class, watching tv etc). His fingernails are so short they are only about halfway up the nail bed, the skin around them is sometimes swollen and he has occasionally gone lower and had bleeding fingers.
When they are sore he refuses to wash them or get them wet in the bath which doesn’t help.
Mostly when I see him doing it I tell him to stop and he does, occasionally this does distress him and he just goes off and picks furtively.
He has done this since he was young, when he was little I could tape his fingertips with surgical tape as recommended by his gp but now he’s older he can just pull it off.
Fidget toys have not helped. Bribery (you can have X once they grow out to match the tip of your finger) does not work.
Any advice? He currently has a massive red patch on his thumb that is raw
DD used to pick the skin around her fingers, they were in an awful state. I twigged it was anxiety and sensory-seeking, so tried to keep everything on an even keel as much as possible and on bad days at home during waking hours as well as sleeping she used cotton gloves inside out, on top of an olive oil, beeswax and vitamin E salve.
Also tried other sensory input, knobbly cushion to sit on as well as under feet because of sensory-seeking constant feet-shuffling, leg-swinging and bouncing.
Anything I could think of to use as fidget toys like blutack, stretching theraputty, stretchy thick elastic bands, strings of beads of different textures to rub between fingertips, spiky and knobbly small massage balls rolled over hands, arms and legs in an attempt to shift the area needing extra sensation.
Keep at it, try different things, nothing works 100% but some things do help.
Thank you both, I will have a look at some more fidget tools and give coconut oil a try