Now this is a big one! Jelibean as yet have not come across many jelibeans who don't a difference in the way they feel on a physical level. Some jelibeans HATE being touched EVER. Others can only tolerate short squeezy touch whilst others hug you until there is no breath left inside you and you collapse to the floor gasping! Many on the autism spectrum like the feeling of a garment that has been lined with weights. The heavier the shirt/blouse/top the better! Many need the feeling of a weighted blanket at night - it's comforting and aids sleep.
Touch doesn't just affect how one person physically touches another, it's clothes and fabrics too that can cause HUGE problems for a jelibean.
How many labels have you cut out of garments recently? How many times does your jelibean scratch themselves only to complain that the fabric they are wearing feels like thousands of tiny needles stinging and hurting their skin? We hear it all the time. Even a compulsory school uniform can present parents and schools with a dilemma. What to do when your jelibean refuses to wear the compulsory black jumper complaining that it is so uncomfortable they can't concentrate on anything and it sends them into meltdown? What to do when the headteacher can't understand why this should be and wants medical verification before permission for something else to be worn is allowed?
Many jelibean suffer with excema and other skin conditions from a very early age. Often these hypersensitivies clear up as a child gets older. But for some these discomforts go on for life but change as we get older.
Stress and anxiety sometimes presents in ways we may not notice. Why is our darling jelibean EATING their school jumper? Why when they walk through the door after school has even more of their sleeve disappeared? Eating jumpers is believe it or not VERY COMMON. The amount of children jelibean see presenting with this is huge, raggly taggly ripped school jumpers are a speciality of ours. The sensation of fabric can cause meltdowns in a heartbeat, the thought that they may have to wear something that is HATED is often a step too far.
Some jelibeans wear the same clothes DAY IN AND DAY OUT! Some choose to wear PYJAMAS all day! Whilst others prefer NOTHING and strip off running round the house in their birthday suits - oblivious to the fact that actually Aunt Maud would prefer them covered! And it's not only fabrics, it can be SHOES too. Many hate wearing shoes and will at every opportunity kick them off in favour of barefeet. Others will take a shine to a pair of wellington boots that feels particularly nice and refuse to take them off....even going to bed with them on.
And what about the feeling of PAIN? Some jelibeans can cheerfully fall over and get up again unhurt even though there is a 3inch gaping wound on their body somewhere. A HYPO sensitivity can lead to a jelibean not knowing they have hurt themselves. They just don't feel the pain as much as others. Often jelibean hear about children walking around for days with a broken ankle or a nasty injury that should really have received immediate medical attention. Doctors always find this slightly strange and can question parents as to why they have not alerted anyone before, parents feel very vulnerable when they admit 'they didn't know'.
We will be discussing all the senses in many other articles. The variations are huge and everyone is different.