lunes, 16 de agosto de 2010

What's Sensory Hypersensitivity?

Curiosa Redundancia, quizás por lo lejos que andábamos de percibir lo sensorial como la base no solo de nuestra vida, sino de toda la información que manejamos en nuestra existencia, esto es, de la tan renombrada sociedad del conocimiento y o de la información. Surge, con la "sensosfera" un nuevo "disco duro", un nuevo almacén de bits, de sensaciones, de información y de conocimiento, que había pasado prácticamente desapercibido desde los enfoques de las ciencias naturales. No así desde la fenomenología de Husserl, que describe con pelos y señales el acto de la percepción, como un "a priori", una etapa anterior, al proceso propio del pensar, del acto del pensamiento, y asimismo del emocionar...

Textures and smells hypersensitivities

Everyone likes certain textures, smells, tastes, noises, and sights better than others. For example, my son's best friend likes chicken, can take or leave lamb chops, and has a tough time tolerating the smell of fish cooking. But some kids are more sensitive to sensory stimuli than others.

Sensory Hypersensitivity means that a child is extra sensitive in one or more of the five senses—touch, taste, smell, hearing, and vision. Many bipolar children exhibit Sensory Hypersensitivity early on, but so do large numbers of children who don't suffer from any disorder at all. Take the case of Stanley. His mom described him as always having been very sensitive to what the family calls "the smell of home." When he was eight weeks old, the family visited a cousin in another part of the state. For the entire time, Stanley screamed and cried. His mom was positive it wasn't just colic; this crying was different and even more intense. It got so bad that his parents had to cut their visit short and leave after three days so that the rest of the extended family could have some peace and quiet. Once Stanley returned home, the crying ceased. He also seemed to enjoy breast feeding, and he had some unusual behaviors. "If I didn't know better," his mom said, "I'd swear he was sniffing me while he nursed."

It wasn't until he was six months old that his mom realized that Stanley grew inconsolable every time they left the house. She clearly remembered that when he was twenty-two months, they would visit a friend's house, and after an hour or two, Stanley would want to go home. As he moved into toddlerhood, he also became much more expressive about his extreme sensitivity to the texture of his clothing. He would often try to take off all his clothes when at home. If told to put something on, he'd refuse and say his clothes weren't comfortable. As Stanley got older, his sensory issues became even more apparent. He hated socks because the seams bothered his toes. He would only wear the same two pair of socks, and if they didn't feel exactly right, he'd yell, "I hate these yucky socks" and kick them off his feet.

Stanley made his mom get rid of the labels on his shirts and pants and refused to wear anything that was uncomfortable, which was most clothing. Only two or three outfits were OK. His mother was grateful that he loved superheroes, so wearing Superman or Batman cotton underwear (boxers only) was acceptable. She washed the same clothes so often, she couldn't believe they had held up so well. By the time he was five or six, Stanley became a little less rigid. As long as his socks were put on so that the seams were on the outside, he was fine. He began to wear other pants and shirts, but they were usually different colors of the same item from the same company (without labels, of course).

Stanley didn't like anyone touching him when he didn't initiate the interaction. He felt that any incident with others kids (such as someone bumping into him accidentally) was a hostile, purposeful act. The one person he allowed to touch him was his mother. When he was anxious or overly upset by someone, he would jump on her lap and stay there, as if attached by glue. He would try to put his hand in her shirt and start sniffing her skin. His mother found this incredibly embarrassing in public but realized this was just a continuation of what he had done as an infant. For some reason, the scent of his mother was comforting to him.

Stanley's attachment to home continued during his school years. He'd go to his friend's house for a playdate and after a while would say he wanted to go to home, even though he really was having a good time. Once when he came home, he walked around the kitchen, went to the top of the basement steps, and said, "The basement smells so sublime."

Clearly, Stanley struggled with hypersensitivity of his olfactory and tactile senses. Other aspects of his story may indicate elements of different disorders, but they were not causing significant problems in his ability to function in his daily life. But he didn't exhibit abnormal mood swings and therefore was not bipolar.

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