Thanksgiving Overload.

I’m having a hard time today. Holidays are always overwhelming even if they are nice. Yesterday was actually very pleasant but I’m paying for it today. Everything is bothering me. “K” is at max volume today because she’s excited which means I’ve spent most of my morning wishing I’d remembered to buy ear plugs the last time I went to the store and grinding my teeth. She is also in seeking mode so she wants to be hugged every 5 minutes. I feel guilty because she isn’t at a point yet where she understands sometimes people need a break from hugs. She gets very upset and I worry that she thinks I don’t love her. 

She has come such a long way. Today I asked her if she saw the baby’s bottle, without skipping a beat she said “The bottle, where is it?” and started to search for it with me. Then after I put the baby down for a nap she looked at me and said “(insert baby’s name)’s crying, wake up baby”. The baby was not crying, this was her way of saying she wanted me to go get him, she missed him! 

I remember someone telling me “K” couldn’t be Autistic because she liked people and hugs, and was very affectionate. There seems to be so little known about the sensory seeking side of Autism. I believe it adds to the reasons why some children are diagnosed later than others. 

“K” is primarily a seeker, she loves touch, hugs, running into walls, jumping, rubbing her hands, feet, mouth on random objects, listening to several noises at once and making sounds or talking all day long to help meet her auditory needs. It makes her happy so as long as she isn’t hurting herself so I try to find ways to distract myself from the assault on my sensitive senses…. like writing this post as she watches Disney Jr, rides around on the baby’s ride on toy, pressing the music buttons and switching between singing and screaming. Usually I hate the our home doesn’t have an open concept layout but today I am thankful as the wall between us helps minimize the sound a bit.


My stomach was/is also overwhelmed by yesterday’s meal. Some of this might be because I’ve had an even harder time sleeping, more than usual. Last night I gave in and took a Benadryl to make me sleepy, I couldn’t take not sleeping anymore.   

6 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Overload.

  1. You’re right, people assume ALL kids with autism don’t like being hugged, because that is the stereotype. Many kids with autism actually love the feeling of a tight squeeze and definitely seek out sensory experiences! Do you guys have a little indoor trampoline? It can help with the sensory seeking because they will bounce and bounce and it is safer than running around and slamming into things!

    • We’ve wanted to buy her one but money has been issue. I just saw a sale for one of those yoga ball type things with handle, I think it’s called a hopper that we will likely get her for Christmas.

  2. I am glad you wrote this. I have problems with auditory and visual overload, but have always been very tactile sensory-seeking and movement/pressure seeking especially as a kid. I loved to hang on people, climb, crawl in and on things, ride on my grand pa’s back (the best thing ever), and when I was a bit older, playfighting in school. My favourite/only regular sports activities were horse riding and swimming (well, more like playing in the water), and as an adult the one sport I’ve been doing over some years is Judo. I loved that it is situation that allow adults to playfight, altough I didn’t become really good at any of the advanced techniques I have good intuitive fighting skills probably because of my childhoood playfighting history:-) I also love massage and run every morning (almost). I’m also quite sensory seeking with smells and like, get fascinated by or tolerate many different kinds of smells even some which are generally considered unpleasant.

    I don’t like to hug people as greetings (or that they hug me), but that is not because I don’t like touch, it is more because it is awkward and invades my personal space.

    • I love hearing about the different sensory seeking and/or avoidant behavior. I am the opposite with smells, I can’t tolerate many, there is only one perfume I’ve ever worn and that was years ago, I really don’t like it. I do love to smell the smells that I like though, for instance my body wash, sometimes I will randomly go into the bathroom just smell it. “O” loves my body wash as well, I love to sit close to him after he’s used it.

      • I find my dogs’ smells very calming, especially close to their necks/ears;-) it makes me happy and more social. However, my previous dog’s neck and ears had some sort of unique smell(s) that worked like a drug… incredible relaxing and serenity-inducing, it was like a sort of highly effective olfactory happy pill, hard to describe. She was a very intense dog and always into things outdoor, so her fur smell was mixed with a blend of outdoorsy smells like soil, grass, leaves, and a number of nameless spicey odeour traces that varied with the season and place et.c. My youngest brother, then a toddler, had discovered it too. I had to keep an eye on him around my dog because otherwise he would almost strangle her pressuring his face into her neck and ears and inhaling deeply while holding (too) tightly around her with his arms to keep her in place:-) He would do it often when he had the chance, almost like an addiction. The dog loved him, but I think she wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been around to moderate my brother’s treatment of her:-)

      • Actually I am just making assumption based on my own experience, maybe the sensation of the (very soft) fur and ears was an equally important factor to him.

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