I’ve shared in the past how Sophie has gone through several different objects for self stiming. I remember when it first began it aggravated me, it was the socks. I had to have socks everywhere for her but sometimes she only wanted socks that had been on your feet and would scream at you relentlessly for you to take off your socks and give them to her. Eww! I know, I had to be the mean mom there and not allow it and guess what? She lived.
Then it was the strings. It started out with shoelaces than her preference became boot laces and ended in strings from sweat pants and sweaters. And just when I had built up a nice supplu of her favorite strings she lost interest in them
The last of her stiming tools was cloth belts, the ones with double rings. You know the ones we used as children and are extremely hard to find. Yeah those! But they could not be thin, they had to be cotton and the brighter the better.
Around the time we moved back to Florida about two months ago Sophie had lost interest in the belts. By now most of the strings were gone and the few belts I had left that we had not lost while out in public were in her toy box. Day after day she would just throw them around with no interest.
She had no interest in any and all physical objects unless it was furniture. She began putting her entire hand in her mouth, biting her lips until they would become swollen and biting her tongue. In the last few weeks I found myself wishing she would pick up her strings again. Her frustration grew to the point where she was inconsolable and in the process I would find myself breaking down not knowing how to calm her.
With her strings she was calmer, she would twirl them round and round switching from hand to hand. She would chew on them and the whole process was calming, it was especially useful when we were out running errands or at doctors appointments. The last few days I began to offer her the strings again. I would offer them and if she refused I sat there and twirled them a bit then I would place them next to her and walk away.
It’s been two days now that Sophie is once again regaining interest in her strings. I am so happy! I have a child who requires consistent sensory input and it is tiring to say the least. I decided I would pick my battles and this is one battle I will not fight. The belts at this very moment in time are useful and I can take them away at any time if I need to. And, the best part is she has been happier and calmer since she picked up her belts again.
I’m now labeling them as our “happy belts”!!