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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Car Washes - Sensory Blog Hop - #SensoryBlogHop

What did we avoid with Nathan for years? Yup, the dreaded car wash. It would put him into a sensory tailspin like you couldn't imagine. He'd start freaking out from the moment we started to pull in. Lots of tears and crying and even some screaming as we went through. It was NOT worth it. We would only go if he wasn't in the car. You know how we parents of kids with sensory issues are...sometimes avoidance is easier than actually trying to teach and desensitize. When you're in the midst of so many sensory and other battles, sometimes you pick and choose. 

Inside the colored soap carwash. 
Fast forward to just this week. Nathan still doesn't love car washes like his little sister does. She sees them as a grand adventure. But, he's now able to articulate with us and he had this to say about car washes, "When you learn what to expect, you learn that it can be kind of fun in the process." Who would have believed it? 

What is it about car washes that can put even a non-sensory kid on edge? Between the vibrations, the change in air pressure, the noise and the visual stimulation, it's a recipe for sensory overload and meltdown if you can't control all the emotions and anxiety. We did eventually find he prefers the car washes with colored soap that squirts onto the car. It makes the visual a little more appealing. 
And...when he asks if he can skip it these days, we give in. But, we know he CAN manage to get through without becoming overloaded and upset. 

How do your kids with or without sensory issues handle car washes? 


Merri Lewis said...

Oh my word. My son had his first panic attack in the carwash. He didn't like feeling so trapped, and he had no idea how long it would last, if it would ever end, etc. because he didn't understand our words when we tried to tell him. :(

Anonymous said...

Nice post! We avoided these for quite awhile too. Once we went to a car wash where you get out of the car and can watch the car go through the wash from behind big glass windows, and it seemed to help my boy understand the whole process. Now he doesn't mind it much so that I forget it can still be an overstimulating thing. Made the mistake of going through with the kid AND the dog in the car. They both freaked each other out. Ah, that was fun!

Full Spectrum Mama said...

Living on a dirt road, we stopped getting the car washed long ago: it lasts one day! But what a sensory EXPERIENCE! Good example...

Coolestmommy said...

Merri - I feel for you. We had no idea how terrifying it was for him when he was little and undiagnosed!

StayQuirky--love the idea of 'watching the car' go through the wash. Thumbs up!

Full Spectrum Mama - Dirt roads...I don't think I could do it. Whole other sensory thing for me. :-)

Mommy Catharsis said...

"When you learn what to expect, you learn that it can be kind of fun in the process." I love this! Your heart must have melted when he said this. He sounds wise beyond his years.
Thanks for sharing!

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