The power of a Post-It note

I am sure you’re thinking, “You cannot write an entire post about Post-It notes.” Well, you’re right! I can’t do that, so I guess I am going to have to include some other awesome sensory friendly finds from unexpected places. Don’t knock them until you try them!

It’s really important to remember that a co-morbidity — or the presence of two (or in our case more) disorders — means that they all can and will affect each other. For example, if the boy is having a sensory overloaded day with too much input from his environment, you had better believe that will affect his Tourette Syndrome, which will affect his Asperger’s or ADHD and more than likely his Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) — thus making for a really hard day. Hence, the power of a Post-It.

The boy is petrified of toilets. He hates to sit on them, hates to go to the bathroom in them and, most importantly, he is absolutely afraid of the flush. The noise, the motion, the spray associated — all of it is just too much. So when those amazingly intelligent and crafty inventors thought up the automatic flush, the rest of the population probably thought it was great. No more touching of germ filled surfaces, woo hoo! Meanwhile, we were filled with a murderous rage every time we had to leave the house, because we knew we would encounter at least a few of these new toilets.

I tried everything from holding my hand in front of the motion censor, to asking the boy to stay seated the entire time (yeah, right). No matter what, we always get stuck with the overachieving toilet with something to prove. It was ridiculous, and the boy’s fear was getting worse. The boy would hold “it” for so long that the physical discomfort was causing him to act out — the very thing we were trying to avoid. Then the downward spiral would occur, leading to a meltdown, and next thing we know our family outing is over and we are heading home.

Then I discovered the holy grail (actually, I didn’t discover it, it was presented to me — just let me have this one thing!).

So here it is: “Just place a Post-It over the censor and don’t remove it until he exits the stall to cover his ears…” says the boy’s occupational therapist (OT). Says the boy’s OT like it’s no big deal. Like she didn’t just save a huge portion of my sanity (what I have left of it).

I had to show a ridiculous amount of self restraint to not kiss her feet right then and there! They work, they are amazing and I should have thought of this! But sometimes when we are in the thick of it, the solution escapes us, so thank you to the powers that be for bestowing this knowledge upon us. I really think we could gain an endorsement deal here because we use and talk about these magical little slips of paper so much, we have totally earned a commission!

For my next installment, I need you to put on your grown-up pants and try not get totally freaked out. Keep in mind that I am a stay-at-home momster, so when I get a chance to go out and socialize with real grown-up people, half or more of my brain is still at home with the little people.

My most recent outing was to a girlfriend’s house for a *deep breath* “Passion Party”.  Ooooh la la? Not so much. Remember, I am thinking about my kids still! So we all sit around and laugh uncomfortably while we discuss adult merchandise — don’t forget the wine! Our host is adorable and confident. She makes me feel more comfortable, and now we move on to testing some of the stash.

The very first thing we check out is called “The Smitten Mitten” and it is super! This magical mitten is a jelly latex with massaging nubs all over it that provide firm input. I don’t know if this is weird (I do know, and it is!) but the first thing I think of is — I need this for the boy!!

Now, I warned that these were sensory finds from unexpected places, so hang in there with me! Gear from OT-based sites is expensive and we don’t always have those kind of resources. This mitten is only $10, and it works wonders for input and relaxation. It all depends on how much pressure you use. I encourage you to find a friend that sells these wares and get one. If not for your sensory special kids, for yourself! Let’s move on quickly to a more innocent find!

I knew I was officially a mom the other day when, after volunteering for cross country practice, I was invited by another mom to my very first book club. I think this is just a phase we go through when we start using these parties as an excuse to get together, laugh and drink some wine. I don’t really care what the motive is as long as I get the invite!

Recently, I was approached by a friend to host a Scentsy party, and I don’t regret it one bit. As an incentive and a gift, she sent the boy his very own Scentsy Buddy. I believe from the bottom of my heart that no child with sensory processing disorder should be without one of these little stuffed animals! They are totally the softest and sweetest little variety of stuffed friends.

But that isn’t even the best part! They are portable and the scents are provided by little sachets that you can switch out as often as you like. That means a constant range of input from the most relaxing lavender all the way to citruses known for helping us stay alert. We take ours wherever we go. I want one for myself!

Read more from me at Momma Has Monsters.


  1. As I wake up to get ready for work (it’s 3:30 a.m. here in Australia, for those of you in the States!), I just read this rippa of a blog from Kiel. You are such a good writer, mate! Good on ya, and I hope you keep writing. Be encouraged that what you are doing will help your son. You are a good mum. Takes one to know one eh? Cheers!

    • TSMum, thank you so much for your words of encouragement! This blog has been so therapeutic for me and your words mean more than you may know (or do you? ha!).

      I’d quickly like to share with you that my son loves high fives. He is dead set on getting that perfect “smack” sound when he performs them with me. It can be really frustrating for him to match his hand to mine from the upward position. So, my little aspie – ticking genius came up with something better.

      The Australian high five comes from the bottom up (we are in Tacoma, WA, US) and it makes me laugh every.single.time! I hope you get a kick out of that!

      Thanks again and you’re right- It does take one to know one. You must be an awesome mom too!

  2. Hi Kiel. That’s an interesting name! It’s great. I had a question for you, since I’m on a commenting frenzy this morning…..since your son has both Tourette Syndrome and Asperger’s Syndrome, which of the two do you think manifests itself more in his everyday life. My boy has TS, but not Asperger’s. He’s also got OCD, and sometimes it seems like the OCD definitely holds sway. Curious to your input.

    • Hey Alfred.First, thank you so much for taking the time to read and share with me! I really believe that when a comorbidity is present the two tango and depending on the trigger for the behavior – you get whatever is most affected.

      Like a child with OCD my little boy has rituals and if they don’t go right, it can manifest more tics and if those tics make him upset or affect the ritual, he gets more sensitive to sensory input and if he gets more sensitive to input he may start stimming, and if he stims more he may mess up his ritual… and so it goes.

      I think my job is to help manage his life and stick to our routine so he can rely less on his rituals. This way his disorders are less likely to take over and we can move more freely throughout our day. That is of course the perfect goal – we never get it right completely. We are always working on it though!

      Did I answer your question?

      • Kiel, yes it did, thank you, but sometimes I still think that all of these comorbidities (I hate that word) all run together and that there should be one overriding condition that describes them all. Everyone always says that a lot of these disorders fall on the same spectrum as autism. Maybe Tourette Syndrome, Asperger’s, OCD and all the others really are just a form of autism. I know they aren’t, but they could be, who knows? Anyway, thank you for your input.

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