Bec d'état - Rebecca Scott

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16 Jul 2023

I don’t like minty toothpaste. It burns my mouth and it makes me feel yuck. I don’t know how to describe it differently. If I’m trying to wind down for sleep the last thing I want to do is smear this intense mint taste over my tongue.

I discovered about a year ago that kid’s toothpaste contains almost as much fluoride as adult toothpaste. So I found some Wiggles branded vanilla and strawberry toothpaste and switched to that.

Since then I also found some adult toothpaste in different flavours, like mango, blueberry, and coconut. There’s a whole world of non-mint toothpaste to explore!

Sensory processing

Everyone processes sensory inputs in different ways. Some people don’t like the taste of certain foods—sauerkraut or olives, pineapple on pizza. Some people don’t like the feel of certain fabrics or textures—velvet, leather. Smells—strong perfumes or deodorants, laundry powders. Sound is a classic—nails on chalkboards, loud shopping centres.

I don’t like going into Peter Alexander, a chain of stores that sell sleepwear. The lights are far too bright and the colours of everything combined together are far too vivid. I actually veer away from the entrance of the store when I’m walking past it. There’s another store nearby that is lovely and dark, however they sell soaps and oils and the smell is overwhelming, and I avoid the entrance of that store as well.

Sometimes I leave my sunglasses on when going to shopping centres. I also carry two sets of loop earplugs, which are really comfortable and discreet earplugs that block different sound profiles. These are great when going into the supermarket—they mute people talking loudly, the music playing, announcements, and the sound of trolleys banging around. Sometimes that’s the only way I can handle buying groceries.

I also put my earplugs in when I’m working and the neighbours are mowing the lawn and I don’t want to block out the sound with music. Without slowing down that auditory sensory processing I tend to get anxious and tense. Blocking certain sounds helps with that anxiety and lets me get through the day.

They also help when kidlette has friends over, and they’re being noisy and squealing. I love him and enjoy hearing them all having fun, but blocking out some of their particular frequencies lets me appreciate them without launching into a minor panic.

What sensory processing challenges do you experience? And do you have any tips on handling them?