Friday, January 16, 2009

Do You Smell That?

I apologize in advance if this post is rather scatterbrained. I made truffles today, and am currently on a major sugar high as a result of the massive quantities of chocolate I consumed during the cooking process. The fact that some of the truffles contained espresso probably did not help.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen today, which brings me to my topic for the evening-- using your spice rack as a therapy tool.

As you all know, Connor has Sensory Processing Disorder. His mostly manifests in a reluctance to touch new objects and in an extreme sensitivity to texture, but all of the senses are connected. What we've discovered is that if we work on one sense-- sound, or smell for example-- after a while he's able to tolerate more stimulation of his other senses as well. So about once a week or so, I choose some selections from my spice rack, bath products box, and tea collection, and we spend about twenty minutes experiencing different smells.

It's very funny to watch which smells Connor enjoys and which he can't stand. He really likes smells that I use often in my cooking-- he particularly enjoys cinnamon, nutmeg, oregano and rosemary. He hates almost all floral scents. My lavender tea makes him act like I've shoved offal under his nose. He doesn't care for citrus. He also hates spicy scents, even though he loves spicy food.

Surprisingly enough, despite his hatred of all things floral, his favorite scent is jasmine. He LOVES the smell of my jasmine tea. Who wouldn't? That stuff is amazing. He will attempt to shove his entire nose into the jar to get closer to the smell. I have to save it for last, because he will sometimes refuse to smell anything else after it, but will just sit there whining and pouting until I let him smell it again.

During the spring and summer we venture out into the garden, and while I'm working I crush herbs and stick them under his nose. I'll rub them on his hands as well, and he spends a lot of time holding them to his nose, taking them away and looking at them, and then holding them to his nose again.

I've never been a big believer in aromatherapy, but in recent months I've changed my tune. I've found that if I have Connor smell some of his favorite scents before we go to a noisy, crowded place, he's less likely to have difficulties while we are out. I'm seriously considering getting some essential oils of his favorite scents and carrying them in my diaper bag to have on hand if he gets worked up about something. In the meantime we'll just keep making due with my less portable (but free!) garden herbs and spices.


1 comment:

Greymare said...

That's really kinda cool that the scents help him deal with other sensory stuff. I approve of his like of Jasmine, in general that stuff smells awesome.

Too bad he doesn't like lavender though, that's definately one of my favorites.

Blog Directory