Sometimes Our Special Kids are Just Kids

The dread of last summer visited us already this spring.

Nights filled with tiny bumps about J’s feet, legs and arms that delivered the unsatisfiable itch. No anti-itch lotions or creams could touch it. The “brush” usually reserved for sensory processing disorder related therapy was now used to give temporary relief to the insanity. Of course it only did so for the time it was being used, as the moment we stopped the scratching, the itch would return.

It would drive J crazy. It would drive us crazy. Every single day and night filled with the routine of constant itching.

Towards the end of last summer, we visited our immunologist for suggestions. Puzzled, he was of what it could be. It wasn’t a food allergy, these were already ruled out. Interesting for where it would happen…all parts of his body exposed to the sun. Actually, just his limbs with his face and neck being spared.

It couldn’t be detergent, since it wasn’t the parts his clothing touched. Same for lotions, sunscreen, bug spray etc. It was decided that J had an extremely rare occurrence of Porphyria…in this case, in the form of an allergy to the sun.


Well, we thought, why not. He has Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Epilepsy (a rare form of epilepsy at that), Sensory Processing Disorder…why not hit him with an allergy to the sun just for giggles (we would say in our most sarcastic jokes). All the testing that could be done was only for a final determination that he was NOT allergic to the sun – which wasn’t finally figured out until the end of the summer when the bumps simultaneously disappeared with the disappearance of our sun worshiping traded for winter.

Until a couple weeks ago.

The bumps reappeared. Within the outside arches of his feet. Unsatisfiable itching. No lotion subsiding the need to scratch…We were up all night.

Feet in Grass by John Kenzer via FlickrThen it dawned on us….he went running through the grass. Barefoot. That day. And now he’s itching exactly where his feet would have touched the grass. Not on the tougher, rougher underside, but on the part of the foot that begins to turn into the delicacy of skin. It itched there.

He’s allergic to the grass’s touch on his skin.

Not the sun. No rare diagnosis or disease was due to bring us even more exhaustion and him even more care…it was the grass. Simple, though, quite honestly somewhat a pain in the a$$ during the summer fun. But. Simple. Grass.

Sometimes we forget that even though he’s a Special Child…he’s also a child. A child who is still susceptible to all the “normal” things that any other child is susceptible to.

Has something like that happened for you?

(Photo By:  John Kenzer / Flickr)

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