Itch-bugs and poppy seeds

By | March 5, 2012

We had a nice, quiet weekend. Meltdowns were minimal and short-lived. D spent a lot of the time drawing, colouring and making craft items. The drawing always relaxes her, she does some wonderful pictures.

Sunday night is always hairwash night and a comb through with the nit comb – or itch bug comb as D calls it. We very rarely find anything but it’s always good to know that she’s starting a new week at school nit-free.

I have tried suggesting to her that we do this on a weekend morning but it’s always met with resistance – the routine is for it to happen on a Sunday and that is that.

Hubbie & I had had soup & poppy seed rolls for lunch and D had tried some of the inside of the roll but no soup. Strange texture and green, a definite no-no.

Anyway, bathtime beckons and all is going well…until I find a poppy seed in her hair – she does tend to move her hair away from her face irrespective of whether she has crumbs on her hands or not. I comb out all sorts of things sometimes!!

D immediately looked at the poppy seed and thought it was an “itch-bug” – no amount of persuasion could tell her otherwise.

Hubbie brought up a poppy seed roll to show her but this didn’t help.

A meltdown ensued in the bath and a complete refusal to have her hair anyway near the face or body. This was challenging to say the least!

Eventually calmness came back and Melatonin issued but, now that the idea of a potential itch-bug (poppy seed!) was firmly in her head, she took a lot of persuading that everything was okay.

You know that subconscious feeling of an itch when the thought is planted in your head? A lot of that too.

She slept eventually for a couple of hours and then was awake for much of the night, worrying and having anxieties around itch-bugs. A very similar night to when she is affected by “blank screen anxieties” which I did a recent post about. This is where the OCD element of her autism really comes to the forefront.

I’ve kept her off school today, she probably had about 3 hours maximum sleep and not only would she have been an absolute nightmare to physically get through the school classroom door, she’d have been extremely tired and not enjoyed the day. I’d have worried about her too.

I can’t round this up with a little morale like I normally do, there isn’t a solution or cure when her anxieties take over like this, but here’s a picture of a poppy seed roll!

Comments, RTs as ever welcomed J 🙂


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Leigh Forbes (@spectrum_life) on 5th March 2012 at 1:44 pm.

My head is itching as I read ;o) I too get terribly OCD about head-lice – I detest the thought of infestation. Small girl got them last week, and I’m checking through, obsessively, twice a day. She loves having her hair touched (fortunately), but she hates sitting still, and doesn’t seem to understand that not checking will mean exponentially more lice! She thinks we can just “do it later”. I treat them every Sunday too, regardless, with an essential-oil in their shampoo. Hate the little critters!


Carla Breslin on 5th March 2012 at 2:06 pm.

Ah Jeannette I can so relate to this! Nits have been the bain of my life for the last few months with one or both of my boys bringing them home from school every other week. Hours of nit patrol every few days thinking I’ve got them all out and the eggs, then check again & somehow they’re back again. Ugh! My boys are always hugging each other but I’ve had to put a stop to the shows of brotherly love to try & stop the spread of the little crawlies
Bless your little D getting no sleep for stressing about them 🙁 Hope she’s had some rest today and is reassured that it was just the poppy seed.
Great post as always 🙂


Gill on 5th March 2012 at 2:42 pm.

You’ve made my head itch too!! Who’d have thought dinner could create so many problems! Sometimes we forget how such tiny things can create chaos!
Great blog!


Spectrummy Mummy on 5th March 2012 at 2:53 pm.

And you made me itch too! We’ve never had an incident of head lice, I can only imagine how tough that would be for a little one on the spectrum. Hope the day off school has lessened her anxiety. 🙂


Tracy on 5th March 2012 at 3:04 pm.

O I’m itching now lol
Never thought to check M hair now that he’s in nursery !
Planned trip to boots tomorrow #MeThinks
Regarding lil D, can totatlly relate , xx


Mary Aspinwall on 5th March 2012 at 5:45 pm.

Maybe a homeopathic remedy could help? Staphisagria is good when you feel violated or invaded. I have given it to kids with itch bugs. The bugs left. I know this is a poppy seed invasion, but I think it may still help. Big fan of combing BTW.


Mark on 5th March 2012 at 6:58 pm.

Hi,I am a support worker and work with young adults with Autism,Learning Difficulties and Epilepsy.I havent got a vast amount of experience as I have only made the career change about two and a half years ago.I follow Jeannette on Twitter and love the way she describes her daily life with D.You can feel the special bond and the highs and lows through her words.Sorry for waffling on a bit I will try to get the point.
At work we use a system called ABC,Its a way of documenting behaviour so we as a team can sit down and analyse behaviour and look at solutions to any types of negative behaviour.While reading the blog I noticed that D became anxious while getting her hair combed and seeing anything found in her hair.I have suggested quite a simple solution of having a spare comb,which you can swap without D seeing if anything is found.Hopefully things will be a lot calmer at the next bath time.I know we all lead busy lives and with the extra challenges Autism brings but if we share our thoughts w can help each other.


FlappinessIs on 5th March 2012 at 7:34 pm.

Oh dear, now you’ve gone and given me nightmares. I honestly never once have considered how awful it would be for my autistic toddler to get lice. He won’t even allow a scissor haircut. I can’t imagine. Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.


Ellen Page (@Autarkisx) on 6th March 2012 at 2:17 pm.

You just don’t realise how many challenges there can be. It can be difficult to explain and bring reassurance. My son is really good with some things, but becomes distressed over things I wouldn’t even consider. He is currently getting over chickenpox, which didn’t bother him at all, thankfully.

Hope she is feeling better and calmer today.


manyhatsmommy on 10th March 2012 at 3:27 pm.

Meltdowns in water are so scary to me. Hope this fixation has passed!


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