This question is asked daily of me by my four year-old son diagnosed with autism. Call it hypersensitive. Call it hyper-curious. Call it what you will. He is obsessed with his sense of smell.
His favorite question is not “why?” but rather, “Can I smell?”
He’s no smelling snob. He wants to smell it all: hair, soap, water, lollipops, flowers, paper, laundry, dirt, chalk, grass, crayons, hands, his little brother’s diaper-clad butt, our cats, his car seat, all meals, his mother’s glass of vino (wine connoisseur may very likely be in his future. The boy’s got the sniffing part down).
If there’s a scent, he’ll find it.
When he walks into a room, it’s not uncommon to see him, sniffer in the air, commenting that he “smells something.” This is rarely said with a look of disgust, but rather a look of extreme curiosity, as if he’s trying to decipher a great mystery. He has yet to properly label a smell; instead, when asked what something smells like, he will usually respond simply with, “it smells!”
The specific obsession with smelling feet is partly to blame on my husband. Nearly a year ago, he was wrestling with Big C, pinned him, pretended to smell his feet, and then pretended they were super stinky. Well, Big C thought this was hilarious, and it soon became an ongoing ritual. This inevitably led to him wanting others to smell his feet, a request he makes upon various members of our family frequently. Conversely, he enjoys smelling other’s feet and has no qualms about asking to do so.
We’ve had “the talk.” You know. The one where you have to explain when it is and is not appropriate to smell other’s feet: “the exchanging of foot smelling should be done in the privacy of one’s home, not in the school or workplace.”
What? That’s not a “rite of passage” conversation all parents have with their children?
At any rate, this whole “feet thing” is kinda cute and all ‘cuz he’s four.
But when he’s fourteen, it may be a different story.
Because let’s be real; feet are kinda gross.
What is your strongest sense?
Note: this post is part of a blog hop. Click the link below to read more blogs about what it’s like to have a sensory-special kid!