Autistic Bath Towel Sensory Issues

So here is a sneak peek into what it is like to live with autism and sensory integration issues. Recently we bought some new bath towels because some of our old ones are in pretty bad shape. I love the bright new royal and navy blue towels we bought, but I can’t stand to use them yet. Why? They aren’t coarse enough yet.

You see, if I use a towel that is fluffy and soft, my body doesn’t like the feel of it, and even worse, I never feel like it is drying me – even though it is. It makes the whole bathing experience feel incomplete and messed up. I have to use the old, ragged towels until the new towels have been used by my husband and washed enough times that they lose their fluffy softness, so I can stand the feel of the fibers against my skin after a bath.

It probably sounds minor to you, but it is hard for me to see those beautiful new towels and know that I can’t use them or it will drive me crazy. I don’t want to use the faded, ugly ones, but they do provide a superior drying experience. Ugh, I know – first world autistic problems, right? But it is annoying.

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Hi! I am an artist, author, and blogger who also happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome. I have won several awards and honors for my writings and artwork. I suffer from a few severe mental illness and chronic pain conditions (Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, Ehlers Danlos, Degenerative Disc Disease, etc.), which greatly affects my life and makes me want to advocate for others going through similar things. Other interests of mine include reading, writing, drawing, watching cartoons and movies, collecting toys, hanging out with my family, and annoying my 3 cats.

18 thoughts on “Autistic Bath Towel Sensory Issues”

  1. We all have our own quirks when it comes to our senses, especially taste, smell and touch. To be honest, I prefer a coarser towel myself (remembering when we hung them to dry on a clothesline in the back yard) but I don’t think about the texture of a towel when I use it. I like that we all relate to things differently!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How insightful for you to share how you perceive new towels. So much in what others experience is invisible to those around us. Thank you for taking the time to share. I am trying to learn and understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hmmmmm! I’m wondering if you always tumble dry your laundry? Because if you try washing towels, without softener, and then leave to dry on clothes airer . . . they should end up less fluffy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Greetings Maranda,
    What a great post! I too have the same issue. It is nice to know I am not the only one. I realize that it is not environmentally friendly to wash my new towels over and over and over to get rid of the soft nonabsorbent gross feeling but I have to. I also have to get my towels from Costco in the United States. I have found that for me those towels fibers reach peak perfection after only a few washes. I am also experimenting with Moroccan towels which are very thin but they seem to work well. They can be expensive for just one towel. Thanks for the post. Happy Towel hunting—J

    Liked by 3 people

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