Updated: May 24
In our post, Why is your child so picky with food ? We discussed tactile defensiveness or Tactile Hypersensitivity. We explored some of the common difficulties that a person with tactile sensitivities experience.
A recap....the tactile sense relates to how we perceive touch, pressure , temperature and pain.
If you are hypersensitive to touch, you may overreact to some sensations that do not bother others.
EG: A child in tears, looking terrified, yelling and kicking at the hair dressers.
EG: A child sitting calmly on the chair, maybe looking bored and impatient.
EG: The hair dresser accidentally cuts the skin at the tip of the child's ears. The child does not react at all to the surprise of the hair dresser .
See quotation below: Taken from the previous post ..Why is your child so picky with food ?
"A person with sensory problems may be too sensitive to touch (tactile defensiveness) or
under-sensitive to touch-hardly feeling anything (tactile hypo-sensitivity)"
Let's look at the polar opposite of hyper-sensitivity...TACTILE HYPO-SENSITIVITY.
What is Tactile Hypo-Sensitivity?
Children with tactile hypo-sensitivity require more input to feel what others without sensory problems feel.
What does it look like?
- A child may not notice that he is being
touched unless extra forced is used to
get his attention.
- He may frequently walk around without noticing that his face is messy or that his hands are soiled.
- He usually shows NO to VERY LITTLE reaction to pain.
- Sometimes you may notice bruises on him for which he has no explanation for.
- He may be prone to burns from not feeling the heat from touching a pot on the stove.
Children with hypo-sensitivity frequently seek sensation..
- They may like to touch, press or squeeze objects or surfaces around them.
- Instead of sitting on a chair while watching TV, they may prefer to roll their bodies on the carpet.
- Prefer to sit on a bean bag rather than a couch or chair.
- They may frequently put non edible objects into their mouths like straws, bottle covers.
- In a classroom setting, we may notice
some children chewing the ends of their pencils or pens... (...also in offices ...)
- During lessons, some children may not be able to focus unless they have some object in hand that they can get sensory input from.
- It may be beneficial to provide your child with a fidget toy during lessons, especially if it will stop
her from thinking about touching something or being uncomfortable due to her sensory need.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR TACTILE HYPO-SENSITIVE CHILD?
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