Tactile Sensory System Outline
Tactile Sensory Systems pertain to the sense of touch involving both the skin and mouth
We constantly have something effecting our tactile system, we are touching or being touched by something.
10. Behaviors associated with a Hypersensitive tactile system:
A. This child over reacts to some tactile stimulation or avoids them all together if possible. They:
1. avoids hugging and proximity to others, may play alone so they are not accidently bumped
2. avoids rough, scratchy clothing
3. avoids certain foods because of texture, may refuse to eat
4. may not tolerate sitting in a chair so they are constantly getting up
5. avoid clothing that is very loose
6. avoid anything they consider too hot or too cold,
7. over react (for their age) to a little scraped knee
11. Interventions – how to help them
A. Tags in clothing – cut them out
B. Many children are sensitive to touch on palm of their hand. – warn a child before you take their hand, avoid coming up behind a child and touching him, let them take you hand or hold on to your wrist.
C. If you have a child that has limited foods that he will tolerate – introduce a new food with a favorite food.
D. For a child that does not like to be touched, or is generally anxious – try a lap pad, or lap buddy, a long sleeved tight shirt, long pants
E. A lap pad can be easily made by sewing together fabric similar to a pillowcase and adding a weighted material such as sand or pebbles as you sew a section together.
F. A lap buddy can be made out of a men’s tub sock. Take a clean and not too worn men’s tube sock and fell it with clean gravel, or sand (Food) to about 2 inches from the top. It should stretch to be fairly long. Tie off the opening tightly and at the level of the gravel with a string or rubber band or stitch it shut well. We will pass around a lap buddy for you to see.
G. Even children sensitive to light touch can be comforted by a firm hug or deep pressure. Watch the child’s reaction to see if it is comforting to them.
H. Giving a child deep pressure and firm touch may calm the child so that he can focus on the schoolwork.
12. Behaviors associated with a hyposensitive sensitive tactile system.
A. The child that is hyposensitive to touch or under-reactive to touch:
1. may not respond to obvious painful experiences
2. unable to identify objects just by feeling them.
3. They may not be able to identify the position of a cup and may spill their drink.
4. A child that is under-reactive to touch may know that he was touched but not exactly where or he may drop an item he is carrying and not be aware of it.
5. They may put objects down too hard or forcibly
6. Close doors to hard, banging them
7. They may put their feet down too forcibly when walking
A. Use weighted items to increase the amount of sensory input and give the child more knowledge of their body in space
1. Have the child carry the lap buddy
B. Work on being sensitive to touch by drawing numbers or shapes on a child’s back or hand and ask him to identify them.
C. Teach facial expressions, verbalizations and gestures that are usually associated with painful experiences.
D. Put bells, taps, or something that makes noise when the child’s foot touches the floor.
E. Work with the child on putting things down gently using their vision with their movements to get the right placement. Activities such as:
1. Stacking blocks that do not interlock
2. Beads on pegs
3. Separate beads into different containers by color
F. Use a feely box, or bag
1. Encourage the child to either identify what is inside by reaching in and touching it or select an item you have requested. Even if a child uses their eyes, they are learning to process what they see with what they feel.
G. Introduce a variety of textures through the use lotion, texture book, and dress up clothing.
H. Give the children sensory experiences with a sensory table. This is really just a table that hold a plastic tub where we can put different things like: shaving cream, sand, water, etc. Put small plastic animals, cars or other safe object in the sand for them to find.
I. Let them finger paint in pudding or like substance. You may not have US pudding to play in, but what is another idem you can get cheaply to substitute? (mix water and flour together to form the thick, slick, cold consistency of pudding or yogurt. Play with it that way then add cornmeal to give it texture.)
J. Make bread dough. Clean their hands, arms and the surface very well first. Have the children make their own little loaves of bread or rolls with their hands. Put their initial in it and back it for snack
K. Make your own play dough. It keeps for a few days if kept tightly covered and cool. Have the children make their own sculpture. If it is not very good, call it modern art. Let it dry so the children have their own creation. You could paint it after it is dried.
L. Make it fun for the whole class.
Activity: Feely Box/bag – place several items that feel different, such as plastic animals, soft toy, spoon, etc. (or use small prizes that they can keep) in a bag or box that cannot be seen through and that has an opening in the top just large enough for a person to put their hand in the bag. Ask the child to reach in and identify one thing, by feel. Give a prize if they identify the object or let them keep the object.