Difficulties processing tactile information can result in some individuals being very sensitive to touch and over-reaction to objects or people in the environment. Conversely, some individuals may have decreased sensation of touch which can result in people using too much force or placing themselves in dangerous situations.
Here are some suggestions to help children with tactile sensitivities:
1. Encourage proprioceptive input prior to activities that require tactile input. Examples of proprioceptive input are chair push ups, wall push ups, jumping, carrying heavy objects and push/pulling objects.
2. Never force a child to touch objects that he/she dislikes. The child can observe the activity, participate with modifications or touch the objects briefly and wash hands immediately.
3. Always approach the child from the front or seat the child in an area where he/she has a good view of who is approaching him/her.
4. Use a firm, gentle touch instead of light touch when you have contact with the child.
5. If the child exhibits difficulties with personal space (touching people or objects excessively) or over reacts to light touch, provide modifications to the environment to help the child such as providing visual cues where the child needs to sit, provide fidgets for the hands and have the student stand first or last in the classroom line.
Need more ideas or hand outs? Check out Modifications and Interventions for School at http://yourtherapysource.com/modifications.html or
What? Why? How? Series 3 at http://yourtherapysource.com/wwh3.html