Child likes only few textures/feeling of touches
Some children may have difficulty processing and responding to sensory information, including tactile (touch) information.
Some children may have difficulty processing and responding to sensory information, including tactile (touch) information. If your child shows challenging behaviours when textures change or has a limited preference for certain textures, read on to learn more about sensory processing difficulties and recommendations for parents.
What are Sensory Processing Difficulties?
Sensory processing difficulties refer to a child's difficulty in processing and responding to sensory information. This can result in hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to various stimuli, including touch. Children with sensory processing difficulties may experience challenges in daily activities that involve textures such as eating, dressing or grooming themselves.
Signs and Symptoms of Sensory Processing Difficulties
Here are some common signs and symptoms of sensory processing difficulties that parents may observe in their child:
Challenging behaviours when textures change
Limited preference for particular textures
Hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to various stimuli
Examples of Textures That May Be Challenging for Children:
Sticky or slimy textures: Some children may be averse to sticky or slimy textures, such as glue, slime, or wet paint.
Rough textures: Rough textures such as sandpaper, burlap, or scratchy clothing can be uncomfortable or even painful for some children.
Soft or fluffy textures: Some children may find soft or fluffy textures such as cotton balls, feathers, or stuffed animals to be overwhelming or uncomfortable.
Slippery textures: Slippery textures such as soap or wet floors can be challenging for some children to navigate.
Mixed textures: Some children may have difficulty processing mixed textures, such as foods with both crunchy and soft textures or clothing with multiple types of fabric.
Recommendations for Parents:
Seek professional help: If your child's hypersensitivity to textures is impacting their daily life and functioning, consider seeking the help of a professional such as an occupational therapist who can provide guidance and support.
Observe and identify: Pay attention to the textures that your child seems to be comfortable with and those that they find challenging. This can help you identify patterns and triggers for their sensory difficulties.
Gradual exposure: Gradual exposure to new textures can help desensitize your child to the sensation over time. Start with small exposures and work your way up to larger exposures as your child becomes more comfortable.
Sensory diet: Work with a trained professional such as an occupational therapist to develop a sensory diet that includes activities that provide your child with the right amount of sensory input they need to feel comfortable and regulated.
Provide choices: Allow your child to have some control over the textures they come into contact with. For example, let them choose the type of fabric for their clothes or allow them to select the texture of the food they eat.
Use deep pressure: Deep pressure can be soothing for some children with sensory processing difficulties. Consider providing your child with a weighted blanket or vest, or giving them a firm hug to help them feel more grounded and secure.
If you suspect that your child may be experiencing sensory processing difficulties related to textures, there are many strategies and recommendations that can help improve their daily functioning and quality of life. Seek professional help from an occupational therapist if necessary, and observe your child's preferences and challenges around textures in order to identify patterns and triggers. With the right support and guidance, your child can learn to manage their hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity in order to thrive in daily activities.