What are some signs of over-responsiveness to tactile processing?
Over-responsiveness to tactile processing can present as a hypersensitivity to tactile stimuli. Individuals with this sensory profile may exhibit strong aversion to specific textures, materials, or sensations. For instance, they might be extremely discomforted by the feel of certain fabrics against their skin, causing them to avoid clothing items made from those materials. These individuals may also show a reluctance to engage in messy play, such as finger painting or playing with mud, as these activities can be overwhelming due to the tactile sensations involved. As a result, they may have a limited tolerance for certain clothing materials and opt for those that feel less intrusive on their skin. Additionally, they might express discomfort or anxiety when others touch them, leading to a preference for personal space and a hesitance to engage in physical contact like hugs or handshakes.
It's essential to recognize that over-responsiveness to tactile processing can significantly impact an individual's daily life and interactions. Simple tasks like getting dressed or participating in social activities can become sources of stress and discomfort. Understanding these signs is crucial for providing support and accommodations to help individuals with tactile over-responsiveness navigate their sensory sensitivities and engage more comfortably in their daily routines.
This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course, Employing Verbal De-Escalation Strategies In Occupational Therapy Megan Paben.