Dear Michael Jordan,
I know many people in this world think you’re awesome because of your seriously insane basketball abilities. I know some people admire your golf game. Others tell stories about you being cut from teams as a motivation for young athletes. All of that is fine, well, and good; but that’s not why I like you.
Thank you for your commitment to tagless products. Seriously, you have NO idea how many tears and arguments you have helped to avert. I am NOT joking.
I am forever in your debt,
Mom of a Child on the Spectrum
Back to the sensory stuff…and this set of specific sense issues may be my favorite. Why? Because MANY, MANY people struggle with the need for or reaction to touch. Today? Hypersensitivity to touch.
This hypersensitivity is when a person has an unusual or increased sensitivity to touch. The result can make people feel overly anxious, sick, or even in pain. Touch makes a person feel overwhelmed and it can even lead to avoiding all touching. Like all sensory issues, the defensiveness ranges from mild to severe.
How do you know your child may have ‘hypersensitivity’ to touch?
The most common example…tags.
THANK YOU HANES – the first (at least to my knowledge) undergarment company to offer tag less versions of their products. If you are annoyed by tags you are actually experiencing a touch of the spectrum. I don’t just mean annoyed – but you cut tags out of everything. If a tag starts rubbing you wrong you cannot concentrate…it drives you CRAZY. You may have even ruined clothes because you just COULD. NOT. WAIT. for a pair of scissors.
This…this may be the most common example – Tucker has other symptoms on the checklist below and (like usual) I will write about each one at some point in this journey…but for right now it’s tags that deserve the attention.
___becomes fearful, anxious or aggressive with light or unexpected touch
__ as an infant, did/does not like to be held or cuddled; may arch back, cry, and pull away
__ distressed when diaper is being, or needs to be, changed
__ appears fearful of, or avoids standing in close proximity to other people or peers (especially in lines)
__ becomes frightened when touched from behind or by someone/something they can not see (such as under a blanket)
__ complains about having hair brushed; may be very picky about using a particular brush
__ bothered by rough bed sheets (i.e., if old and “bumpy”)
__ avoids group situations for fear of the unexpected touch
__ resists friendly or affectionate touch from anyone besides parents or siblings (and sometimes them too!)
__ dislikes kisses, will “wipe off” place where kissed
__ a raindrop, water from the shower, or wind blowing on the skin may feel like torture and produce adverse and avoidance reactions
__ may overreact to minor cuts, scrapes, and or bug bites
_x_ avoids touching certain textures of material (blankets, rugs, stuffed animals)
_x_ refuses to wear new or stiff clothes, clothes with rough textures, turtlenecks, jeans, hats, or belts, etc.
__ avoids using hands for play
__ avoids/dislikes/aversive to “messy play”, i.e., sand, mud, water, glue, glitter, playdoh, slime, shaving cream/funny foam etc.
__ will be distressed by dirty hands and want to wipe or wash them frequently
__ excessively ticklish
_x_ distressed by seams in socks and may refuse to wear them
_x_ distressed by clothes rubbing on skin; may want to wear shorts and short sleeves year round, toddlers may prefer to be naked and pull diapers and clothes off constantly
__ or, may want to wear long sleeve shirts and long pants year round to avoid having skin exposed
_x_ distressed about having face washed
_x_ distressed about having hair, toenails, or fingernails cut
_x_ resists brushing teeth and is extremely fearful of the dentist
_x_ is a picky eater, only eating certain tastes and textures; mixed textures tend to be avoided as well as hot or cold foods; resists trying new foods
_x_ may refuse to walk barefoot on grass or sand
__ may walk on toes only