Tactile Sensitivity in Autistic Children

May 8, 2023

Touch sensitivity, also known as tactile sensitivity, is a common sensory issue that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may experience. Tactile sensitivity is the over-responsiveness or under-responsiveness to touch. Children with increased sensitivity to touch may experience discomfort, pain, or even fear from certain textures or sensations, such as certain fabrics, tags on clothing, or unexpected touches. 

Touch sensory issues in kids with ASD may also display itself as reduced sensitivity to touch that can cause children with autism to engage in self-stimulatory behaviors, such as repeatedly touching or scratching their skin or mouthing objects.

These sensory issues can create significant challenges for children with autism. For example, children with tactile sensitivity may avoid certain activities or social situations, such as going to the beach or attending birthday parties, because of their discomfort. 

Fortunately, there are several things parents and caregivers can do to support children with touch sensitivity such as: 

  • Deep Pressure– One effective approach is to provide deep pressure input through activities such as deep hugs, weighted blankets, or massage. 
  • Introducing New Textures– It can also be helpful to introduce new textures gradually and in a controlled manner, allowing the child to become more comfortable over time.
  • Sensory-Friendly Clothing- Clothing with soft fabrics and seamless designs can help reduce discomfort and avoid sensory overload.

But even using these tools and implementing these strategies can prove to be ineffective in managing your child’s tactile sensitivity. That is why ABA therapy is a must for autistic children with touch sensitivity issues! 

ABA therapy can be used to identify the child’s specific sensitivities and create a personalized plan to help the child gradually become more comfortable with different tastes through positive reinforcement and repeated exposure. If ABA therapy sounds like a good choice for your child with sensory processing disorder, we can help! 

At Step Forward ABA we understand the challenges that tactile sensitivity can have on children with autism, which is why we are proud to offer ABA therapy services to address touch sensitivity for kids in New Mexico, Florida, and North Carolina. 

With options in home-based ABA, school-based ABA, and in-center therapy options our certified BCBAs work with your child in the environment that he/she is most comfortable to arm your child with the effective strategies needed to mitigate challenges of sensory processing disorder. 
Contact us today to learn more about ABA therapy as a tool to address touch sensory issues in kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder!

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