Tactile Sensitivity: Ack, Get It Off!

Itchy, uncomfortable shirts with giant tags that rub and irritate the neck.  Tight, awkward pants that bunch up and leave creases on the skin.

For people struggling with a heightened tactile sense, this can be how they feel every day in normal clothing.  For the rest of us?  Hey, there’s a reason why sweatpants and loose t-shirts are more popular than starched, formal clothing.

Personally, I can’t imagine spending more than ten minutes in a scratchy sweater.  It’d be enough to drive anyone insane.  So how do sensitive people make it through the day?

Well, they struggle.  Sometimes, with children, they can’t even pinpoint where the difficulty lies.  They’re just restless, uncomfortable, and barely able to focus on simple tasks.  Just like the rest of us would feel in really stiff, scratchy, heavy, uncomfortable clothing.  Except we’d be thinking, Ack, get it off!  Get it off now!

Thankfully, there are more solutions out there now than ever before.

Companies are stamping shirts with their logos instead of placing protruding, irritating advertisement tags in the neck.  Especially for children’s clothing.  The same goes for underwear and even some pants.  Any Target, Sears, or Wal-Mart carries legions of them.

Jeans are not the only pants out there anymore.  Sure, they’re tough and strong, but the fabric weave can sometimes be rough on super-sensitive skin.  Personally, I’ve found Sears to be the best place to purchase loose, non-button, non-denim pants.  And sweatpants are available everywhere.

Comfortable fabrics – my boys like 100% cotton – also play a role.  Thankfully, it’s plentiful and cheap.  Some people prefer a thicker weight – to the point of shunning sheets at night in favor of a heavy comforter, even in summer – while others like a lighter, thinner fabric.  It all depends on the individual, and his/her tactile needs.

Why bother?  It’s about the results.

Suddenly, a tactile-sensitive kid is able to concentrate.  To act normally, like he/she isn’t surrounded by an irritating swarm of gnats.  Crankiness can fade.  Everything sort of relaxes for them, and thought processes are able to move more smoothly again.

In short, it’s a huge relief.  And there are no therapists, analysts, or specialized equipment to pay for.  I’ll take improved concentration and a happier kid at a bargain store price any day!

For more on sensory sensitivity, I highly recommend the Out-of-Sync Child books by Carol Kranowitz.  There are also therapies out there like skin-brushing, that may or may not improve skin sensitivity.  Let me know what works for you!

About aspergerfamily3

Living in an Asperger's World, surrounded by a love of learning, interesting people, and daily challenges.
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