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Tactile Sensitivity Checklist

Most people know that problems can arise with the sense of hearing and the sense of sight, but few people realize that problems can also arise with the sense of touch.

Tactile problems can arise in many ways and have serious effects on a child's behavior and ability to learn. Children with tactile problems are frequently mis-diagnosed as having ADD/ADHD.

Before starting an ADD/ADHD program, make sure that your child does not have a tactile problem instead - they are sometimes hard to spot, and very few physicians look out for them. Occupational therapists usually treat tactile disorders, without medication.

Tactile Sensitivities Quiz
Check all that apply, even if they only apply when your child is tired or irritable.

My child:

___ is particularly sensitive to temperature (things are often too hot or too cold)

___ insists on always wearing the same clothes or type of clothes (this can vary widely. Look for: only wears soft T-shirts with short sleeves; only wears long sleeves; will never wear a sweatshirt or jacket no matter how cold; will always wear a sweatshirt or jacket no matter how hot; will only wear long pants; will only wear shorts even if it's snowing).

___ insists on having clothes that are either very tight or very loose, especially around the waist.

___ hates baths, or is always taking baths.

___ insists on water that is either very hot or not hot at all.

___ hates haircuts and having his/her hair brushed.

___ hates having his/her teeth brushed.

___ always insists on wearing a hat, or flatly refuses to wear them.

___ complains about clothing, like the tags on shirts or the seams in socks.

___ is either very sensitive to being touched, or is not sensitive at all (e.g., does not notice major cuts and gashes until someone points them out).

___ either does not like to play with other children or plays far too roughly with them.

___ hits, kicks, or bites with little provocation.

___ only likes very light hugs, or only likes bear hugs.

___ overreacts to minor scratches or does not react at all, even to major cuts.

___ is a picky eater (especially about foods that are "too slimy" or "too crunchy").

___ is bothered by background noises or loud sounds.

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