Tactile System

Tactile, or touch, input provides the body with important information about the world around us.  Tactile receptors in the body provide information about deep touch pressure, temperature, light touch, vibration, and pain.  Tactile input can also help with overall well-being in the body.  


When to Consider an Evaluation

A child who is over responsive to tactile input, may have a negative response to touch that others may not notice or be bothered by. These children may:

  • Have trouble sitting next to other people

  • Avoid “messy play” (paint, glue, sand)

  • Have a scared reaction to unexpected touch

  • Avoid washing hair or brushing teeth

  • Dislike certain food textures

A child with an under responsive tactile system may not be alerted to or notice tactile input that others typically would. These children may:

  • Not seem to notice when others are touching them

  • Feel the need to touch other people or objects frequently

  • Be a messy eater (not being aware of food on their face/hands)

  • Have trouble noticing when clothing is wet or twisted