Adults with Tactile defensiveness "What does it feel like?"

My son has sensory issues and is undergoing the therapeutic brushing protocol.


Since he is only one, he cannot vocalize what it feels like for him when being touched. So out of curiosity and to understand my son better, I would love anyone who is willing to, to share what it is he has gone through.

Thank you and God Bless!

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Sep 20, 2016
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May write a book.
by: Anonymous

Hello everyone. I'm developing a set of processes that may reduce or even eliminate these tactile aversions, sometimes in under an hour. I just did it on oily hands, which has been an almost panic inducing one for me. I'll see if it holds up. Obviously I just started, so further testing and experimentation is needed. My question is if I wrote a short kindle book about it, would you buy it?

Dec 04, 2015
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Tactile Stuff
by: Anonymous

I had SPD issues as a child (currently in 20s) and got lots of good therapy, so I'm definitely normal these days but I still see signs of it in my daily life. I'm socially normal and have a lot of friends, which is nice!

As a kid I hated certain fabrics, refused to be touched by people, freaked out if so, hated messy things, hated certain types of sheets, hated shoes, hated changing clothes, just about all the normal stuff.

In my adult life I still see remnants of it- for instance, I'm still VERY reactive to touch from other people. I've actually grown to like snuggling with romantic partners, but only for a little. However, if an acquaintance touches me in a normal spot like on the arm or on the shoulder, I'll still wince a lot. I really don't like hugging anybody, parents included, and often get told that I give the most awkward hugs. I try!

I hate changing clothes more than anything and hate shopping because of it. I don't even know how to describe it but it's just so much work and is the worst. I still have lots of fabric issues, but since I buy my own clothes its no big deal and the selection that I have is good enough for just about anything. Compared to my girlfriends who will change outfits 10 times in a day, I'm likely to stay in the same clothes the whole time. I hate being hot or cold, so I commonly take a lot of clothes with me places because I feel like my whole life is de-railed if my body temperature isn't perfect.

I'm really, really ticklish- more than most people I know. I hate being tickled so much. I sometimes get a neck-arching reaction to certain things in my life, like if my headphones touch my open skinned chest.

Point is that I'm better than where I was as a child, but I can still see how I'm wired differently.

Jan 29, 2015
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Thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you for that illuminating insight... you are a treasure... hope this day sees you happy and healthy in all ways

Jul 08, 2013
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The feeling
by: Anonymous

I'm in my twenties and have been always been tactile defensive. When I was young, the symptoms were the most severe but they gradually declined while undergoing therapy and the brushing made a huge difference for me.

When I was younger, most things would make me cringe and want to crawl out of my skin. It could be anything from light touches, the particular texture of an object, or if I knew something was dirty. The tags of my shirts would either feel like a razor cutting at me or a bug trying to dig its way into my neck depending on how stiff it was.

Light touches were always the worst for me because they would send shivers down my spine and make it feel like things were underneath my skin.(Imagine the scarab beetles in The Mummy...) And I would still have that sensation after the touch was gone. It would only go away after being brushed or rubbed away. I still don't like light touches and get the same feeling, although lessened, but the brush therapy did wonders here. I no longer freak out when it happens but I still have to rub it off.

And lastly, hypersensitivity in the fingertips. Every now and again, I will hit some point where my fingertips become super sensitive to touch. I'm not sure if there is a certain trigger or a threshold but when it happens, it hurts. If you imagine having a bruise and then someone touching it, then it would comparable with the pain every time my fingers touch something. (I'm not sure how common this is though)
Hopefully that helps

Nov 07, 2012
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Just realizing I'm tactile defensive
by: Anonymous

As I've been reading more about it, I realize I've been tactile defensive my whole life. It used to be that I couldn't stand to be touched lightly by anyone, and standing in line was horrible because I could feel people breathing. Now, as an adult, I've self-taught myself to be okay with somethings, but I still have "tactile attacks". Do you know what restless leg syndrome feels like? I get what I call restless body syndrome. I can feel EVERYTHING, and I want to get EVERYTHING off, even my skin sometimes. I can't help but writhe. I'm not comfortable in any position. Light touches are worst, because they're just barely there; it's kind of like how a person is sometimes more aware of a whisper because they have to pay more attention to hear what's being said. I'm not sure this is what your son is feeling, as it seems everyone experiences these things in different ways, but that's what it's like for me.

Apr 24, 2012
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what it feels like
by: marjory glasgow

Hi if you go on you tube and look for temple grandin any thing about her watch it and you will get the jist of it.Good luck.

Apr 23, 2012
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TACTILE DEFENSIVENESS
by: Anonymous

Hello. My son is turning two this july. He also has signs of tactile defensiveness. It is really very difficult but with help from therapists and experts they say it is treatable. Anyway, hoping all the best for you. you are not alone. Good luck.

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