Excessive Touching At School

by Christine
(Lockport, IL)

My Kindergarten age son is excessively touching at school. Transitions are the worst time (carpet to tables, tables to centers, going to and from water fountain) and he's refusing all of his figits from his toolbox. The touching is not aggressive (once a concern) but is excessive. Any suggestions? His teacher is very willing to try anything. He receives OT services at his early childhood classroom, but not regular ed.


The SPD Help Line Answers


Poor thing must be really having a hard time, huh? Ah, the best thing for the excessive touching, especially during transitions (and before!) is using weighted items and deep pressure input!

The first thing I would suggest is incorporating as many heavy work activities as possible into his day and before/during transition times.

Also, he really could benefit from a good, strong, daily sensory diet. Ask your OT to help set one up for him.

Lastly... a weighted vest could really help him out! Does your OT have one you could try out with him?? If not, there are inexpensive ways to try it before purchasing one. If you want some ideas, let me know!

On the weight and deep pressure idea... I would have your therapist show you how to do joint compressions, and since the teacher is willing to try anything (you are LUCKY!!)... have her do these prior to transitions (they will only take a minute, literally). This may give him the calming, organizing input he needs. Has your OT done any brushing or joint compressions with him yet? To find out more, please read... The Wilbarger Deep Pressure Proprioceptive Technique Newsletter.

He could also use a http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&keywords=weighted%20lap%20pad&tag=spdresources-20&index=hpc-index&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325 throughout the day to help give him the input he needs.

Oh, and keep in mind... his touching may be due to defensiveness OR sensory seeking behavior. Your OT should be able to tell which and treat him accordingly. If she can't... you may need outside OT with an experienced Sensory Integration therapist. For more on this, please read:

Finding An Occupational Therapist For SPD

What You Need To Know Before Starting Sensory Integrative OT

I hope some of this helps. Please let me know if you need further help and/or understanding of what I have suggested.

Has anyone else dealt with this? Any ideas/suggestions for Christine and her son? Let her know in the comments box below. Thanks in advance!

Take good care.
Michele Mitchell

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