Adult with Tactile Defensiveness

How can one modify the Wilbarger Protocol so an adult can do this themselves? I have had two college students seeking information on how they can work on their own tactile defensiveness issues. I have some ideas but I would like some guidance.

The SPD Help Line Answers

My first question to you... are you an OT? If so, have you been officially trained in the Wilbarger Deep Pressure Proprioceptive Technique for tactile defensiveness ("brushing" and joint compressions)? If you have, this should be easily taught and modified for an adult. If you have not, please sign up for one of the trainings, then you will be able to teach them how to do it themselves. If you need help finding information and trainings on this technique, please read my latest newsletter about the Protocol... The Wilbarger Deep Pressure Propriocetive Technique For Sensory Defensiveness. This newsletter should answer most of your questions.

Meanwhile... there are things, as an adult with tactile defensivess they can do until then. Use the ideas of gradually increasing tactile input and desensitizing the tactile sense. Use things like rub downs with lotion, scrubbies, loofahs, softer to rougher washcloths, etc. Make sure they are following a good sensory diet with heavy work and deep pressure input throughout the day to calm and regulate the nervous system.

Another article that may help is one written specifically for adults, addressing a multitude of sensory issues and how to help... Using SI Theory To Help Adults At Home And Work.

Do a site site search and look up "tactile defensiveness" on my site, or check the site map for other relevant information. Lastly, you may have them join the adult SPD online support group we have... SPD Adult SHARE to meet others with these issues and explore together things that have/will help!

Oh, one more resource that can REALLY help them out is a book written specifically for adults with sensory defensiveness... I HIGHLY recommend it for them... Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight

I hope this information helps! Please let me know if you need anything further, ok?

Any adults out there who have used the Wilbarger Protocol on themselves with success? Please share any ideas you have! Thanks in advance.

Take good care.
Michele Mitchell

Comments for Adult with Tactile Defensiveness

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Jan 17, 2018
Interested in working on developing garment for tactile defensiveness.
by: Anonymous

Hi there, I am currently working on a project that aims to develop a product(garment) for tackling tactile defensiveness.

Mar 13, 2010
Sensory Defensiveness with adults
by: Kelly Scott

Hey there,
I can help you with this. Yes I am a practicing OT that work with children and adults with sensory defensiveness. I also have Sensory defensiveness and am being treated by Pat Wilbarger currently. I was checking out your site trying to write equipment letters for my kids and saw this. I think I can be helpful. It is a special interest of mine working with adults. There are so many people out there that has been misdiagnosed and mistreated. I feel really fortunate to be receiving treatment after decades of mistreatment. My email is lifeskillbuilding

Kelly Scott MSOTR/L

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