7 Reasons to Start Using Touch Therapy for Children with Sensory Sensitivities

November 16, 2023

Children with sensory processing issues inhabit a world where the gentlest touch can be overwhelming, and the quietest sounds can be deafening. The sensory information that they perceive can sometimes be confusing or too intense, leading to difficulties in everyday functioning and impacting their growth and learning. Imagine a playground where every swing, slide, and seesaw feels like a new and unpredictable adventure or a classroom where the flickering of fluorescent lights or the rustle of papers becomes a constant distraction.

Through the power of touch, children are gradually introduced to various textures, pressures, and movements that can help to regulate their sensory input. These therapeutic encounters are not just about the tactile experience itself; they’re about building trust, understanding, and a sense of predictability in a world that can often feel chaotic.

By engaging in touch therapy, children with sensory processing issues can start to form more positive interactions with their environment. This can lead to enhanced motor skills, better coordination, and improved social interactions. It’s not just about mastering the ability to tolerate a pat on the back or a high-five from a friend, but about developing the confidence to reach out and explore the world around them.

1. Enhancing Communication: For children with autism, touch therapy can improve communicative abilities by providing a non-verbal means of connection and expression.

2. Promoting Positive Behaviors: By integrating touch therapy, children may exhibit positive changes in personal habits and sensory processing, which can lead to decreased disruptive behaviors.

3. Fostering Development: Research indicates that touch is a crucial modality for facilitating growth and development in children, helping to supplement tactile stimulation that is essential for healthy growth.

4. Building Connections: Touch releases endorphins, creating a sense of connection and leading to improved emotional control and sociability, important for children with difficulties in forming social connections.

5. Improving Sensory Integration: For those with sensory processing issues, touch therapy in specialized settings may assist in developing the necessary skills to process sensory information more effectively.

6. Deep Pressure Benefits: Deep pressure therapy has shown benefits for children with autism, including decreased anxiety and improved overall sensory integration.

7. Evidence-based Outcomes: Studies have confirmed that parent-delivered massage, a form of touch therapy, is effective in decreasing tactile and sensory disabilities in children with sensory processing issues.

Incorporating touch therapy as part of a comprehensive developmental program can offer a non-invasive and soothing approach to address the unique sensory needs of these children, paving the way for a more balanced sensory experience and improved quality of life.

As they grow and progress, these children can learn to not just cope, but to thrive, building a foundation of sensory experiences that feel just right. Touch therapy, therefore, is not just a treatment. It’s an empowering process that honors the individuality of each child, helping them to unlock their full potential in a world that is finally making sense.