Top Fabrics For Children With Sensory Sensitivities

Sensory Issues are becoming much more openly discussed and understood as a developmental issue among growing children's parents.

At times sensory sensitivities can even be linked to conditions like Autism. Sensory sensitivities have been linked to any one of the six senses, that's right, six! These include the typical five that we are all aware of; Taste, touch, sight, sound and Dr Jean Ayres added the "internal" senses of body awareness and movement.

When the brain can't synthesise all the information coming in simultaneously, "It's like a traffic jam in your head," "with conflicting signals quickly coming from all directions, so that you don't know how to make sense of it all." Children, who avoid different textures and temperatures, limit exploring with their hands and can have adverse reactions to typical feeding and hygiene tasks and pre-writing activities.

Some excellent play strategy ideas to help them build hand skills when experiencing these sensitivities include pre-writing skills and tool use. These also provide the opportunity to explore touch/tactile input when ready, such as chopsticks, to pick up fruit pieces. Again, you could try using tongs or tweezers to pick-up miniature plastic animal toys or figurines they have to "recuse" from a "pool of shaving cream" or a tub of corn/rice.

Some children's sensitivities can affect their gross motor skills and involve them fidgeting, rocking, twirling, running, or jumping. There have been many ideas for unstructured play, structured movement breaks, and building coordination. These include relay race games using foam batons or rolled-up newspapers, dodge ball games with beach balls, balloon tennis and balloon volleyball and a scavenger hunt through the house or backyard (while hopping, jumping, skipping, galloping, running to find the items), to name a few. These can aid in redirecting their movement in a positive direction.

This brings us to the bulk of what you are here for today, top materials for children sensitive to how things feel on their skin. Getting dressed can be a huge ordeal. Even things that seem small to you, like a shirt collar or a stiff tag, can feel unbearable to some children.

You may want to consider some sensory-friendly clothing options such as super soft organic cotton or pre-worn clothing washed multiple times to soften up. Clothes made from synthetic materials can be uncomfortable to children who are sensitive to touch. Instead of synthetic blends, consider buying natural fabrics, such as 100 per cent cotton and soft—not scratchy wool, bamboo, and linen.

Have any of your children battled with these sensitivities? How did you combat them?

March 08, 2021 — Jennie Freeman

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