Sensory Profile : Touch Avoider

Your struggle zone: touchy-feely and personal space

Comfort is king for you and knowing what’s coming next and you don’t like your personal space being infringed. Avoiding certain textures or physical stimuli is common with SPD and can make everyday life very difficult. 

Being a Touch Avoider may mean you cannot stand certain fabrics on your skin – it may physically hurt and feel like burning and labels can feel super itchy and uncomfortable. You hate when people touch you and it can send what feels bolts through your body. You don’t enjoy being hugged and may recoil from physical touch. You may hate to have any bumps in your bedsheets or have to make sure your shoes are tied evenly and ensure that the insoles have no creases in them. In fact, you may even prefer to avoid shoes altogether if you could. You may like to only wear certain fabrics and styles of clothes. You are likely to find brushing and washing your hair a challenge, and maybe also your teeth. Toe and fingernail cutting are uncomfortable to you and you may also avoid certain foods due to the texture. You often find any kind of ‘touch’ painful which can make sex difficult for adult Touch Avoiders.

Figure out what works for you and makes you comfortable. Due to experiencing such strong sensations, working, studying and concentrating may be a real challenge. But don’t beat yourself up! Try to communicate with others about how you feel about touch – explain your experiences and how it feels, you will be surprised by how understanding people can be.

Secret weapons:

  1. Cut the labels out of your clothes.
  2. Eat foods you can tolerate.
  3. Buy multiple packs of the items of clothing that you love.
  4. Invest in seamless socks.
  5. Use a communication bangle as a visual signal to show others if you are happy to be approached.
  6. Ask people to let you know in advance if they are going to touch you.
  7. Create your own tactile box of goodies filled with textures you enjoy: from slime to silk and bubble wrap.  Whatever you enjoy! Our Kiki Blankets with soft texture and tags are often a brilliant item to include. 
  8. Seek out toothpaste you can tolerate such as unflavored or non-foaming.
  9. Try a finger brush instead of a traditional toothbrush to be gentler on your teeth and gums. 
  10. Invest in a soft-headed hairbrush that does not scratch your scalp or tug the tangles in your hair.

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