Carrying out self-hygiene tasks
Self (personal) care involves self-hygiene tasks such as bathing or showering, brushing our teeth, hair and nail care. For children who have sensory processing difficulties, these tasks can present with huge sensory inputs that they may not be able to manage.
We all have different sensory preferences and interpret information from the environment around us in different ways. Some children find certain types of sensory input more distressing or distracting than others.
The challenges of touch sensitivity
Our tactile or touch system doesn’t just refer to our hands but is also processed through our skin, which has many receptors all over our bodies for all different kinds of sensations. When children are sensitive to touch, they may react negatively to touch input e.g. screaming, crying or hitting back. This is because the nervous system is interpreting the stimulus as potentially harmful or dangerous. In personal care tasks, touch may be through direct contact such as brushing teeth, but can also be the feeling of the fabric of clothing, feeling of running water etc.