Sensory Corner: Find the Right Halloween Costume for a Child with Tactile Sensitivities
[Source: North Shore Pediatric Therapy]
Halloween can be a parent’s worst nightmare when attempting to find the right costume for a child with tactile overresponsivity (which occurs when the nervous system experiences touch sensations at a higher, more intense rate than others) . Children with tactile hypersensitivities often reject the feeling of unfamiliar touch that comes with many Halloween costumes, such as itchy netting, smooth silk, scratchy wool, bumpy corduroy, or denim with tight elastic bands. Read below for suggestions on how to improve the process of searching for Halloween costumes for these children.
- Select a fabric you know the child will tolerate. It may sound obvious, but recognizing your
child’s limits is the first step to celebrating a successful Halloween. If the child is extremely set on a specific costume, but you are unsure if your child will be able to tolerate it, make sure to try it on and then adapt as needed. For example, having them wear a tight compression long sleeve shirt underneath for children who are hypersensitive to touch can improve their comfort and independence while wearing the outfit, and keep them warm at the same time! For girls, wearing leggings instead of tights can be a simple fix for girls who are resistive to wearing tights with their outfit.
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