This post discusses an activity which is awe-inspiring for children having touch (tactile) discrimination difficulties.
Often children with sensory issues (tactile hyposensitivity,sensory seekers or hypersensitivity) display poor tactile perception and discrimination.
Factors such as hand skill development, touch (tactile) exploration, visual skills, environmental adaptation are involved while carrying out these developmental activities. However, children with tactile discrimination difficulties struggle to identify where they have been touched on the body with vision and without vision.
Or "Why his handwriting is so poor?"
So lets, begin with activity and we will discuss task's benefits too later in the post.
Activity Requirements/Resources Needed:
- Empty Chocolate or cookie box so that different items can fit in different shaped compartments or sections.
- Different sized coins
- Different sized keys and locks
- Pipe cleaner
- Earrings/ring/ (any jewellery items small in size)
- Paper clips (different sizes)
- Paper holders
- Large and small buttons
- Hair Band and hair pins, safety pins
- Lego pieces
A) Without resources: (Feel shapes)
Which shape is it?
On repeated experiences of touching different shapes, the brain will get used to them and child will finally able to recognise them on visual occlusion too.
B) With Resources: (Blindfold with No Time limit):In this modification of activity, put all the items in different compartments and let the child see, touch and feel items for further exploration.
Discuss distinguished shapes, sizes, textures and alloy of items with the child with ease & comfort.
After sometime ask the child to close the eyes or blindfold him.
C) With Resources: (Blindfold with Time limit):
We will repeat the task as above, however, this time, to make the activity more challenging it has to be time-framed.
Show the child all items placed in different compartments initially for 3-4 minutes and then ask him to close his eyes. Let him pick any object with his eyes closed and make guesses.
As the child progresses the skill, reduce the time for visual sense (eyes) to memorise what object is placed in which compartment. Reduce the time limit depending upon child’s visual memory (ability to see and memorise information about the object, place or person) and touch system. For example, if the child is able to feel and judge objects clearly, time can be reduced to 1-2 minutes for guessing a maximum number of objects. Time factor can be variable depending upon child’s abilities since every child is different.
D) Use both Hands:
This is a complex act, therefore, make sure that child has the capability to perform the challenging task. It is essential that his self-esteem should not be lowered by any activity performance or end up in a meltdown.
Benefits of Feel & Find Me:
Picking different objects from the box, parallel and across the body will help in developing Midline Crossing. Making eight in horizontal and vertical planes helps to develop midline crossing. The child passes the imaginary line, which divides the body into left and right sides. Development of Midline Crossing is nessasury to carry out various day to day activities such as throwing or catching ball and writing.
Visual Memory = Improves visual & memory skills.
The sequence of seeing the objects,closing eyes, touching & recognising different things helps to develop visual memory skills. to memorise which object is kept in the periphery, making its image in the brain is the part of visual memory. however, to pick it up and feel is part of tactile discrimination.
Fine Motor Skills:
Fine Motor Skills = Causes improved self-care (buttoning, laces)