Touch (Tactile Sense)

The tactile system or the touch sense is how we feel and perceive sensations through our skin. This helps children explore and interact with their environment as it allows them to develop body awareness, discriminate between different textures, and coordinate their movements. It also plays a vital role in emotional regulation and social interaction. However, some children may have tactile processing issues leading to challenges in processing touch sensations. It can then affect a child’s ability to tolerate certain textures, engage in activities requiring fine motor skills, or seek and enjoy appropriate touch.


  • Seeking out activities that involve messy play
  • Excessive exploration of different textures through frequent touching
  • Engaging in repetitive movements such as rubbing, scratching or tapping surfaces
  • Seeking out activities that involve squeezing, squishing or compressing objects
  • Exhibiting a preference for clothing with specific textures or fabrics


  • Displaying discomfort or aversion to certain texture or materials of clothing
  • Sensitivity to light touch or gentle brushing
  • Distress during messy play, being touched lightly or unexpectedly
  • Avoiding activities that involve direct contact with certain textures