Hi, I’m the Mother of a Tactile Defensive Child

Hi, welcome to Tactile Mom. My name is Brynn and I’m the Tactile Mom.

I’m an avid lover of reading and cooking, and take every opportunity to engage in those; however, there is one thing that most people don’t know about me, which is that I am a mother of a five-year old boy, Damian, who has tactile defensiveness and deals with it on a day-to-day basis. Don’t know what tactile defensiveness is? To simplify it, he has sensitive skin and he doesn’t like the way things feel when he touches them. For a more accurate description of what exactly tactile defensiveness is, please visit the page I’ve created here What is Tactile Defensiveness?.

A physical therapist once told me during a session with my son, that the best way to describe the feeling he gets is if you cut your fingernails too short, the weird feeling you get on the newly exposed skin is what he feels all over his body.

This blog is meant to document the journey of my day-to-day life with a child that deals with tactile defensiveness. I wanted to document the things that we did with Damian that have helped him learn to adjust and cope with his condition in the hopes that some other parent out there can find the information here useful, and help them feel like they aren’t alone. There are a lot of things that you have to adjust to daily in order to workaround tactile defensiveness, and I hope give support and encouragement to others who have to work with this condition as well.

French Toast Kabobs

This was the first recipe I used from a kid’s cooking camp I ran last summer. It was fun, and the kids really enjoyed them, and they’re honestly quite good!

French Toast Kabobs
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 8 slices French bread (about 1 inch thick)
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  5. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. Powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler. Generously grease rack of broiler pan. Soak four 12-inch wooden skewers in water while preparing bread.
  2. Cut bread slices in half. Beat milk, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt in shallow dish until well blended. Place bread slices in egg mixture. Let stand 5 minutes, turning to soak all sides.
  3. Thread 4 bread pieces onto each prepared skewer. Place on prepared broiler pan rack. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn skewers; broil 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
Tactile Mom http://www.tactilemom.com/

Granny B’s Pink Frosting

This pink frosting recipe tastes exactly like the Granny B’s pink frosting from their famous sugar cookies! For those that have never had a Granny B’s Pink Cookie, you’re missing out! This pink frosting is the perfect complement to the Super Soft Sugar Cookies I posted earlier! Although, I swear half of frosting disappears before we ever get to frosting the sugar cookies!

Granny B's Pink Frosting
A light, fluffy, and amazingly perfect frosting for sugar cookies! It tastes just like the Granny B's Original Pink Cookie frosting!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 C. Butter
  2. 2 tsp. Vanilla
  3. 4 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
  4. 3 Tbsp. Milk
  5. Pink Food Coloring (optional)
  6. Sprinkles (optional)
Instructions
  1. Whisk all butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk together.
  2. Add food coloring and whisk until desired color (I recommend Pink!).
  3. Frost completely cooled sugar cookies, and top with sprinkles.
Notes
  1. I find it easiest to use a stand mixer to make this frosting!
Tactile Mom http://www.tactilemom.com/

Super Soft Sugar Cookies

Our family LOVES sugar cookies! And for the longest time, I have been searching for an awesome, soft sugar cookie recipe and I have finally found it! My family has made these super soft sugar cookies a lot in the last little while, because we absolutely just devour them and need some more! I would also recommend this Granny B’s Pink Frosting recipe to frost and decorate them with!

These cookies are in my opinion, perfect!! I hope you enjoy them as much as my family has! 

Super Soft Sugar Cookies
Yields 24
An amazingly super soft, and delicious, sugar cookie!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 C. Butter, softened
  2. 1 C. Sugar
  3. 1 Egg
  4. 1 t. Almond Extract
  5. 1/3 C. Sour Cream
  6. 3 C. Flour
  7. 1/2 t. Salt
  8. 1 1/2 t. Baking Powder
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg, almond extract, and sour cream to the butter and sugar mixture, and mix until smooth, scraping the sides once.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  4. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder, to the wet ingredients and mix in until just combined.
  5. Place the dough between 2 sheets of wax or parchment paper and roll out to a thickness of no less than 3/8" in.
  6. Refrigerate the dough, still in the wax or parchment paper, for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  9. Place cookies 1" in. apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
  11. Place cookies on a wire rack to cool for 3-5 minutes and then place cookies in an airtight container to cool completely, with a piece of parchment paper between layers.
Notes
  1. IMPORTANT: Do NOT let the cookies start to brown. You will want to pull them out so that they almost seem underdone, and once cooled this will help ensure your cookies stay super soft!
Adapted from The Kitchen McCabe
Tactile Mom http://www.tactilemom.com/

Understanding Tactile Defensiveness

When people find out that my son, Damian, has tactile defensiveness the first question most people ask is, “What is tactile defensiveness?” When our son Damian was first diagnosed, I’ll admit my husband and I had never heard of it and we had no idea what it was. Thanks to the doctors and therapists that have worked with my son, we’ve gained a better understanding of what the condition is, and have been able to explain it to others in a simple manner. So, to answer the question of “What is tactile defensiveness?” and in helping others in understanding tactile defensiveness, here is a simple answer about how it affects our son, Damian.

Our son Damian has very sensitive skin. He doesn’t like the way things feel when they touch his skin. One therapist described it as the feeling you get when you cut your fingernails a little bit too short exposing the skin that is normally underneath them and having that feeling exist all over your body.

People have tactile defensiveness in varying degrees, and it affects some people more severely than others. For Damian, the tactile defensiveness is most evident when he touches new textures. There are certain textures that he doesn’t like and will avoid at all costs. For instance, he doesn’t like touching slimy or gooey things, in fact he absolutely hates it! And if forced to do so he often will have a breakdown. This feeling, while existing on his skin and all over his body, also shows up in his mouth. As a result, he has a very hard time eating a lot of foods and we’ve been working with him consistently to try and experience new foods and textures.

I know that is just a simple explanation of what tactile defensiveness is. I sincerely hope that helps you understand just a little bit more about what living with this condition is like. For further reading, I have created some pages that help to define the condition of tactile defensiveness, as well as some parent resources for dealing with tactile defensiveness. Those pages can be found at What is Tactile Defensiveness? and Parent Resources for Tactile Defensiveness.

A shout out and thanks to all of you that follow me and this blog! I love sharing these experiences, and want to encourage you to comment and ask questions if you have any! I love to help others understand what this condition is and ways to work with it to help those who have it.

About My Tactile Family

I have been married to my husband Drew since 2002, and over that time have become the mother of two wonderful children, a six year old named Damian and a two year named Zoey. We are just your typical family. We love to be outdoors. We like to play sports. We like to go on bike rides. We love to just have fun and play when we can.

I wanted to use this post to tell you a little bit about each member of our tactile family, and let you get an idea of who we are, and the perspectives that we use when dealing with a child who has tactile defensiveness.

Drew (Dad)

My husband, Drew, works from home which has its pros and its cons. He is a solution architect and computer programmer. He loves anything that has to do with technology. I always say that he is a geek, and he would quickly confirm that, but I wouldn’t change a thing because it pays the bills and he loves it! He also loves to play golf, basketball, and football.

Brynn (Me)

As for myself, I love being a mom! My passions are found in reading books and cooking. I love to cook. Let me stress that again, I LOVE to cook! Cooking has become a way for me to recharge everyday, and I find myself at home in my kitchen.. So while I will post on tactile defensiveness, my love of cooking is also why I decided to post recipes. I also love to hear feedback on what I post, please if you find something helpful or tasty, please let me know!

Zoey

Zoey is my super-hyper and active two year old daughter. She never slows down she is moving constantly, so much that the longest she can seem to sit still is about 3 seconds. She has the cutest personality, and loves to spread her happiness and joy around. When she smiles, you can’t help but smile as well. She is very independent and loves to do things on her own, and often will get mad at mom and dad if we attempt to help her do something that she wants to do herself.

Damian

The reason I wanted to start this blog was because of my son, Damian. He is your typical six year old boy. His favorite things in the world are trains. He loves to play soccer and absolutely loves to play the Wii and iPad. In fact, as each day passes he becomes more and more of a geek like his dad! He also loves to help me cook, and will dress up head-to-toe in a chef’s outfit to help me do so. Lately, his new favorite passion is LEGOs. He also loves to ask questions, and is a very curious boy. These are not your simple questions, but hard questions and scientific questions like, “How does the heart work?” He’ll keep asking more and more questions until he gets all the information you know about it, or he gets enough information to satisfy him. It definitely keeps us on our toes! 

He, honestly, is the best child a mom could ask for. He is respectful and well mannered. He does what he is asked to do (most of the time). He is very kind to others and he will compliment anybody. He truly is an angel.

There is, however, one thing most people don’t know about us and that is my son Damian has a condition called tactile defensiveness. It is a condition he was born with and continues to struggle with it every single day.

This blog is about our journey in working with our son and his condition. We’ll discuss things like how we found out that he had it, how we have worked to help him learn to work with it day to day, and the struggles we have had along the way. I hope you continue to follow this blog and keep reading about this long, hard, but life changing journey that I and my family have been on.