DIY Sensory Textured Mats & Stepping Stones for Feet Sensitivities

Posted by Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP on 23rd Oct 2013

We often talk about oral sensitivities and how that can lead to texture aversions, drooling problems, mouth stuffing, and more.  But sensory tactile defensiveness isn't always isolated in the mouth.  Sometimes it's global, in which case you may need to start normalizing sensitivities outside of the mouth first, gradually working towards texture acceptance in the mouth.

When one of my therapy kids was very young, for example, she had sensitivities on her feet that caused problems with walking on different surfaces, particularly rugs.  So I went to the fabric store and got samples of all different textures.  I didn't rub the fabric directly on her feet first - we had to work up to that.  So first we began with her arms, hands, and legs, slowly working towards the feet.  I let her play with the fabrics, experience them in her hands, crawl over them, use them in play therapy, etc.  I was very careful to proceed gradually, following her lead.  I also let her place the fabric where she wanted.  Eventually we made it to her feet.  I provided tactile input with the fabric during every therapy session, and mom and dad reinforced it for homework.  It took a few months, but she eventually became comfortable with walking on different surfaces barefoot. 

I also recently came across an idea for sensory stepping stones on Pinterest that would have been lots of fun to try at the time.  Homeschool mom Wendy over at  Living Creative glued felt, makeup sponges, tissue paper, and even laffa bread onto one side of cardboard cut-outs, and slip-proof shelf liners on backside to keep them from sliding - brilliant!

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DIY Sensory Textured Mats & Stepping Stones for Feet Sensitivities

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The blog  Pre-School Play also featured a similar concept - attaching textured fabrics, towels, feathers, and more onto adhesive floor tiles.  Easy, cost-effective craft for de-sensitizing and just plain fun.

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DIY Sensory Textured Mats & Stepping Stones for Feet Sensitivities

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Debbie

Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP

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