For some kids, gloves can be scary. The rubbery feel, the unfamiliar smell and taste, the strange look (where did your hands go?!), and the squishy sound they make - these are all possible triggers for a sensory overload.
I have some kids who absolutely won't allow me to go near them with gloves. So I just have to wash my hands thoroughly before and after therapy. And that's okay. But in most cases, you'll probably want to wear gloves as a hygiene measure for both parties. So what can you do to decrease an aversion to gloves?
• Use your hand as a puppet and engage the child in a game.
• Allow the child to become acquainted with the gloves before using them. Let him/her pick which gloves to use. Then let him/her feel the material in their hands before putting them on your hands. Or, they can even wear their own set!
• Using a pair of scissors, snip off the fingers of the glove and put on a fingerless glove. I did this with one child of mine who developed a fear of gloves. Once she saw how silly my hand looked with the fingertips showing through, her fear disappeared. A lot of anxiety also comes from the unknown, so these fingerless gloves let her see that my fingers were still there, just covered up temporarily.
*Please be cautious with the finger tips of the gloves once removed, as they are small and may pose a choking hazard.
Debra C. Lowsky, MS, CCC-SLP