Books and Other Materials for Children with Tactile/Kinesthetic Disabilities

Children with tactile/kinesthetic disabilities may include those with disabilities such as spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and autism

Some children with autism have an intense aversion to touching certain textures, even soft toys. Others are highly attracted to touching certain textures. One must be aware of these aversions or attractions and honor the child’s needs

Materials should be:

  1. Safe, considering the developmental age* of the child. For example, avoid toys with small overly heavy pieces for very young children. *The developmental age of the child may differ from the child’s chronological age. In such cases, select materials that are suited to all needs of the child. Consider the importance of the child’s chronological age as well, and offer materials that respect it
  2. Developmentally appropriate
  3. Appropriate for the child’s physical abilities and should provide for the child’s personal control
  4. Sturdy, durable, and easy to clean and maintain
  5. Light weight and easily grasped and easily handled
  6. Possibly larger than average, but not too large to manage
  7. Attractive
  8. Stimulating

Materials should offer:

  1. Adaptive switches, handles, straps, etc. as needed
  2. Easily identifiable features (e. g., switches, buttons)
  3. Opportunities to encourage social development and interaction
  4. Texture, shape, color, sound (that is, all communication modes) and should communicate information effectively
  5. Communication modes that are matched to the abilities of the child