Part 1: Touch Sensation- Put Yourself in Her Chair and Roll Around a While

Touch Sensation for Jessica Kennedy DAWS

Sensation: Touch
Touch / Feel

My touch sensation of differs due to the #stroke and #quadriplegia.  I have  a limited #sensation of touch in my face, left arm and hand.  When I hold a school visit I use exercises like those described below to help children understand  how my sensation of touch is.

Touch Sensation Exercises

Touch sensation picture of Pillow Case & Gloves
Pillow Case & Gloves

To experience what my touch sensation is like grab a glove and pillow case. Ask a friend to place items in the pillow case and put a glove onto a hand. Have your friend ask you for items in the pillow case. Attempt identification of the objects inside the pillow case and retrieve them. (Don’t peek. Just feel.) I lack full touch sensation and the best way to understand it is to experience what I feel and experience how I compensate to identify something.

Since each group of items is shaped so differently they are easy to identify, but if you try to examine each item by touch and not sight, you will feel much as I do. For the most part I have to rely on sight, because my touch sensation is so limited.  

 Touch Sensation: Pliable vs. Rigid

Sensation pliable versus rigid items - Tube, Rat Tail Comb, Brush, Nail File, Medicine Bottle, and Tape Dispenser
Pliable vs. Rigid
  • I am able to identify the tube, because of its shape. Also the tube isn’t totally rigid.  
  • A rat tail comb bends a little and one end is long and skinny. I can’t feel the individual teeth, can feel that the end with teeth is fairly thin.
  • The brush is rigid and the bristles bend.
  • A nail file is pliable, thin and long.
  • The medicine bottle is short, fat, rounded and rigid.
  • Cardboard the tape dispenser is attached to is pliable, but the plastic dispenser is rigid.  All in all the tape with dispenser is the most uniquely shaped and therefore the easiest to identify.

 Touch / Feel Sensation: Textured vs. Smooth 

Touch / Feel Sensation: Textured vs. Smooth – picture of sandpaper, cotton balls, Swiffer duster, brillo pad,& cross
Textured vs. Smooth
  • I can hear the sound it makes if I scratch the sandpaper with my fingernail and can bend it. So, I might be able to distinguish it among other items that aren’t like it, but I can’t tell the difference between it and construction paper in a similar size.
  • Other than the size and pliability of cotton balls I can’t feel any other qualities. I have no sensation like how fluffy or soft they are. 
  • A Swiffer duster has a rigid handle, but the “Swiffer” part is pliable. I can’t feel the texture of things.
  • The brillo pad is pliable and if I look at it I see that its coils are rough, but am unable to feel that quality.
  • By and large the cross is easy to find, because of its shape and it is rigid. Like the other items I can’t tell much else about it like the slightly raised swirls, but the gems stick out more. So I would know that it was bumpy.

Touch Sensation: Soft vs. Hard

Picture for Touch / Feel Sensation: Soft vs. Hard¬ - Cotton balls, caterpillar stuffed animal, mittens, hole punch, nail clipper, battery, mallet, scissors, paint brush
Soft vs. Hard
  • Other than the size and pliability of cotton balls I can’t feel any other qualities. I have no sensation like how fluffy or soft they are.
  • I can tell the caterpillar stuffed animal has rounded bumps and fairly rigid, but can’t describe how soft or hard it is.  
  • The mittens are easy to fold and bend,
  • A metal hole punch is rigid and I can tell the handle is meant to be squeezed. So I describe it as hard.  
  • The nail clippers are metal and not pliable.
  • I can hold the D battery in one hand, hard and cylindrical in shape.
  • My jewelry texturing hammer has multiple heads/ends, but I am unable to identify which end is which by feel.
  • The scissors are hard and they have two holes.
  • A paint brush handle is hard and rigid, but the bristles are pliable

 Touch Sensation: Challenge 

Picture for Touch / Feel Sensation: Challenge

Are you ready for a challenge? 
  • Have a friend put 5 things in a pillow case and see how many you can identify by feel with a glove on your hand.  
  • Have friend put 10 things in a pillow case and see how many you can retrieve on request by feel with a glove on your hand.  
  • Have a friend select 5 things that are similar in size and shape, but with differences in how pliable, rigid, smooth or textured. Put them in a pillow case and see how many you can identify by feel with a glove on your hand.  

feeling word graphic in multiple colors and patterns

To summarize my touch sensation was effected by the stroke and quadriplegia. In short I can’t feel texture and have difficulty with identification by feel. I compensate with the touch sensation I do have. You can determine an object’s size and shape by touch like me. Try to understand what it is like to identify items when they are out of sight.


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#stroke  #quadriplegia #SCI #thequadspot #JessicaKennedy