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I'll tell you why I can't wear those clothes!

I'll tell you why I can't wear those clothes!

Talking about tactile defensiveness

Noreen O'Sullivan

Quick Overview

This full-colour, photographic workbook is designed for adults and children to read together and explains the physical reasons a child may become emotionally overwhelmed by some daily routines involving touch. The workbook format allows them to explore their own feelings about their touch-related sensitivities, helping them to feel supported.
2014, Hardback, 8.54in x 7.99in / 217mm x 203mm, 60pp
ISBN: 978-1-84905-510-9

Availability: In stock



Do you know a child who hates the feel of certain items of clothing? This is a child's perspective on a largely unrecognized condition called tactile defensiveness, a physical condition that causes hypersensitivity to certain touch sensations.

Intended for adults and children to read together, the illustrated book explains reasons a child may become emotionally overwhelmed by daily routines such as putting on clothing, socks and shoes. The workbook format allows children to express and explore their own feelings through drawings or words, in order to explain their misunderstood behavior.

A perfect book for children, families, teachers, therapists and other professionals dealing with tactile defensiveness suitable to be read with children aged 4 and above.


'A great tool for understanding what life can be like when a child has some degree of tactile defensiveness. The 'drawing journal' format will greatly improve the necessary communication between child and adult, and assist in coming to terms with the challenges they face each day. It expresses the emotions of many children I work with and offers helpful coping tips. This short and sweet campaign for awareness and acceptance will hopefully lead to the necessary occupational therapy treatment needed by so many children.'
- Lina Bluteau, occupational therapist

'It's perfect. From start to finish. I am so proud to be a small part of it. I really am.'
- Jessica Ralli, special educator and owner of Soft Clothing

'A fantastic interactive book that can educate children, parents and professionals alike, about the challenges Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) can present, and how the child and the adults around it, can handle these challenges. The book leaves no doubt that awareness, understanding and individual considerations are key in enabling a child to cope with SPD.'
- Camilla Egelund, child and family psychologist

'Children with Tactile Defensiveness often have difficulty describing the physical reasons behind their sensory feelings about bath water, clothes, shoes etc. This book allows the child to express their emotions in their own way either by drawing, writing or talking. The language is gentle and kind therefore guides parents, teachers, and friends to take a caring approach when addressing the special needs of the child that occur on a daily basis.'
- Claus Hancke, MD FACAM, specialist in general medicine

'I'll Tell You Why....I Can't Wear Those Clothes!' provides an unusual interactive book format directed to parents, kids and professionals alike and uses the 'drawing journal' format to discuss 'tactile defensiveness,' or hypersensitivity to certain kinds of touch (and, by definition, certain kinds of clothing). It's a photographic workbook written from a child's perspective that explores why dressing often becomes a challenging daily routine, and it provides plenty of insights into simple methods to overcome clothing resistance. Parenting, health, psychology and education collections alike will find this a highly accessible, unique coverage.'
- The Midwest Book Review

'This beautifully produced book about a little understood condition known as tactile defensiveness... Designed for being used with and adult parent or carer, the book will provide lots of points for discussion and for understanding just how the child feels... The story is charming and gentle... There is a considerable list of useful websites at the end of the book which should help in practical ways. An interesting book which will provide empathy and understanding.'
- Healthy Books

'Children, both neurotypical and those with a diagnosis of whatever kind, can all experience the feeling of clothing that distracts them and makes them feel uncomfortable at some point in their childhoods. This book gives them a way to realise that it is okay to feel these emotions and ways to try and express what they do like. When dealt with sympathetically, children will often find their own solutions to sensory issues and feel comforted simply by being understood. It is a very simple book with an effective message that would be a good place to start if your child is having difficulties of this kind.'
- Special Needs Jungle


By (author): Noreen O'Sullivan