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There are some great sensory tools available for children with autism. Whether your child is a sensory seeker, avoider or some of each there are great tools out there to help your child better regulate their system. Here are five tools that have helped my son.
Weighted Lap Pads
Weighted lap pads are a great way to calm an upset child or help with focus. Plain fabric lap pads are great for in the classroom. They can help with focus when children are sitting in a circle or at the desk. For younger children weighted stuffed animals are a great animal. When my son was three and four he had a “heavy kitty” at school which he loved. The weighted cat combined with his cube chair helped him sit calmly in circle time. Make sure you chose a weight appropriate for your child (your OT can help or most sites have a guide)
For kids with oral sensory needs there are an array of chewies out there. They come in the form of pencil toppers, chewable jewelry and more. Currently we have had a lot of success with block necklaces (my son is a LEGO fanatic) and chewy bracelets but in the past we’ve had robots, dinosaurs and trains too.
Putties can also be a great regulating tool. Putties come in various consistencies depending on how tough you want it to be for your little one to knead the putty. They also come with themes and items in them and sometimes they are scented. I like to hide coins or trinkets in the putty and then have my son dig it out. Putties also have the added advantage that they are hand strengtheners as well.
We’ve all seen them (and maybe been annoyed by some of them) but fidgets really are a great tool for helping with concentration and sensory regulation. My son likes fidgets like the tangle juior and hairy tangle junior but fidgets do everything from squish, vibrate to spin.
Resistance are another great sensory tool. They are a great way to get kids moving and doing some heavy work and take up virtually no space when not in use. All three of my kids love their rocketship resistance tunnel but this is just one option.