Friday, July 12, 2024

Sensory Items For Autism

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Constructive Playthings Light Panel

The Autism-Friendly Sensory Toolbox by Boston Medical Center

For children with autism and visual impairment, a light panel can be a great sensory stimulation toy. And itâs something that will be interesting to all age groups.

This Constructive Playthings Light Panel can be used in lots of fun ways. Children can use it with their regular blocks and toys to build on top of it and experiment with it. Try it with colored kinetic sand, translucent magnetic tiles, colored stones, colored paper, or any objects you might have in the house that your child may find interesting when put up against the light.

You can also use it as a tracing board to copy pictures, patterns, and designs that your child can color in.

Itâs durable, lightweight, and meant for use by children, from toddlers to big kids. It has three lighting levels â low, medium, and high â to provide the right amount of visual stimulation for your child so they wonât be overwhelmed.

Although itâs the most expensive item on this list, it is worth the investment because itâs long-lasting, has many uses, and can be enjoyed by your child as they grow.

Tactile Autism Sensory Products

Seating For Your Sensory Room

You want to have a comfortable place for your child to recline or lay down in their sensory room. A crash pad is the best way to go, because it is multipurpose. Your child can use it for deep pressure input, anger management, and seating. We prefer Yogibo products, because of their comfort and durability. The Yogibo Max is big enough for adults to comfortably recline or sit on, so its the best deal for the money. If you dont plan on using it for yourself too, the smaller Yogibo Mini is great just for kids.

If the Yogibo isnt in your budget, you can use a bean bag chair from Walmart. A memory foam dog bed is a comfortable and affordable option as well. You can snag one for as little as $20. Check the clearance section of T.J. Maxx for great deals on these too! As a last resort, you can always just throw a pile of pillows and comforters in therekids know what to do with that!

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Sensory Kits What Are They

A sensory kit is a great tool to address sensory needs of individuals with ASD. It may include various activities and/or objects that can potentially help reduce anxiety, frustration, and/or resulting behaviors and allow the individual to better focus on daily tasks and activities. Sensory kit items may include objects that address a variety of sensory needs and can be used in any setting or context that may cause anxiety and stress from waiting rooms or emergency situations to unstructured times .

Neat And Accessible Storage Bins

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Children with autism can experience sensory overload, even with their toys and gadgets. Having storage bins that are organized, labeled, and easily accessible can help a child clear his/her space and avoid getting overwhelmed with too much stuff. Storage bins are perfect for children to slide open and close while keeping the contents out of sight, preventing them from getting distracted when they should be doing something else.

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How Do I Individualize My Sensory Kit

Below are ideas for putting together and using a sensory kit, keeping in mind safety rules that may apply based on age, functioning level, and other considerations. Remember, these are only examples and sensory kits should be individualized to meet the particular needs of the person with ASD.


  • Bags/Toys with Rice or Beans

Put The Calming Tools Or Sensory Input In Place

The fourth step is to put the calming tools in place. This can be done by using different colors, textures, smells, and sounds. You can also use lighting and music to create a calm environment.

If the child enjoys activities such as swinging or jumping, you could include those in the space as well. Be sure to have a variety of activities available to meet the needs of all children who will be using the room.

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More Autism Learning Resources

Build Foam Play Structures

Trying New Sensory Toys for Autism | Sensory Must-Haves 2020!!

Students love to jump, crawl, lay, throw, and topple over objects. Purchase some foam play structures for students to do just that in your sensory room. Foam play structures come in a variety of sets, shapes, and colors. They are soft and safe for students to use and hard for them to destroy. These can get a bit pricey but will pay off in the long run.


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These Are Some Of My Favorite Materials That I Use In Sensory Boxes In My Learning Center Le Chemin Aba In Paris :

1. Feathers

7. Leaves

14. Small toys 15. Cotton balls

17. Dried couscous18. Shaving cream19. Cut pieces of yarn 20. Cardboard squares

24. Dried corn25. Dried pasta

Make sure that your child is always surpervised while using sensory boxes, especially if he or she has a tendancy to put small items in his or her mouth.

Learn more about the benefits of sensory play for autism here.

People With Autism Might Have Sensitivities To:

  • Awareness of body position and movement
  • Awareness of internal body cues and sensations

Autistic people can experience both hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity to a wide range of stimuli. Most people have a combination of both.

Many autistic people experience hypersensitivity to bright lights or certain light wavelengths . Certain sounds, smells, textures and tastes can also be overwhelming. This can result in sensory avoidance trying to get away from stimuli that most people can easily tune out. Sensory avoidance can look like pulling away from physical touch, covering the ears to avoid loud or unpredictable sounds, or avoiding certain kinds of clothing.

Hyposensitivity is also common. This can look like a constant need for movement difficulty recognizing sensations like hunger, illness or pain or attraction to loud noises, bright lights and vibrant colors. People who are hyposensitive may engage in sensory seekingto get more sensory input from the environment. For example, people with autism may stimulate their senses by making loud noises, touching people or objects, or rocking back and forth.

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How Sensory Products Can Help

Whether your child is at home or in school, a multi-sensory environment tailored to his/her sensory needs may be effective in increasing purposeful engagement, language interactions, and positive behavior. Because each child responds differently, and each environment presents different sensory stimuli, it is important to consider sensory products in terms of sensory categories based on the desired outcome you want to see!

Products that you choose for the home may be used differently than a teacher would use them at school. For example, a therapy ball in your basement playroom could be used to push through a tunnel to provide some extra proprioceptive heavy work whereas a teacher may have a student sit on the therapy ball for a little extra movement during seated tasks to increase focus.

Some of the sensory products that give you the most bang for your buck will have multiple possibilities and ways to target different sensory systems!

The Benefits Of Sensory Toys For Autistic Children And Other Special Needs Kids

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While all children rely on their senses to explore and discover more about their world, this can sometimes be difficult for autistic kids and children with Aspergers or sensory processing issues. To help foster healthy early childhood development in your special needs child, you may want to consider getting toys made for autistic children or other behavioural/developmental issues. More than just toys, Sensory Tools® provides a range of products designed to stimulate and provide therapeutic relief for kids with a wide range of needs.

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Tips For Creating A Multi Sensory Room At Home

While sensory rooms are an integral part of most therapeutic settings, and many schools have sensory room equipment available to sensory sensitive children, creating a multi sensory room at home allows greater personalization for your childs needs. By consulting with an occupational therapist, you can create an individualized treatment plan with sensory products and toys designed to challenge your childs individual senses, and you can easily add to your plan over time.

If youre thinking of creating a multi sensory room at home, here are 5 tips to help you get started:

Consider your childs individual needs. Youve probably noticed that most therapeutic clinics include the same sensory room equipment swings, trampolines, ball pits, etc. and while your child would probably benefit from each of these, creating a multi sensory room at home allows you to be more specific in the tools you use. Rather than looking at the sensory room equipment included in larger facilities, focus only on the areas your child struggles with and source products and toys for those specific needs.

Carry On The Conversation

Have you got any hints on how to create the ultimate sensory room/ garden? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you would like to help Autistic & Unapologetic grow, then why not share this post on Facebook or Twitter? Its a great way to get these posts seen by those who might need them but might, otherwise, miss them.

As always, I can also be found on Twitter @AutismRevised and via my email:

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Thank you for reading and I will see you next week for more thoughts from across the spectrum.

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Quality Products Promote A Happy Home

7 Autism Sensory Toys (You NEED!)

Children with autism face unique challenges, and so do their parents. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your familys quality of life. Sensory items for autism such as special earplugs, compression bed sheets and touch lights, provide comfort and peace, while health products like specialized toothbrushes and essential oils encourage the development of crucial habits and life skills.

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How We Chose The Best Toys For Autistic Kids

If you simply look up toys for autistic children, youll likely find an overwhelmingly long list. Weve categorized some of the most popular toys and included ratings based on their usefulness, quality, and well fun factor.

The following toys earn high marks from both caregivers and therapists. Some are even designed specifically or have been designated by the manufacturer as a good pick for autistic children.

The Benefits Of Stimming For Neurodivergent People

Most neurodiverse children and adults, including autistic people and those with SPD and ADHD / ADD, engage in repetitive activities in an attempt to fulfill our sensory needs. This is known as stimming, and its essential for our psychological well-being. Most stims are comforting and help to relieve anxiety. We also stim to express joy, and to cope with physical and emotional pain and sensory overload.

Stimming is healthy, and should be encouraged as long as it does not hurt the person or others. Some examples of beneficial stimming include hand flapping, foot tapping, spinning, twisting hair around fingers, and other forms of fidgeting. Fidget toys and sensory items are helpful tools for people who stim. Some stims are subtle, while others are noticeable and may look weird to people who dont understand. Just because a stim looks different or unexpected doesnt make it harmful. But pressuring neurodivergent people to stop stimming for the sake of appearances IS deeply damaging and can lead to psychological distress and self-injurious stims.

Autistic and other neurodivergent people can experience meltdowns that may cause us to stim in harmful ways, such as head banging, hitting ourselves, or breaking objects. Healthy forms of stimming such as stim toys help us avoid these meltdowns and cope with them better when they do happen.

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What Is Sensory Sensitivity

Some children are born with special needs that affect their senses. One type of sensory issue is hyper-sensitivities which means they experience too much stimulation another form, hypo-, accounts for decreased sensitivity to some stimulus like sound or taste. Either way you look at it these kids can be overwhelmed by what seems like harmless touches!

Sights * Sounds * Smells * Tastes* Touch * Balance * Body Awareness

What Do Sensory Issues Look Like

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Many people with autism show certain behaviors when they are experiencing a sensory issue:

  • Increased movement, such as jumping, spinning or crashing into things
  • Increased stimming, such as hand flapping, making repetitive noises or rocking back and forth
  • Talking faster and louder, or not talking at all
  • Covering ears or eyes
  • Difficulty recognizing internal sensations like hunger, pain or the need to use the bathroom
  • Refusing or insisting on certain foods or clothing items
  • Frequent chewing on non-food items
  • Frequent touching of others or playing rough
  • Difficulty communicating or responding as the brain shifts resources to deal with sensory input
  • Escalating, overwhelming emotions or need to escape a situation

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Top Sensory Sensitive Toys For Those On The Autism Spectrum:

While it may seem like there are an endless number of options when looking for sensory toys and gifts, below is a list that you can use as a guide. These types may be best suited to help those with autism spectrum disorder learn about their environment or deal better in social situations.

Sensory Mats: Sensory mats are great toys for children with Autism. These small mats utilize a different texture for each piece. Children can then use their hands or feet to feel and play with the different types of textures.

Chew Toys: We all know that when were anxious, our brain sends out signals to find something calming. For some children with special needs who are constantly bombarded by incoming information and difficulty filtering whats relevant or important in life this can result in an overactive temperament which means theyll chew improperlyon clothes, objects or sometimes even themselves. These oral sensory toys can help lessen the need to chew by providing proprioceptive input that some children may seek out.

Sand, Slime, or Putty: If your child is tactile defensive, the perfect items to introduce them would be putty, slime, and sand. Other benefits that come along with playing with these toys are improvements in their sensory perception as well as fine motor skills and creativity.

Have you tried any of these tips? Let us know in the comments below!

How To Make A Sensory Kit

  • Review the sensory kit material options in the next dropdown to brainstorm items to include in the kit
  • Determine which items would be appropriate and safe for age and functioning level of individuals likely to be using the kit. Remember: a sensory kit should contain several options, targeting each of the senses.
  • Create a bag, bin, or shelf with items safe and appropriate to the intended user.
  • Consider labeling the kit, providing visual instructions and training so the individual can know to recognize the need and how to access materials as needed.
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    How Do Sensory Sensitive Toys Help Those With Autism

    The use of sensory toys can be a great way to help those with autism spectrum disorders learn how to relax, focus and calm down. The different sounds or textures that these items provide will allow them time away from whatever is bothering him/her. Learning to use these toys can help your child learn how to play more naturally over time.

    Toys that stimulate the senses are a great way for children with autism to engage and learn about their world. Using these types of playthings can help them focus better, calm down quickly when theyre excited or angry, relax more easily after an experience where things were scary/tense, etc. Sensory sensitive toys help develop imagination skills by creating new stories based on what was seen and heard .

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