My 4 (going on 14… anyone else have one of those?) year old daughter, K, was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder a couple years ago. She’s had issues with her ears since birth and it’s suspected that her SPD is linked to that. She has a HUGE noise sensitivity as well as some vestibular and proprioceptive delays.
We’ve been through therapy, took a break, and are looking to get back to an OT soon. K just started attending a local cottage school (where I teach) one day a week and could use the extra support.
Over time, we’ve accumulated several things at home to help support her sensory needs. Amazon is a FANTASTIC place to find toys and tools for SPD/ASD kiddos. Here are some of our favorites:
1) OUTREE Kids Pod Swing Seat Hammock
Swinging is one of the best activities for sensory input. (Check out these benefits of a sensory swing). We purchased this one for K and hung it in her room. It can support up to 170lbs. Pro Tip: If you’re hanging this inside, don’t use the anchor that comes with the product – use a different heavy duty anchor. The anchor that came with the product failed and caused the swing to fall, but the anchor we replaced it with has held the swing up fine.
This swing can be used indoor or out and, other than the anchor design, is a good quality product. The exterior is a canvas material, which is suitable for outdoor weather. My girl loves curling up in this with her stuffed animals!
2) Vanderfields Earmuffs for Kids
Noise sensitivity is a common symptom of sensory processing disorder and ASD. My daughter is literally terrified of flushing toilets, hand dryers, blenders, the vacuum…pretty much anything with a small motor. Or a big motor. Okay, pretty much anything that makes loud mechanical sounds. And water.
Bathroom trips in public were a NIGHTMARE before we purchased these noise blocking ear muffs. She’d stick her fingers in her ears and refuse to move. It’s incredibly difficult to get a child to use the restroom when they won’t use their hands.
These noise blocking ear muffs have been a LIFE CHANGER. Public restroom visits are a breeze now. If I’m blending a smoothie or vacuuming, I just give her advance notice and she grabs her ear muffs. These travel with us everywhere. She even uses them at night sometimes when it storms, since she’s also bothered by thunder.
These come in 8 fun colors – I let K pick out which one she wanted. They are cushy on the ears and expand to fit even my adult sized head (I’ve used them while operating a table saw). These do NOT cancel ALL noise, but rather lower the noise level by about 20 decibels. (For reference, normal conversation is about 60 decibels, while many household tools hover around 80-85 decibels.)
3) SENSO MEGA BUNDLE Sensory Chew Necklace – Silicone Chewy
I’ve sometimes found K biting her hands or fingers – especially when she’s upset or tired. We got a chewy necklace like these, from a birthday party, and she wears it out when we’re going to do something that’s particularly demanding on her senses. However, it’s currently lost in the abyss so this multi pack is on our list for the next Amazon order!
These are silicone, so they are soft on the teeth and won’t cause any problems for those who are allergic to latex (me!). If your kiddo is a chewer or just likes the oral sensation, then these necklaces are a MUST!
4) MarvelBeads Water Beads Rainbow Mix – 8oz
If you’re like me and are sick of dealing with kinetic sand and sticky slime, then these are the perfect alternative for you and your kiddo! Mine spent a good hour (or more!) squishing these around, scooping them up, filling jars, etc. They can also be frozen for a totally different sensory experience. If you’ve got a kiddo that needs tactile input, I highly recommend trying these out.
5) Seamless Socks
I don’t know about your kiddo but socks used to be the biggest pain and would inevitably cause a meltdown. That little line on the toes annoys me at times, I can only imagine how irritating it is to my hypersensitive sensory avoider. We started turning her socks inside out, but sometimes that still bothers her. These seamless socks are on our wish list right now! I love them because they are cute animal characters – which my girl LOVES. Her favorite pair of socks right now are a pair that, when you put your feet together, make an owl face. I’m thinking these will be a stocking stuffer for Christmas this year!
Do you have any products you have found that have helped your kiddo and supported their needs? I’d love to hear about them! Please share in a comment. 🙂