As we continue in our sensory processing disorder series (if you are new start here), I want to spend time offering up some sensory tools for children. Sensory tools are one way for kids to regulate their bodies. These tools provide relief and better help them remain calm when faced with frustrations or challenges with sensory issues.
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Sensory tools, to be quite honest, scared me a bit when I first was introduced to the concept. That might sound silly to some of you, but let me explain. I was afraid my child would always need some sort of pacifier to deal with the stresses of life. My thought was this: If I provide something to chew on, play with or put on their body to receive comfort or relief, they would become reliant on such an object.
After going through therapy with my child, I realize the value of these tools, but I also want to share two thoughts about that initial concern.
First, some adults have found socially acceptable ways to deal with their own sensory needs, after all, we do all have them. Some chew gum. Others chew on their hair. Adults press their legs into the ground while working, bounce their legs or fidget with things on their desk. Some sleep with a weighted blanket or multiple heavy blankets. My point is that if we, as adults, have sensory needs that we pacify in some way, why not provide tools for our children. They will most likely transition to more socially acceptable ways of coping with their needs as they mature.
Second, I have found that my child has less and less need for the tools I provided in the beginning. Rather than becoming dependent on these things, with the therapy, maturity, and problem solving strategies we have provided, the need for the tools has lessened. They provided a way for us to get through some of the more challenging seasons of learning how to parent a child with SPD.
I am no longer concerned about sensory tools for children. Like the heavy work solution, these items help fulfill a need for the sensory child. It “fills up their bucket” so they can better cope with the unique stresses their bodies and brain face.
Sensory Tools for Children
Oral Chew Sensory Tools for Children
Weighted Sensory Tools for Children
Auditory Sensory Tools for Children
Tactile Fidget Sensory Tools for Children
Movement & Motor Sensory Tools for Children
Calming Visual Sensory Tools for Children
Body Pressure Sensory Tools for Children
I hope this becomes a great resource for you. Many of these items are extremely affordable and yet can provide your children with either the stimulus or calm their brains crave.
A Week Series on Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory Processing Disorder is obviously complex. There’s no one shoe that fits all solution. That said, there are commonalities found in SPD kids, and we want to provide you with some resources this week.
Here’s what the week is going to look like:
Wednesday (today) – Sensory Processing Tools for Children
Saturday – How to Pray for Your Child with Sensory Processing