Category Archives: assistive technology devices

Best Gifts for a Sensory Seeking Child

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One of the hardest things for me as Joey’s mom is finding new and different toys he will play with especially around his birthday or Christmas. Yes, he sometimes (like 1-2 times per week) will play with a matchbox car and occasionally with an action figure, but he’s more content with more sensory related toys and activities that keep his brain active and stimulated. I mean, what does Santa bring a kid who doesn’t like playing with “regular toys”?!

This is a time that I truly have to rack my brain and think like Joey. What would he like to get from Santa or the Easter Bunny or for his birthday? And I know I’m not the only parent out there with this predicament so I thought it would be fun to compile a list of toys that Joey and other sensory seeking children may enjoy to help fellow parents and loved ones find the perfect gifts for the child. I’ve done my best to sort the toys into different categories because, let’s face it, each sensory seeking child craves different types of stimuli. I’ve listed items that your visual, tactile,  Vestibular/Proprioceptive (movement), auditory, or oral seeking child might like.

**As I find more gift ideas to add to this post, I will add them.

Visual Seekers

Adorox Liquid Bubble Drop Motion Wheel Zig Zag Desk Toy (Bubbler) (we have multiple of these floating around our house! We can never have enough of these!)

60 Rainbow Counting Bears with Color Matching Sorting Cups Set

Tranquil Teddy Bear – Occupational Therapy Toy – 12″ Plush Stuffed Animal with Light-Up Glitter Ball  (Santa got this for Joey and he LOVES it! He tucks it in next to himself every night before bed!)

Ocean Relax Projector  (Santa also got Joey this and we have it in our playroom, it’s REALLY neat! I enjoy sitting and watching it as well!)

Toysmith 37-Piece Marble Run (Santa got Jojoe this last Christmas)

Quercetti Kaleido Gears – 55 Piece Building Set with 3 Different Sized Gears 

Original Hoberman Sphere

360 Degree Rotating Cosmos Star Moon sky Projector

Mindscope Twister Tracks Trax RollBot Neon Glow in the Dark 241 Piece Flexible Railway Set With Light Up LED Motorized Sphere/Ball & 12′ Feet of Track

Little People Wheelies Stand ‘n Play Rampway (we have this and Jojoe will sit and play with this and his cars)

Tot Tube Playset – Toy Car and Ball Tunnel Ramp Race Track

Gazillion Bubble Hurricane Machine (we’ve gone through multiple bubble makers and this one makes the most bubbles by far!)

Penguin Race 2 (Santa got this for Joey and he LOVES it! It’s super cute!)

Tactile Seekers

Sensory Water Beads  (I have a pack of these to try once it warms up a bit more and we can fill our kiddie pool with them!)

FIDGET TOY (Package of 8)

Duc Elite Stress Relief Balls

Therapy Putty Special Kit, 2-oz. each, Red, Yellow, Green and Blue (Jojoe uses this in occupational therapy at school to help build up his hand strength!)

Edushape Sensory See Me Balls

Set of 3! Tangle Jr. Original Fidget Toy (there was a few of these in Joey’s Easter basket!)

Rainbow Rice Colored Rice Mix Non Toxic Sensory Tables, Neon, 5 lb.

Novelty Pin Point Impressions Metal Pin Art (This could have also gone in the visual seekers category as well. Joey has one these and will sit and watch the pins move as he flips it over)

Vestibular/Proprioceptive (movement) Seekers

Skil-Care 5′ x 5′ Crash Pad   (I wish we had the space for one of these in Joey’s room!)

Sunny Health & Fitness 40″ Foldable Trampoline with Bar (We have this one and Jojoe LOVES to jump! He jumps on his trampoline 24/7, it is one of the main ways Joey gets out his energy, especially when he’s over stimulated!)

Super Spinner Swing

Transformer Sensory Sack (Joey LOVES his sensory sack!)

 

Gamecraft Safety Guard Scooters (Jojoe has a scooter board and he rides it on our driveway while his siblings ride their bikes)

Hippity Hop 55cm Including Free Foot Pump, For Children Ages 7 & Up

Hanging Swing Chair for Kids

Exercise Ball (Joey constantly sits on his exercise ball and bounces while watching his iPad! He also loves to sit on his and stare out the window watching cars drive by)

My First Flybar – Red Foam Pogo Jumper For Kids- Supports up to 250lbs

Auditory Seekers

Hohner Kids MP400 – 16″ Plastic Rainbomaker (we have several of these as well around our house that Joey plays with)

Zenit Audio Egg Shaker – Premium Professional Wood Egg Shakers and Musical Instruments

LilGadgets Untangled Pro Premium Children’s Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with SharePort – Purple (headphones in our house are a MUST! As much as Joey listens to music on his iPad, it can get very noisy so a good pair of headphones can be a lifesaver!)


Oral Seekers

MyBoo Autism/Sensory/Teething Chewable Oval Bead and Droplet Pendant Necklace

Chewy Tubes Super Chew Knobby, 2 Pack (a MUST for an oral motor kiddo!)

Chewelry Quad-Blockz Oral Sensory Stimulation Tool Block Piece Chew Necklace

Munchables Chewelry Dog Tags

Chewable Jewelry Large Coil Necklace

Life’s Expectations…

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691.JPGAs Joey gets older, I’m seeing more and more changes academically. Although he is in the same 4th grade home room as Leah, the academic work has gotten more difficult and the current curriculum can no longer be adapted to Joey’s needs and he spends the majority of the day in the special education room when he is not in specials (gym, art, music, library) or doing one of his jobs.

When we went for the annual open house at the kids’ school the other evening, I have to admit, I was pretty heartbroken when I walked into their classroom and discovered that Joey does not have a desk in that room. This is the first year where he’s not been in a regular classroom. Now, before any of the inclusion parents go bashing our choice, keep in mind, that this is our choice that he’s in the SPED room most of the day.

But it hit me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Life always finds ways to say, “Hey! Things aren’t going the way you expected them to go!” I guess I was just expecting him to have a desk with his name on it in the home room like all the other years just like all the other kids.

When Joey was a baby, before we knew he was going to also have Autism, I wanted more than anything for him to be 100% totally included in the regular mainstream classrooms. Now, I know to meet his needs, this isn’t the case. We have to do what’s best for Joey, NOT what I dreamed for and wanted for him originally.

He needs true one on one support 24/7 in the classroom. He can do basic things like write his name, count to 10, can point to the correct letter, color, shape, etc. A great deal of his school work in now being done on his iPad. He seems to be more eager to work with the iPad than a piece of paper. He’s even started building sentences on his iPad as well!

It just hits home when I see the work Leah is doing compared to Joey and they’re in the same grade. Even though I know I shouldn’t be comparing them. It’s just so hard sometimes not to.

Over the past year, since we’ve allowed the school to pull Jojoe out of the regular ed classroom more, we have noticed some improvements in his socially, behaviorally and even vocally. He’s getting the true one on one attention he needs and for that, I am forever grateful to all the staff at the school who have worked with him.

Just last week I had a meeting with some of his team and the school lunch lady to see if we can start adapting the school lunches to where he’ll eat them and not just the same few foods at home especially since he’s done so good with me eating at some restaurants! So, on Monday, which was cheeseburger day, Joey went through the lunch time and got his burger. The staff put it in the blender to make it mechanical soft and wouldn’t you know, after covering it in ketchup, JOEY ATE HIS FIRST BURGER!!!! Talk about a proud mommy moment when I read the email from his teacher!

Thankfully, Joey is such a “big man on campus.” He’s still very much included in activities around the school. He even has the big task of working in the school’s recycling program where he goes to every class throughout the week and helps to collect the recycling from the rooms. He’s the school custodian’s best buddy!

I look forward to the future for all three of my kids, seeing what each of them can achieve but also at times, I’m terrified for them, especially Joey, not knowing what the future holds for him. But I cannot let my own personal anxiety get in the way, I cannot control what the future holds and need to live each day, one step at a time.

Carly’s Voice, Best Channing Tatum interview ever!

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channing-tatum-a-320Last night, this interview came up on my Facebook feed and I just have to share it with you all. Carly Fleischmann is a non-verbal, autistic woman who’s dream is to have her own talk show and her dream has become a reality!

Her very first interview on her new show, Speechless With Carly Fleischmann, was with the one and only Channing Tatum, who himself has ADHD and Dyslexia. I busted out laughing multiple times as she grilled Channing about his marriage, parenting, childhood and more, especially when she started off her interview asking him, “Would you date a 21-year-old person with autism?”

Carly is a remarkable young lady who has a new fan and YouTube follower! Check out her YouTube page and I can’t wait to see who she interviews next! You can also visit her website, Carly’s Voice.