Sensory Stuff

Spinning but never dizzy!

Top five “sensory” products that were actually worth the money:

How often do you search online for something to help your kid with their sensory needs – whether to stimulate or soothe – and then wonder…..ugh will that be worth the money?  I have definitely spent money on many things that turned out to never be used again.  (Maybe I should also do a list of worst and most useless products?)  But these 5 products, listed from good to amazing, have in our home been definitely worth it.

Important disclaimer:  The Amazon links below are part of the Amazon Associates program, so if you click on one and buy it I will make a small profit (no extra cost to you).  We are talking small as in, 3 percent or so….just enough for me to get a $5 gift card from Amazon and then buy more stuff there 😉 It’s possible I have an unhealthy relationship with Prime lol.

5. Body Sock:

My son has really enjoyed this.  It’s hard for me to tell how much it “works” for sensory soothing or meeting that need for pressure as he uses inconsistently.  Some days he flat out refuses it, other days he wants to wear it constantly to hide in while he reads books, and other times he uses it as kind of resistance work out (Push, pull, flail wildly!) 😀  For the frequency of use, and joy it seems to bring him, it has been worth it.

Here’s the one we use. Click on the image to buy it on Amazon.

4. Super soft blanket:

A super soft blanket has saved us from a meltdown turning violent too many times for me to count.  If only it worked every time…..  But anyway, while my son likes most blankets, and when he wants deep pressure ALL the blankets in the house, super soft blankets are his favorite.  I tried to buy one for my bed, but thats the one he most frequently steals and wraps himself in while watching TV.  Maybe its to feel near me….or maybe just because it annoys me so much that he takes it out of my room and gets crumbs all over it?  Let’s face it, he does like to annoy me 😉 We got ours at Costco.

3. Chewable:

Is your kid like mine – most of their T shirts with little chew marks showing evidence of how delicious the collar was? 

We tried many different chewables….most memorably I spent DAYS making a cloth covered bracelet with a velcro fastener that I thought would be the BEST EVER and he refused to chew on or wear it (sigh).  But eventually through much trial and error we found one product he will actually use.  These little P and Q letters seem to be the perfect mix of soft but sturdy.  Some chewables he chewed holes in almost immediately.  Others didn’t give him “chewing satisfaction” because he couldn’t get a good bite.  But these have survived for months and are still used.  I wish they came with a way to wear or connect them better.  I have tied them with string onto essentially a name tag holder and that works pretty well.  

Click here for an Amazon link to these Chew Tubes

2. Super spinner swing:

For kids with vestibular sensory issues this will either be the best or worst thing ever.  My son is one of those unusual kids who actually does not like regular “back and forth” swinging very much.  But he is obsessed with spinning and seems unable to get physically dizzy.  So this swing specifically designed for spinning has been a dream come true!  If I’m totally honest I get a slight headache watching him spin so fast…but he is very happy!  I hung it from a strong tree branch with a doubled up nylon rope and a carabiner.  It comes with it’s own stiff hanging ropes and two carabiners that can clip into a swing set if you have one.  But I purposefully clip it into one spot to allow for the insanely fast spinning that brings my kid the most joy.   Honestly, I get a headache when I watch how fast he spins, but it gives him SO much joy!

The Super Spinner on Amazon.com

1. Therapy swing: 

Or as my son calls it, his “room hammock”.  My son had an outdoor spinning swing for a year and absolutely loved it (see above) but because we lived in a rental I never could get him the type of swing you have to install indoors with a heavy duty bolt.  When the day finally came I wondered….will this just be money I spend on something he never uses?  

I’m happy to tell you we have the opposite problem!  He adores the “hammock” and it has been wonderful as a place for him to go calm down in.  He actually chooses to climb in there some days just for the calming sensation.  True, he loves it so much that I can’t leave it in his room at night because he will then fall asleep in it and fall out a few hours later….but for a day time experience it has been amazing!

Most amazing to me, it has been a big help in dealing with his aggressive episodes. In a future post I hope to talk more about this…if you’re a parent who’s so sad to see the painful moment your normally sweet child becomes suddenly and frighteningly aggresive please know you are not alone. And having a designated calm, safe, soft place (whether a hammock, tent, blanket, or something else creative) can be a very vital part of the process of dealing with these episodes.

The therapy swing we use 🙂

So there are my five fab faves! What other tools have you found that help your child (or yourself) to meet those sensory needs? I’m also curious about any products people have created themselves. I have made a few things like lotion bars and “calm balm” that I offer on my Etsy store. They aren’t in any way guaranteed to work or “treat” sensory struggles, but just having them as something I can offer to my son has been comforting for me at least! What’s your favorite sensory item?

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