Top Tips

My Top Fidget Toys

Rubik’s Cube

fidget1

This rotatable puzzle can be easily manipulated. It is ideal for someone who is motivated by colour and keeps their hands busy.

Tangle

fidget2

You can pull and twist them. Good for reducing stress and anxiety.

Fidget Spinnerfidget3

This toy is a stress reliever, which helps improve your mental focus and helps reduce fidgeting.

Bog Eyed Buggliesfidget4

This toy is squishy and stretchy, so has a very pleasing texture.

Fidget Cube

fidget5

This toy combines rolling, spinning, clicking, gliding and flipping motions.

Classroom Tips

1) Use a chewy pencil topper/drink out of a water bottle throughout the day: This allows for a person who is sensory seeking to have extra oral movement.

img_6318

2) Use Theraputty: This helps improve the strength and function of the hands and fingers. They come in different resistances and is a great activity for people who struggle with proprioception and fine motor skills.

3) Use a Sand Timer along with a Now and Next Board: The Now and Next Board is a great visual timetable, giving only 2 instructions at a time. Using the sand timer during the transition from the first activity to the next is an additional prompt, allowing the person to see when they should finish the first activity and move onto the next.

4) Incorporate chair and wall push ups: These should be done at brief intervals as and when needed. This helps train your proprioceptive muscles and helps with balance too.

5) Have tactile material on the desk: This is for sensory stimulation. You can purchase a square piece of tactile material and stick it down to a small section of the desk. Having this option will help the person focus better.

img_6316

6) Incorporate resistance band exercises: You can tie Theraband around the legs of the chair so that the person can press their legs against it. This is a great tip for someone who is always fidgeting and needing proprioceptive input.

Morning Routine

1) Plan what to have for breakfast the night before: This just reduces the anticipation of what will be happening in the morning.

2) Use unflavoured toothpaste: For someone who has sensory issues, some flavoured toothpastes can taste spicy. My son had sensory issues with brushing his teeth, so we used OraNurse Toothpaste.  

3) Use a visual timetable: This is a great way to show structure and routine. As the person develops and becomes more comfortable with change, you can incorporate more flexibility into their routine using a visual timetable, a familiar aid. I find this concept handy as you can have a choice option or add another activity onto a routine.

4) Have an alarm clock: My son has difficulty understanding perception of time and gets confused with his days of the week, so I purchased a talking alarm clock for him. This is perfect as it says the time and day when you press it:

clock

5) Set aside the clothes the night before ready for the morning.

Eating Out

1) Look at the menu online prior to going out to a restaurant. I would recommend choosing at least two food options just in case when you arrive, one of the options is not available. If you or the person is restricted on your/their food choice, then bring a tub with a portion of your/their favourite food in.

2) Create a social story about eating out. You can create this yourself, use online templates or purchase social story books.

3) Take Fidget Toys with you. You cannot predict how long it will take to be served or for the food to be ready so having fidget toys at hand helps reduce anxiety whilst waiting.

4) Request to sit at a side table rather than in the middle of the restaurant: My son has sensory processing disorder, so he feels more comfortable sitting at a side table. Plus this way he is not in the middle of all the noise from the food outlet or people talking.

5) Create an Eating Out Diary: Monitor what style of restaurant suits you or the person best, food option availability, day of the week you eat out and best time to go out to eat.

Clothes Tips

img_1238

Travelling Tips

1) Take ear defenders with you.

2) Have a travel bag with snacks in and fidget toys: Having snacks and a drink (with a straw preferably) is a good anxiety reducing tip for someone who has oral sensory needs.

3)Plan the journey ahead. Try and limit, if possible, spontaneous days out.

4) Have a go to place/quiet place. Look at a map of the place you will be visiting and highlight the less crowded areas, which can be used as a chill out space.

5) Show images/photos of the place you are going to visit. Give as much visual input as you can prior to the day out. This helps to reduce anxiety and gives the person some reassurance.

6) If you have a smartphone, use travel apps. You can see others’ recommendations and some apps are live, so you can check for any travel delays/diversions.
travel

7) Attend the last day of an event: With events, I find it easier if we attend the last day and purchase priority tickets to avoid the busy queues.

8) Travel during off-peak hours.

9) Do a countdown/visual list: When travelling on a train, countdown how many stops you have to go until you have reached your destination. If you are travelling by car/plane/train then you can create a visual list of objects you will see and once you spot them, you can tick them off your list.

10) Spot the Difference Books. My son loves attention to detail so these books are fun for him but also helps him focus and feel relaxed.

Hairdressers Tips

img_1236