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Autism Awareness Month: Day 7

Posted: April 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Birth to Three, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Stuff You Need, Wyatt | 8 Comments »

Our boys are sensory seekers.
They love to touch and feel, bounce and fall, balance and slide and be tossed in the air as high as they can go.  Wyatt wraps himself up in his blanket to sleep at night as tightly as he can, Lincoln sleeps sideways in his crib at the very end so he’s scrunched up just so. 
I first heard the terms “sensory seekers” and “sensory avoiders” at a workshop I went to about a month ago.  It was kind of an A-Ha moment for me.  I always thought of sensory issues in more of the “sensory avoider” frame.  Since being introduced to this concept we have been thrust into a new way of looking at things.
Like dry noodles, beans, rice and peas.
Put them into plastic bins with a scoop and you have compact sensory experience to pull out at any moment.  Anything that feels weird that they can dig their hands into drives them to giggles.  We like to hide things in our sensory bins.  Mostly letters, of course!  It’s so simple and obvious and totally cheap- I have our OT to thank for this little gem.  Wyatt even picks every last noodle/ bean/ rice/ pea up off of his tray before we put them away.  I thought for sure this would be a huge mess but if kept to about 10 minutes it’s actually pretty engageing.
I also have a bucket of tricks that we pull out whenever we feel like we need something extra help connecting.
Pinwheels- they love it when we blow in their faces and this gives the added swirl of color
Bath sponges- we have a few different kinds that they love to touch and squish
Stretchy, rubbery, sticky orbs- I got them in the Dollar Spot at Target and they love them
Bristle Blocks- easy to build with, fun to touch and feel
Add the canvas tunnel that we pop open for them to crawl through and the Hoberman Sphere (to help with our breathing exercises) and we’re not too shabby in the sensory toys department!  Household items make really great sensory toys.
We’ve been looking into weighted blankets (I think Grandma E was thinking about making some) and I just saw a weighted Scentsy Buddy that you can get a lavendar sachet for which made me wonder if that would be good for helping them sleep…will have to look into that.
What am I missing here?  What are some cheap but useful sensory toys?

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8 Comments on “Autism Awareness Month: Day 7”

  1. 1 John Clotfelter said at 1:25 pm on April 7th, 2011:

    Another great post. Keep up the good writing!

  2. 2 Ann M said at 8:25 pm on April 7th, 2011:

    Let me know if Grandma E needs directions for making a weighted blanket. I wrote them up a few years ago when I made one for my sensory daughter. It is pretty simple. Do you have the book The Out of Sync Child Has Fun? It is an amazing wealth of ideas for sensory play.

  3. 3 erinclot said at 9:28 pm on April 7th, 2011:

    I haven't heard of that book but The Out of Synch Child has been on my list. I will have to check them both out soon! I think she found an online tutorial that seemed pretty easy. We were going to buy them but at $70-$100+ apiece I think we're better off making our own 🙂

  4. 4 Lori Hauxwell said at 11:23 am on April 8th, 2011:

    There is a family here in Mid-Missouri that is making them for families in need. They use old jeans, just about every part of them. I would have to look them up again but can get you contact information if you would like it. They sound really cool. I had never heard about the blankets until I came across a post on craigslist.

  5. 5 Jessica said at 8:34 pm on April 7th, 2011:

    I'm in the middle of a graduate project on the autism spectrum in Education, I've been learning so much this month from your posts. Thank you so much!

  6. 6 erinclot said at 9:27 pm on April 7th, 2011:

    I'd love to hear more about your project. Glad my ramblings could be of some help.

  7. 7 Juliana Goodheart said at 3:58 am on May 1st, 2011:

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  8. 8 Ernest said at 5:14 pm on May 2nd, 2011:

    The eyes of love are blind.

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