I wrote the other day about one of favorite places for sensory items, Fun and Function. Fun and Function is actually run by a pediatric occupational therapist and her husband, to help those with sensory needs feel more "normal." Aviva Weiss, the owner, decided to launch her own business after discovering that her own child had Sensory Processing Disorder. Like many of us, as a parent, she was frustrated that she could not find products that were reasonably priced and readily available.
I have been given a coupon code for my readers for purchases made before February 8th. So let me show you a couple of the things I have purchased and used and then read my past post, Occupational Therapy. Then make sure you go to Fun and Function and check out their products. Even if your child does not have special needs, many of their products can be used with any child!
Here are a few that I have used with my son:
Spiky Tactile Cushion: I got this for my son in Kindergarten (I think), when it was apparent that sitting on the floor or in his chair for more than 5 minutes was simply impossible. I was told by our OT, that the tactile nature of this cushion keeps his brain organized because he is constantly trying to find balance on it. Whatever it does, it worked for him. After 1st grade, he didn't have to use it at school, only at home for homework.
Tactile Brush: This is the first thing I got when my son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. The OT showed me how to use the brush to literally brush the skin of my son...we would brush and then gently pull on his joints twice a day (sometimes more!) The tactile nature was to desensitize him to different textures. There is a specific way to brush, the Wilbarger protocol, that an OT can show you. Plus, they're small enough to throw in your purse!
Magical Outfits: These are great 3-in-1 dress-up costumes for kids with sensory issues. There is a ballerina skirt, a ball skirt, a fairy princess dressing vest, plus vests for boys like police, fireman, and EMT. There are also weights that can be added to provide sensory input and calm the child. Kids can also practice fine motor skills like buttoning, zipping and snapping...all while feeling like a normal kid!
Original Sensa-ational Hug Tee: We have several of these shirts...not only are they soft (which is a requirement for my son), but they offer moderate compression to the child, providing sensory input and a calming hug! My son calls these his "squeezy" shirts and has worn them way past them actually fitting. He especially likes them for bedtime, as that is when his anxiety is highest and the "squeezy" feeling really helps him to feel more calm.
Slant Board/Easel/Clipboard: We made one of these before I found that they were available for purchase! I would have much rather bought it, though. The benefit of this, especially at school, is that it helps his focus, which is hard for my son. Having a clipboard eliminates the possibility of the paper moving, which could cause a meltdown; the clipboard allows him to walk around with it; and the easel can hold paper upright for reading or copying. Very useful!!
Tactile Foam Tummy Scooter: My son used these in sessions with his OT. Whether you're on your tummy or your back, you are still getting sensory input. The child's brain has to think about how to move and if your child has low muscle tone, this can help to strengthen the muscles when used frequently. The scooter can improve balance, coordination and provide sensory awareness. I would love to have one of these at home!
Blanket Slipcover to cover the Weighted Blanket: My son LOVED his weighted blanket, but I was always worried about washing it. The slipcover takes care of that issue...allowing the slipcover to be washed while leaving the weighted blanket the way it was originally bought. Sometimes the weight can move around in the blanket, leaving it possibly unevenly distributed...but my son kind of likes that. Even though he's outgrown his weighted blanket, he sleeps on top of it to still get that sensory input and deep pressure that he loves!
So there are just a few of the items that Fun and Function carries. If you would like to take advantage of a great discount, enter coupon code: meredithmull. This coupon will give my readers 10% off purchases through February 8, 2012. Please let me know if you decide to take advantage of this offer, and what you are going to buy.