We all know that taking care of kids is already hard, so can you imagine how it feels to have to deal with children with attention disorders?
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and Anxiety Disorder have to be paid more attention to because they are more sensitive, so they have to be treated in a certain way. They also find it difficult to comprehend sometimes, making most of what you say and do quite foreign to them. So instead of giving you advice on what to do about it, here are some tools that can help your child.
1. Sensory Gel Pad
Sensory Gel Pad can help your child learn how to work with their fingers, so it’s very ideal to use if they’re still learning to trace, to write, and so on. But apart from that, it also relieves and calms the tension that pushes your child to be aggressive and overly emotional because of its squishiness, making it effective in managing your child’s behaviour as well. There are some sensory gel pads that are entertaining to use because of the game that you can play on it. It’s a perfect stress reliever.
2. Rolling Pins
We all know that a simple massage can ease the pain our muscles suffer from. A Sensory Rolling Pin works like a hand of masseuse, putting pressure onto certain parts of the body to calm the nerves and relax sore and tired muscles, which also helps to calm the mind. It’s not as hard as the rolling pin in your kitchen. It’s made of foam, so you shouldn’t worry about your child getting bruises and backaches. It’s comfortable, soft, and consistent, making every pressure gentle and have the same depth.
3. Body Tapper
The Body Tapper is good if you want to relieve tight muscles caused by overworking. Aside from calming the muscles, it can be used for children as well, as a tool that eases tension. You can gently pat your child’s body using it and just wait until they calm down. The tip is made with either rubber or foam. This is effective because this soothes muscle strains.
4. Feet-Shaped Stepper
This stepper is designed to resemble the shape of feet to help the children be comfortable on their sensory breaks. It’s made specifically to condition the brain to be balanced and controlled, as well as the body to be coordinated. It’s put under the desk, or where the child’s feet are placed. This helps them relax while they’re sitting.
5. Fidgeting Foot Bands
Simply keeping your feet on the ground is boring, and children with disorders won’t like that. Fidgeting Foot Band is a good tool to keep your child be entertained. They can play with it using their feet while doing other activities, making them more enthusiastic about what they do. It can also make them distracted and forget about their anger or discomfort for a short while, and that’s what you want to happen, right?
6. Light Filters
There are numerous studies that came to the conclusion that the colour and the intensity of the light in a room affect how people behave. So if your child is throwing tantrums almost all the time, maybe it’s time to change the light bulbs in your home. Green, blue, and purple are the colours that promote calmness, so you might as well find a bulb that releases one of those colours. The greater the intensity of the light, the more it stimulates the brain, so avoid buying lights that are too bright. You can opt to use light filters instead if there’s not one major reason to change your light bulbs at all.
7. Squeeze Ball
Squeezers are a good tool to help your children calm down. One example of a squeezer is the stress ball. Stress ball might seem like just a simple toy you can squeeze with your hand but there really are a lot of benefits that it can give to a person’s body, especially to the bodies of those who suffer from different disorders. It can relieve stress, improve mood, reduce tension, relax the body, and so on. Children will enjoy having this because it’s a toy and they can bring it anywhere they go and use it whenever they want to. Plus, it comes in different sizes so they have a lot of size options to choose from.
Lap Pad is basically a heavy pillow that is put on the lap to help to calm the whole body and stay focused. It’s weight isn’t so heavy to the point that your child’s legs will hurt, so it’s okay to use it everyday to make your child concentrate and not be distracted. It basically just stops children moving around too much, and fidgeting. It’s made differently from manufacturer to manufacturer so there are a lot of styles and fabrics you can choose from. You can also make your own DIY version of it if you want it to be more personalised.
9. Compression Belts
10. Weighted Vest
A Weighted Vest also works like a Lap Pad but is worn like a jacket. It’s not really difficult to make one weighted vest because all you need are a vest and some materials that can make it heavy. Its functions include relieving stress, reducing anxiety, improving body awareness, and calming the body.
11. Wrist Weights
Wrist Weights are very helpful if you want your child to strengthen their hand muscles. They are detachable and adjustable so they’re suitable for any size of wrist. Nonetheless, there are also some that are worn like a bracelet, which are more convenient than the adjustable one. But the downside, however, is that you can’t control the pressure. Three of the other uses include to stabilise muscles, to increase sensory awareness on arms, and to let the tension subside.
12. Ball Chairs
The Ball Chair’s benefits are mostly physical. It reduces back pain, strengthens your core, improves your balance and blood circulation, fixes your posture, and activates your brain. It’s perfect for children who suffer from any disorder because if their body is functioning well, they’ll be stable. Plus, it’s bouncy so they will really enjoy sitting on it, which will promote a better mood.
When people are nervous, some are shaking, and some, well, are biting their nails. According to some mental health professionals, people bite their nails when they’re anxious because it’s their way of relieving stress and reducing the tension they feel. Biting eases the strong emotions that make people’s temper rise. And that’s why teethers, or other non-toxic chewables, are an effective way to calm a person down. So try giving your child one that has a style appropriate for their age. You can also tie a string on it so that it can be hung on the neck just like a necklace. But make sure that you change it often so that it won’t cause any other internal health problems on your child.
Whenever your child is having tantrums, you can hand them some putty. Putty comes in different colours and it aims to calm a person down. A lot of people, even adults, are using it to stabilise their emotions because it works, so you might want to consider it too for your misbehaved child. This is thicker than slime so your child can squish it however they want. If they’re so angry, they can release their anger at it. They can punch it, pinch it, squeeze it harder, and etc.
15. Gel Timer
When given a specific time to finish something, it can make some children confused, nervous, and pressured. This Gel Timer pressures people too, but this is much safer to use for children with anxiety because this is not intimidating at all. Can you see those bubbles? It feels good to see them. So even though they’re asked to move fast, they won’t feel as tense. They might just laugh whenever they notice themselves not keeping up.
Just like popping the bubble wrap. Press the bubbles down and they make a slight popping sound; then flip it over and start again! Endlessly reusable with moderate elasticity and pleasant sound give you an excellent sensory experience. Or you can just squeeze, stretch this toy for fidgeting.
What other easy tools for calming kids with ASD, ODD and anxiety do you know?