Updated: Jul 5, 2021
Here at Super Calm Sensory Products our aim is to educate parents, carers, teachers and children on neurodiversity and the impact it can have on the person caring for the child with a neurodiverse difference. We aim to increase understanding on what is happening in the body of a neurologically different person resulting in greater empathy in understanding certain behaviours. By developing sensory diets and activities aimed towards their specific sensory needs the child should reach optimum levels of arousal to allow them to be present during school and home life.
Someone who has neurologically diverse differences may react differently to others around sensory stimuli and other environmental factors. The overall goal is to promote understanding and increase empathy resulting in a more harmonious environment for all.
Every family wants to go out for family day trips and meals and not have to be fearful of a
meltdown occurring. The following tips and tricks will allow you to have a ''handbag'' full of coping techniques for your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Sensory Processing Disorder.
When you try to go out for a meal or to a family gathering you should not have to fear the possibility of a meltdown. Having the necessary de-escalation techniques will allow you to prepare your child for the event. Encouraging your child to reach the optimal level of arousal will enhance the experience for everyone involved. It may even allow you to stay for that extra few minutes you have recently felt that you couldn't.
I would recommend identifying what activities and toys keep your child calm at home. Try to see what sense they relate to and then you can plan your pencil case full of distractions.
Our first tip is to carry small sequined pillows in your handbag. This provides both tactile and visual input as the child can feel the textures and see the different colors and hues that bounce off the sequins.
Another useful item to have on hand for preventing meltdowns by children on the spectrum is headphones. Preferably noise-cancelling. This will allow your child to drown out loud background noises that their neurological system cannot ignore. They will also allow for auditory input if needed, the child can listen to their favorite songs or podcasts.
Having an array of fidget toys on hand will go a long way in preventing outbursts. These can be in the form of chew toys to provide tactile and oral input. Other fidget toys can be items such as squidgy toys/stretchy toys/fidget cubes. These will allow a child to self soothe and become more relaxed as they can move their hands and experience tactile input.
Often parents assume the vestibular and proprioceptive sense can't be experienced outside of the playground or the OT office. However there are products available such as the wobble cushion which can allow your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Sensory Processing Disorder to gain the necessary vestibular input.
Another option for those with the wiggles is stretchy bands for chairs, these will allow kids to move and bounce their legs all whilst sitting at a dinner table.
An item that will allow children to self soothe while at family events is puzzles, you can buy miniature puzzles at most retail outlets which will allow you to have them on hand at all times. Oftentimes games such as snap or find that card can keep a child entertained for some time, that's why I always keep a pack of cards in my bag.
Small action figures are a great tool, it allows the children to be imaginative and play all whilst gaining a tactile input.
We would recommend taking a look at our blogs explaining each sense where you can find different sensory activities for each sense and can see what you have got at home that could prove to make a huge difference to surviving family trips.