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  • Writer's pictureChristine McCarty

Sensory Solutions

Sensory issues or sensory processing disorder (see blog for more detail on Sensory Issues) is common within those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It’s almost like they go hand-in-hand. Within children, sensory issues can range from relatively no issues to extreme cases. Addy, who I would classify as an extreme case, struggles for input in every part of her body. Most recently, we have added a few additional tools to help her cope/control her sensory-driven impulses.

Below please find a recap of the tools we use, plus some new ones:

  1. Compression vest

    1. As a toddler, Addy would crash her body to the floor. Why would she do this? She was seeking input. I am happy to report that this behavior has stopped! Now, she just asks for hugs/squeezes which I am more than happy to give her! So, how did we get here? Well, this was a bit more involved as it took years of occupational therapy to get her to understand what her body needed and how to regulate it on her own. In addition, we dress her in compression pants from Kozie Clothes (link here) and a Spio vest (link here) that she wears daily.

  2. Chewy necklace and bracelet

    1. Even recently, Addy would put everything into her mouth. When I say everything, I mean everything from scissors to toys, to her own fingers; everything went to her mouth for oral input. With guidance from the team, we bought chewy necklaces and bracelets. I must admit I was against this at first, but it has cut down on what I like to call mouthing tremendously (which resulted in lots of drooling)! I like these chewy necklaces and bracelets (link here) as I can put them in the dishwasher, and she can’t break through them which is extremely important for safety reasons. Today, she hardly puts things in her mouth. She merely wears the bracelet and necklace as accessories.

  3. Oversized squishy pillow

    1. This is our latest addition and has been a game changer! We would give Addy fidgets and even small squishes, but she was still seeking input and often acted out. She just wasn’t getting enough “squeeze” as she needed. So, our OT suggested we have her carry around an oversized squishy pillow where she could literally wrap her arms around the entire pillow. My initial thought was that it is too big. How is this going to work? And bam, it did! She has less outbursts of attention seeking behavior and often tells us how much she loves squeezing her unicorn pillow (link here). It also quenches her desire to touch/hug others for that input avoiding any unwanted touching/contact.

These are behavioral modification tools/techniques that have helped Addy tremendously and we wanted to share them with you all. As always, please consult your doctor and/or therapist before trying any solution for your child’s SPD.

Much love,

Raising Addy

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