Products to Help with Sensory Overload
As we move into April we celebrate a month, but generally, simple ways to aid those with autism are not discussed.
We hope that you will take the time to read a few products that you could add to your homes, workplaces and schools on the chance that someone with autism needs a little cool down session.
Autism is defined as a developmental disorder that impedes the mental growth of a person and in turn makes them “not regular” in comparison to other “normal” individuals. However, what is most important to remember is that every person who has autism is completely different from the next, and therefore comparison is not a helpful guide. Although there are categories, or levels, of diagnosis-it does not mean that every individual with autism will have the traits listed after every level. It is also completely plausible and likely for individuals with autism to also have other diagnosis’s such as anxiety, dyslexia, ADHD, and other neurodivergent disorders.
Typical side effects of autism include, but are not limited to:
-sensory issues such as: difficulty with textures of food and clothing, sounds that are wither too loud or patterned in a way that causes discomfort, and smells that they find unappealing. This of course then causes difficulty with eating, wearing clothes, and discomfort with other environmental factors.
-irresponsiveness to conversation or to those speaking directly to them
-inability to recognize others they should know when there is a slight change to their appearance
-late speech development and inability to retain language and speech patterns
-inability to understand proper social cues such as when to speak or with what tone
-inability to retain direction of instruction or tasks
-indifference or inability to communicate sensory pain or discomfort such as pain, hunger, or discomfort like dizziness, nausea etc.
Other behavioral signs include:
With all of this being said, here is list of products, toys, and strategies to help those around you who may need them.
Compression Shirts and Vests
Compression shirts are super useful for those with autism. These shirts and vests can be used in various situations, such as when someone is having an anxious episode or to help those whose neurons are not able to fire effectively. As mentioned, those with autism have a greater chance of also dealing with other disorders and anxiety is one of the most common ones. If an episode is occurring, the compressive vest helps them feel secure, safe, and as if someone is holding them together. With cases where individuals have neuron misfire in their systems, which is also correlative with those who have autism, the compressive shirts aid with the connection and communication within their bodies.
Exercise in general is very helpful, as it is with every person, but a great way for those with autism is to use exercise balls. Exercise balls allow freedom with movement without the constriction of routine and the usage of repetitive movement is comforting. As mentioned, repetitive movements are common in autism and rolling back and forth on an exercise ball creates soothing movement. This is also an effective way to relieve anxiety and stress.
Clay, Slime, and Puddy
Moldable materials are enjoyable for all children and adults. They are a great way to release creativity and create something while entertaining limitless joy. However, it has been proven that these sorts of materials can also help build the muscles and condition the neurons in the hands and in a way, it becomes a form of physical therapy. While some can experience neurons firing incorrectly or the firing may delay, it then makes it difficult to do simpler tasks with ones hands such as holding scissors, pencils, and even writing for excessive periods of time.
If you have the space to install a swing, it can be so helpful. Not only is it enjoyable to lay and swing back and forth, but it stimulates the repetitiveness that is craved. Not to mention that you can add other materials like blankets and pillows in order to make a fort for playtime, or simply to relax and have a safe space.
Last but not least, chewable jewelry can be both fashionable and safe! Many times those with autism may have the tendency to chew for comfort. Some may do this to their clothing and others may do this to other things around them such as erasers or pencils. However, the creation of chewable jewelry has resolved this issue so that people are free to chew however they need. You can find necklaces, bracelets, and rings that are wearable and chewable!
In the end, what is most important is that you remain aware of the fact that people who have autism may not suffer from any drastic differences in comparison to you. They may seem completely normal! And that’s because-well-they are. Their brains simply function differently, but that is no different than the way that you are different from your brother or your mom. Everyone is different, and it is important to simply learn what is helpful and what is not. As always be kind and respectful and beyond all do your best to be a good person.