Zebra Faux Fur Weighted Vest
(funandfunction.com; $64.99) Weighted vests are commonly used to help kids with special needs focus in the classroom. My daughter Natalie has tried several of them -- in school and occupational therapy and at home -- and this one is the cutest, most functional of all. It is also machine washable. Like most vests, the Zebra has weights that are placed in pockets around the trunk area, but it also features removable weights that sit on the child’s shoulders, providing therapeutic compression directly to the shoulder joints. It comes in children's sizes small to extra-large, and additional weights are available.
Deep Pressure Sensory Rolling Pin
(therapyshoppe.com; $34.99) I'm always on the lookout for new ways to help Natalie learn to self-regulate, so I knew she and I just had to try this product. At first, we tried using the roller as I had envisioned using it. Nat lay on her tummy, and I ran the cushioned foam roller slowly up and down her back, varying the pressure. She found it relaxing -- until I hit a spot that tickled her. Then she'd giggle, and tense her muscles. Luckily, Nat instinctively knew how the rolling pin could help her. She lay on her back, stuck both legs up in the air, and had me roll it on the bottom of her feet. Next, she put her arms up, and I rolled the palms of her hands. I knew from her occupational therapist that, by compressing Natalie's joints, I was giving input that sensory-sensitive kids find calming. This versatile tool can also be used as a foot fidget -- a child can roll it under her feet.
By Kids Only Hibiscus Compression Shirt
(funandfunction.com; $19.99) Compression shirts give our kids a calming hug, but most on the market seem to be made for sports, a look that doesn’t work for every child or every occasion. Not this shirt. Made from 95 percent organic cotton and 5 percent Elastane, the shirt provides moderate compression and has a floral design. Shirts are available for boys or girls, with short sleeves and long, and feature a variety of images, including a motorcycle, a sneaker, a rocket, and a bowtie. All shirts are tagless and seamless, so our kids benefit from good sensory input without being bothered by the bad. Natalie loved the look and feel of the shirt, and wore it often until she outgrew it. For the best fit, read the tips on sizing.
This article appears in the Fall 2012 issue of ADDitude.
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To share other sensory processing disorder-friendly products, visit the SPD and ADHD support group on ADDConnect.