Archives for posts with tag: Auditory processing disorder

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote about this great learning tool called the Toobaloo. It’s an auditory feedback device that helps strengthen skills like fluency, comprehension and pronunciation.

Right away, I loved this educational tool. And as soon as I saw it, I knew how beneficial it would be for Elizabeth to use.

I shared in the blog how she was using it and the good things we saw.

So now, flash forward a few weeks, and we are still using it when she reads and sings.

I absolutely love how this device helps her self regulate the volume of her voice, which can be hard work for those with Dyspraxia ,as well as, for those with other special needs.

Now here comes the part we struggle with and that is having her hold the device correctly to her ear.  Usually, Elizabeth holds a phone, be it cellular or landline to her ear at the beginning of a conversation but then as the call progresses the phone sort of migrates up a bit until the part that should be near her mouth is now around her cheekbone.  So I usually motion to her to move the phone down, and she does but I am sure some of the conversation is not well heard or received when she does this.

You can probably guess that the Toobaloo migrates around as well, and it is not very easy to motion to her to move it because we are usually involved in reading or mouth work.

So I have to tell you about this  little guy called the “Hands Free Handset”  It is made to go hand in hand with the Toobaloo.   It is just like a headset that we have all seen people wear at fast food restaurants, where the mic is stable directly in front of the worker’s mouth.

The headset does the same thing except the Toobaloo is what is held in the correct position.  We tried it just the other day.

I must admit it was very easy to use and held the Toobaloo very nicely in place.

My only issue with the headset is that it says one size fits all, but I think it just fit Elizabeth’s head.  I will say that maybe this was the case because of all of her curls and people, there are a lot of them.  But whatever the reason, this is a slight consideration.

With that being said, I must say the Toobaloo Hand Free Headset made such a nice difference in the work we could do. For example, Elizabeth could work on her singing work, while using a drum to drum out syllables.  She was able to multi task with ease!

So I have to say this little guy can be really useful.  If you have a Toobaloo and love it, consider adding this Hands Free Headset.  It is really an easy thing to use and makes a big difference, so check out our site to read a bit more about it. And if you do not have the Toobaloo or the headset, check out the Toobaloo Kit that includes both tools.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti

Author of  ” I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”


Today we are honored to share Diane Cassellius’ advice on holiday gifts for children with special needs! Diane is the wife of a Navy officer and the mother of 5 beautiful children. She lives in a beautiful New England town where the quality of life is second to none. She holds a graduate degree in psychology with a focus on medical health psychology. One of her children, Sam, has special needs – both medically and developmentally. Her passion is sharing their story and educating and advocating for those who are parents of chronically ill children.


  1. Sensory Overload:

Your child is subjected to sensory overload on a daily basis; this provides anxiety, frustration and distress. School can be a stressful environment for your child, where they are surrounded by a multitude of stressors such as large crowds, bright lights and excessive noise. The classroom can be an over stimulating place for them with simply too much information to process.

Sensory tools such as “chewelry,” fidget toys, and stress balls are simple and inexpensive, yet valuable tools to help your child cope with sensory overload.

necklace set 2 putty green 2 7809_1 robby

Consider these tools as great stocking stuffers so that your child will have the tools he or she needs at home. Having these items will help improve their quality of life. They will not only benefit them, keeping them calm and happy, but the entire family as well.

  1. Autistic Spectrum Disorder and other Sensation Seeking:

Contrary to what many people think, not all special needs children, especially autistic children, are over responsive to stimuli, in fact, quite the contrary. Some children are actually under responsive; they are referred to as “sensory seeking.” This is because their need for sensory stimulation actually needs to be intense.

There are certain sensory tools or toys that respond to your child’s action. These are the tools that offer feedback (sounds, lights and movement). They can help children with a sensory processing disorder focus their attention, calm themselves and decrease hyperactive or impulsive responses. Building blocks, touch and feel items, and puzzles are also great examples.

6496_3 9288_4 79394_2 79826_2 rainstick 2

For children who are sensory seekers, it will be important to find toys or items they can relate to and that they are interested in. Otherwise, the items will not be used for their intended ways which are to provide the sensory input the child desires.

  1. Auditory Processing Issues:

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a complex issue, affecting 5% of all school aged children. Children with these issues cannot process information or hear things the same way other same-aged peers can. This not only affects the way a child hears but also the way a child speaks. For example, subtle differences between sounds and words are not recognized. Speech signals a sound that needs to be presented under optimal conditions. People with APD can miss parts of speech because it is too fast and too complex. When multiple sounds are heard, often-competing sounds can be missed. As a result, children miss or misunderstand certain parts of perceived communication.

181_1If a child plays with the right auditory toy or tool, it can help provide them with the ability to integrate sounds. My son, Sam used these all the time. The magic microphone can help a child amplify his voice, or even help a child who is non-verbal. When the child will be able to hear his voice thanks to this toy, this will provide positive reinforcement, which will encourage him to make that sound again.


%d bloggers like this: