Archives for posts with tag: Sensory tool

Fun, calming, cozy, relaxing.  

Those are the adjectives that my beautiful 11 year old son, Michael used to describe the very shiny blue sensory body sock, also known as BodySox, he is presently sporting.  He is sitting on the couch 100 percent inside.  He is talking to me through the body sock and simply loving the sensation of it.

A body sock is a pretty cool thing.  It is made out of stretchy Lycra that has a nice big Velcro opening.  It is designed for many purposes, body awareness, strength and imaginative or creative play , and a great sensory diet addition for the sensory seeker.   

I know that the body sock helps with body awareness, meaning as you are in the body sock and you are moving your body, you become very aware of just what parts you are moving, how much strength you are using to push back against the pressure the body sock is giving you.

It is also kind of fun to use the body sock as kind of like a cocoon, with your head inside a well.  It is fun to “hide” inside and let the world around yo
u continue on while you have your own quiet place for a moment. Even with your head inside, you can still see out into the room or place you are in and it is not too hot.   

But it is its gentle calming pressure or hug like sensations that I think make it a pretty nice sensory integration tool. 

For those who have a child with sensory challenges like autism or sensory processing disorder, the gentle pressure from the Body Sock can be very calming.  That is why sensory diets for some children include use of a weighted blanket or being wrapped in a blanket “like a burrito” because they offer this sensation.

We all know that our children each need a different sensory diet, but an item like this would be an easy one to incorporate into the diet.  It can be used as the child watched T.V., during any free play time, or when they are listening to music.  

Our beautiful son Michael, while not having any sensory issues, does have a “gifted brain.”  Meaning that his mind works all the time, and it goes quickly from one topic or idea to the next and he feels things so deeply, over empathetic is how I term it.  So we have learned ways to help him keep his system calm.  Well, we are now adding this sensory tool to the list.

Michael put this on right after school last week, and this is typically a time of day that he is pretty tired and his mind needs to relax.  We have our normal routine, but on this day, the body sock entered the scene.  Here is the conversation:

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Rock the Body Sock

MG: “ Mom, what is this?”

Me: “ It is called a Body sock, it is for you to use after school.”

MG: “ What is this thing going to do for me?”

Me: “ It will help you kind of calm down from school and all you have to do is to put it on and sit down for a bit.”

MG is now working to get the Body sock on,

MG has both his legs in the one side and is calling for help

We have now straightened out the problem, he is in the sock and loving it.

MG: “ Mom, this is awesome!  It feels so good to stretch in this thing.”

Me:  “Why don’t you sit down in it on the couch for a while.”

Michael, encased in the Body sock, ambles to the couch and plops down.

Ten minutes pass.

Me:  “How is it going in there?”

MG: “ Mom, it is so relaxing, I just stretched a bit with it and I love this thing!”

Out he comes because it is dinner time.

He heads to the kitchen without the Body sock, looking like he just came out of a massage, you know kind of sleepy looking and peaceful.

Me: “Where is the Body sock?”

MG “ I put it in the den, right by the Xbox, I want to use it later tonight.  Is that okay?”

Me: “ Yes, Michael it is, you can use it whenever you want to or need to…okay?’

Michael smiles and sits down to dinner.

Enough said.

Please take a peek at the Body sock items on our site, if you think that they might help your special child(s) please try it out.

They come “Michael recommended”!

Michele

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How many times a day do you look at your watch or the clock on your phone?  If you are like me, then you probably do it many times.

We have the concept of time.

We understand that we must manage time to function well in life

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For example: We know how long it takes to get somewhere, how long it takes to get ready and we can figure out, based on the above, how soon we need to leave to arrive at an appointment on time.

But so many of our special needs children do not grasp the

They do not fully understand a half hour versus 45 minutes.

Or that you need to do something for 25 minutes then get ready to leave.

I know Elizabeth and I have had many talks about time.  But for those who have the same disorders that she does, Dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder, time is simply not grasped or fully understood.  By this I mean, Elizabeth knows how to manage a schedule, she knows what she is doing each day.  She even remembers dates and events for me, which trust me, makes her smile because I “lost my focus” as she says.  But if I ask her how long she was volunteering, I may receive the answer of “about 20 minutes”…and she was there for 2 hours.

So, recognizing the needs of our special needs children is critical.  Putting supports into place to help them is critical. Teaching and reinforcing concepts of time is critical.

But how to do this?   

I started with a timer.  I started by telling Elizabeth what we were doing and for how long. I started by telling her what we would do next once the timer went off.  And we used the timer for managing time on the T.V., time until we had dinner, time that we would do homework.  

I love the visual timer because it spoke for me, it was doing its job instead of my voice being used. And if anyone was displeased, they could blame it on the inanimate time, not mom( insert smiley face here).

I have to say for those who need this kind of help, the timer I would recommend to try is the Time Timer

Back in the day, we used a kitchen timer.  You set it.  And it went off…loudly.  And then we did what was next on the schedule. Once your heart rate went back down to normal that is.  This time timer does not do that, it has a nice soft sound that signals time is up.  Which is both comforting and less anxiety producing than mine was.

Also, as opposed to the timer I used that had numbers only, this one has a red face that marks the time.  As the time ticks down, the red goes away.  So that our children know, if there is no red left, time is up.  

What a great visual schedule!   You can teach them to look at the clock for the numbers and how much red is left.

I always talk about teaching.  Because as parents and caregivers to these special needs children, you want to help them know and understand as much as they can about life and the world.  Taking the time to teach about schedules, taking the time to make the visual schedule (be it pictures or words) and taking the time to talk about the schedule after the day is done, will so help to reinforce concepts that prove hard to grasp.

This time timer will be a major sensory tool in their success to working with the concept of time.

Trust me, the time will become a very close friend of yours.  I am looking at the kitchen timer now and smiling because I can remember the words of Elizabeth “ Man, the timer went off, come on Michael, time to brush our teeth for school.”   

Yup, she may have not liked the time…but it worked.

I wish you all a good week.

Please let me know if you have any success stories you wish to share.

Michele

 

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