5 Things that Help with My Autistic Child
My son is Autistic, and the old ‘normal’ went out the door long before the COVID pandemic hit. I have always tried to have items in my home to make life easier for him, but if any lessons were learned during the pandemic it is that the right hacks in the house not only help my son with Autism but benefit the entire family. And while the lockdown was rough, the lessons on how to get through the days will be staying awhile.
Here are 5 items that help me live my daily life with my ASD child.
A Swing for Sensory Balance: Y- STOP Hammock Chair Hanging Rope Swing
Even before the pandemic lockdown, we had a swing in the living room, yet it wasn’t until we were stuck at home that we used it every day. Being swung stimulates the vestibular and proprioceptive systems. Vestibular affects a person’s sense of gravity, and proprioceptor affects body movement (read here to learn more). In layman’s terms, it can be calming but is also known to improve motor planning and coordination. There are different types of swings, but I have found that hammocks and pod types of swings work best as my boy likes a bit of swing that hugs.
Dim Lights Foe Calm: Flameless Flickering LED Votive Tealight Candles
While it isn’t known why many ASD people have light sensitivity to bright lights, my son is not a fan of bright light. Although he lives with it, it is at night where it seems to overstimulate him the most. So the dimmer, the better. Candles are never burnt in our home, so when my mother-in-law gifted me a set of flameless lights, they were and continue to be a game-changer. The lights give our table lamps a bit of an incandescent boost, and the vibe of our home is very chill, which helps my sweet boy tremendously. $11.99, amazon.com.
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Visual and Problem Solving: Melissa and Doug Sound Puzzles
If you have an ASD child, you may have already discovered he/she/they may love to focus on one type of toy for hours on end. Also, through therapy, you may know that redirection is key when wanting your child to move from something they shouldn’t be doing to a task more productive. Of course, all kids are different, but if your child tends to be overstimulated and likes to touch things, especially things they can piece together, then try a puzzle. The Melissa and Doug sound puzzles hit all the points my child needs to keep him engage and busy. The sounds of the puzzles are not too loud; the wooded peg helps with placement and teaches him how to fit the piece in the correct spot: $ 14.99, melissaanddoug.com.
Peace of Mind: Door Alarm: Securityman Door Handle Alarm
You don’t have to have a child on the Autism spectrum for them to be mischievous. The thing with kids with ASD is it is harder for them to understand danger. My son loves to open everything, and this includes doors. And while we have great locks at home, I bring along an alarm like this Security man Door Handle Alarm when we travel. It is not expensive, easy to pack, and slips on different types of door handles. The peace of mind it allows when away from home is huge. $19.99, amazon.com.
Strengthen Motor Skills: ECR4Kids SoftZone® 7-Piece Toddler Block Set – Contemporary
It is comical (kind of) how many things were broken in our home during the pandemic. Even the couch fell apart. I learned that it doesn’t hurt to make a nook or part of a room a kids’ gym. So in came foam blocks that not only help my ASD child, who loves to stack for hours but even my tween (the couch breaker) for hours on end. The style of foam blocks that work for us are about medium size, and no need to get more than five or six as any more than this will be downright cluttery. $69.99, walmart.com.