In advance of Autism Awareness Month, which begins next week, Time Timer and a group of like-minded companies that create sensory tools for individuals with autism curated the Essential Eight Sensory Tools to help individuals (and, especially, children) with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) navigate everyday life without sensory overload.
“Many parents of children newly diagnosed with autism aren’t aware of the many tools that can help them and their child manage the stress in everyday activities that the disorder can create,” says Heather Rogers, Vice President, Marketing & Operations of Time Timer, one of the essential tools. “We want to make it easier for parents to find ways to help their children feel calm and have their senses stimulated. From chewy jewelry to weighted pets to silent fidgets, this virtual toolbox of sensory products was designed with them and their child in mind.”
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a complex set of neurological disorders that severely impair social, communicative and cognitive functions. The following recommended tools have helped many individuals with autism, with some serving this population for more than 20 years.
“With the Essential Eight Sensory Tools, we’ve created a toolkit of items that keep an individual with ASD from feeling overwhelmed and help them when they do experience anxiety from external stress, says Stephanie Mitelman, Founder of Senseez, one of the tools. “We also included additional everyday items that just make life easier for them.”
TIME TIMER PLUS 60 MINUTE VISUAL TIMER
Through visual cues, this timer empowers those with ASD to ‘see’ time pass as the red disk disappears. It helps with transition anxiety, sensory overload and sticking with routines. Perfect for kids of all ages and adults. $40. timetimer.com
SENSEEZ VIBRATING PILLOW
These lightweight, fun-shaped and portable vibrating cushions offer a gentle sensation when they are squeezed or sat on to soothe the body. Great for home, school or on the go to help with relaxation, focus & calming anxiety. $30. senseez.com
EZPZ HAPPY MAT
The Happy Mat is an all-in-one placemat and plate that suctions to the table and captures mealtime mess. Made from food-safe silicone, it gives children with autism a sensory experience with a smile! $25. ezpzfun.com
NO NOISE FIDGET BOX BY FIDGET CLUB
Handpicked by an autistic individual, this box features the most popular silent fidgets to busy the hands and free the mind. Perfect for classrooms, lectures, desks and meetings to always have a fidget on hand. $40. fidgetclub.com
EMS EARMUFFS FOR KIDS
Light but sturdy and designed to take anywhere from sporting events to air travel, these earmuffs reduce noise while allowing kids to hear the voice of their parents. $35. earmuffsforkids.com
GONGE TACTILE DISKS FROM AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS
Ideal for either hand-held or floor based activities, these disks challenge children’s sense of touch and their ability to describe sense impressions. The sight of these colorful disks arouses playfulness and a desire to touch, feel and explore. $100. amep.com
This line of jewelry provides a perfect alternative for those with ASD who have the need to chew when anxious or overstimulated. Made of silicone, these self-soothers are safe, stylish and discreet. $20. chewigemusa.com
MANIMO WEIGHTED ANIMALS
Created for kids with learning challenges, these weighted animals calm, soothe and comfort children with ASD. Great for class, during homework time or bedtime, it helps decrease anxiety, better handle stress and feel centered no matter their environment. $50. manimo.ca
You can buy Time Timers right here on our website! All the other great tools are sold on their individual websites and on amazon.com.