In a previous entry we spoke about oral fixations and the helpful tools like bite jewellery and chewable pencil toppers. Click here to see the entry. Today, we are focusing on a few very helpful tools for in the classroom or at home that facilitate better concentration. We've used a couple of these ourselves in the class and at the table. Breeze through the list and descriptions and see which ones might work best for you. The images are linked.
Fidget toys, what they are and how they help.
Fidget toys ultimately calm those fidgeting. In a less stressed environment, people can pay much better attention, therefore absorb more information. Fidget toys are designed in such a way to provide no distraction from others because they are quiet and if used properly, discreet.
Inside Out Balls
Pencil Topper Fidgets
Twisty Water Bracelets
Our oldest son uses the Tangle Toy matched up with a particular wiggle cushion which we'll show you next. They both work really great at home and at school. Both our boys devour pens and pencils so the toppers are great for that, too. I would caution the use of these toys with extreme biters and chewers. Be sure they are not chewing through them or creating a possible chocking hazard.
Seating alternatives have been proven to help immensely with attention and are perhaps the least intrusive in the classroom. Sitting still isn't always easy for a lot of us. The toys above and these cushions below provide slight movement and these tiny movements provide stimulation. This extra stimulations helps with focus and attention. Doodling is a similar form as well. You may even see people use prayer beads to relax or relieve stress. It's the same thing.
Here are a few more tools to help with attention as well as provide a means to destress or release those fidgets in order to enhance focus.
Another calming device are these weighted vests. Providing both pressure and weight from the top and around the mid section give the effect of a hug, easing stress and serving as another stimulant to increase attention. Weighted lap pads are another option.
Bouncy Bands are yet another fabulous tool that you could implement to help with those bouncy feet and legs. I remember sitting in the cafeteria in junior college and watching a good quarter of the students bouncing their legs under the table. I read later that this could be from a vitamin deficiency. You may want to check into that as well. An inefficient amount of Magnesium, Vitamin E, C and Iron could have a contributing factor to restless leg syndrome.
It's a shame teachers don't do more to get their students physically active in the class. It's a good part of why children have so much pent up energy. Science proves that physical movement helps stimulate the brain, therefore increasing intellectual potential. I used to teach History in high school and even I could come up with physical ways to keep the students moving while they learned about the U.S. Constitution. We also stretched a lot and jumped up and down before tests and exams to increase brain function in hopes of performing better.
The last helpful tip we'll leave you with is use of a timer. We have a detailed entry for this and how incredibly helpful it is with discipline at home and at school. Click here to read how timers may be helpful in the class or at home.
Timers could be handy when time is of the essence. It's not for everyone. Try a timer and watch the reaction carefully. Sometimes a timer may bring even more stress. Try not to overuse timers. We've found that rushing our Autistic children can lead to total meltdowns and mega stress. As with everything in life, pay close attention and gauge behaviour and stimulants as much as possible.
We hope we have sent you on a path that will be helpful.
Feel free to share your ideas or experiences with these tools.
Thanks so much for stopping by The Cherry. If you want to see more of our entries for Autism, click here. You'll see all of our entries and a few other, useful things we've found.
'Til next Monday!