About 1 in 68 children are born with autism spectrum disorder, making it one of the most prevalent disorders in the United States.
There is no known single cause of autism, but it is nearly 5 times more common in boys than in girls. Kids with autism often have fine motor skill impairment, which refers to problems controlling the hand and forearm muscles. Simple tasks like grasping and tying become much harder because of these problems, causing your child to become frustrated and, in some cases, have a meltdown. Meltdowns can be one of the biggest side effects of ASD, occurring when a child with autism is overwhelmed by sensory overstimulation, typically inhibiting them from expressing their emotions in a healthy way. These top 5 autism aids will keep your child calm, preventing meltdowns and de-escalating them if they are already having one.
5. Califone Hearing Safe Hearing Protector
When children with autism have a sensory overload, they become unable to deal with additional stimuli and, often, their behavior is directly affected. They may begin exhibiting tantrum-like qualities, such as crying, screaming, thrashing, beating and kicking. Because of these characteristics, people often misidentify meltdowns as tantrums. The key difference between a meltdown and a tantrum is that tantrums happen when a child doesn’t get something that he or she wants, whereas a meltdown is the result of being overwhelmed by feelings or environments. Califone Hearing Safe Hearing Protectors are perfect for controlling meltdowns because they remove auditory stimuli. This helps your child calm down and stay calm until his or her sensory overload becomes less crippling. Even if you think the room is quiet, place the Califone Hearing Protector over your child’s ears to prevent retriggering the meltdown during de-escalation.
4. Chubuddy Springz Bracelets
Many children with autism have self-sensory behaviors known as “stimming.” When children with autism stim, they typically repeat physical movements and sounds. One of the most common forms of stimming is biting to combat the extreme stresses of sensory overload. Chubuddy Springz Bracelets give your child something safe to chew, so you can worry less about him or her choking on small toys or ingesting toxic material. They’re made from non-toxic materials that are BPA-free, PVC-free, phthalates-free, latex-free and lead-free. However, always make sure to monitor your child with proper supervision while he or she is chewing anything. Your child’s safety is the biggest priority, so make sure to keep out of reach of children 3 years and younger.
3. Abilitations Inflatable Green Pea Pod Child Calming Station
All aboard the Inflatable Green Pea Pod! This pea-shaped calming station is 80 inches long and 37 inches wide, giving your child plenty of room for calming relaxation. Especially if your child is prone to sensory processing meltdowns, the Inflatable Green Pea Pod is the perfect place for your child to disappear to and calm down for a while. The durable, inflated pod is made from super-strong vinyl so your child will not be able to tear it. The velvet pod applies deep, even pressure to many sensitive areas of your child’s body, calming him or her in a cocoon-like shape.
2. Weighted Blanket
Often, children with autism will have problems falling asleep because of distractions from sensory overload. Weighted blankets apply gentle pressure to your child as he or she sleeps. The pressure gives the child a sense of calmness that allows him or her to block out other stimuli while trying to go to sleep. In addition to the blanket’s weight, it is made from a textured minky fabric, making the blanket perfect for multiple sensory inputs.
1. Lock Laces®
Most children experience difficulties when learning to tie their shoelaces. Children with autism are often challenged even more due to fine motor skill impairments that prevent them from easily navigating their laces. It may take much longer than the average minute or two for them to tie their shoes, causing them to become extremely frustrated. These high-stress situations can even trigger a meltdown. But you never have to worry about tying complicated nylon laces again, and your child will love regaining his or her independence. Lock Laces® are a no-tie elastic shoelace that can fit in nearly any sneaker with eyelets, creating an alternative to Velcro or other no-tie shoes. Simply lace up regular sneakers with Lock Laces®, and your child will be able to easily adjust the fit by tightening or loosening the lock mechanism! They come in 17 popular colors from black to neon yellow, so you can easily find a match to your favorite shoes and outfits. Children with autism find that Lock Laces® are an easier, more comfortable alternative to specialty no-tie shoes; and now your child can toss out those old, unstylish Velcro shoes and replace them with the popular sneakers that all their friends are wearing!