It’s estimated that 1 in every 6 school-aged children suffers from a sensory processing disorder (SPD).
This condition makes a child either over-sensitive or under-sensitive to stimuli around them. Sometimes, the sufferer may display both degrees of sensitivity in different settings.
As a caregiver, you need to always work on creating a convenient and non-triggering environment for your child. Even simple things like birthday gifts should complement the child’s sensory needs without invoking an emotional meltdown.
If your child’s birthday is coming soon, here are some therapeutic birthday gift ideas that they’ll love:
Kids who are uncoordinated, clumsy, and sensory seeking often experience proprioceptive dysfunction. Some of the common signs include pushing, playing rough, writing too hard, shaking and banging feet while sitting, biting, and licking tight clothing.
Since kids with this condition find it difficult to keep calm, you can get them a trampoline to keep them occupied whenever they’re free. An indoor trampoline is recommended because your kids can use it even when it’s cold or dark outside and it will keep your jumpers off the couch.
Vestibular input is the sense of movement, centered toward the inner ear. It helps to position and move the head. Kids with vestibular dysfunction may find it difficult to maintain a good balance and proper coordination.
Any type of body movement stimulates the vestibular receptors, but swinging, spinning, and hanging upside down offers the most effective vestibular input.
When a kid with vestibular dysfunction sits on a spinning dizzy disc, they become calmer. This also helps to invoke the kid’s interception senses which in turn stimulates self-awareness.
Children on the spectrum often have problems with processing visual stimuli especially visual focus on stimuli for extended periods and visual scanning and tracking. A fiber-optic light or laser pulse light can provide opportunities for maintaining focus without fixation. As such, they need gentle sight simulation to help strengthen and co-ordinate their eye muscles. A fiber-optic light toy induces a calming effect when the fibrous strands of the toy slowly change color.
Many toddlers like to put things in their mouths as they explore the tastes and textures of different items. But for parents whose children struggle with oral SPD, this behavior can be stressful to control.
Children with this sensory disorder can benefit from chewable jewelry – chewelery – a medical-grade chew necklace perfect for on-the-go oral sensory input. The chewable toy is a safer alternative to harmful objects around the house.
Tactile sensory disorder prompts a child to touch or stroke various textures obsessively.
To help fulfill this urge, play sand comes in different textures for kids to mold different objects. The sand may also help the kids manage anxiety by making them focus on their molding projects.
Alternatively, consider other tactile sensory toys such as textured fidgeting balls.
Kids with olfactory SPD tend to sniff and seek out new and attractive fragrances.
One of the best ways to meet this need is getting your child scented pencils and crayons for their birthday. This will help them manage their emotions in any setting (especially in school), making them feel calmer.
You can also fill empty bottles with cotton cloths soaked in scented essential oils and puncture several holes on the bottle cap for the scent to diffuse effectively around your home.
If your child craves pressure input, consider getting them sensory socks on their birthday.
The socks not only provide the child with the sensory input they need but also help improve their body and spatial awareness. The toy can also be used for yoga sessions to help children relax.
Gross motor skills refer to a child’s ability to control the muscles in the arms, legs, and torso.
Kids having difficulty with their balance and motor coordination can benefit from gross motor skills development toys such as scooter boards and see-saw rockers.
Bondina bells are designed for three to eight-year-olds to help them develop their auditory senses. The toy produces lovely music and offers visual stimulation, thanks to its vibrant colors.
For kids who get overwhelmed by sounds, a good pair of noise-canceling headphones can help them stay calm. If used in a social gathering, the headphones can improve how the kids relate with others.
Sensory gyms are equipped with a wide range of equipment designed to stimulate your child’s cognitive, motor, and sensory skills development. A day out at a sensory gym will help your child feel calmer around other kids and more focused, minimizing meltdowns.
Moreover, your child is exposed to many sensory toys that can help them develop new stimuli, increasing their independence and tolerance to unfamiliar situations.
To help amplify what your child has learned in their therapy sessions, consider getting a home sensory gym.
At Fun Factory, we’re committed to helping you bring the effectiveness of sensory gyms right in your home, for your child’s convenience. Our in-house sensory gym designs can fit in any home size, without compromising on the specific needs of your child.
Contact us today at +1 (833) 438-6496 for a free consultation on the design, manufacture, delivery, and installation of our sensory gyms.
After five years in practice, I decided that I needed to upgrade the look of my office to allow for optimal patient care. Upon researching some possibilities, I came across the Fun Factory Sensory Gym. I immediately called the company to purchase my own gym unit. We scheduled an install date and in three short days, my gym and my vision were complete. My patients and their parents walk in and are amazed at the beautiful and fun set up. I truly feel that my patients are getting the most effective and efficient care because I have the best equipment to address their individual needs. With the Fun Factory Gym equipment, I am able to help these children improve by Leaps and Bounds!
The Kaufman Children’s Center was proud to announce an exciting upgrade made here at the KCC. Over a long weekend in late January 2013, we completed a huge remodel to our sensory gym.
Our Fun Factory Sensory Gym has been life changing for our family! The entire experience of having the FFSG team in our home was so enjoyable. The crew’s heart and soul is behind the work they’re doing. From the first phone call, FFSG was committed to helping our family and our 3 small children with their various special needs. We have already experienced the calming effects of the net swing and the multiple ways the entire gym provides sensory input and regulation for our intense sensory seekers. What a great tool for our family and more than worth the investment!