Throughout my research and millions of websites I have found several tools that either I have used or will plan to use in the near future. I want to go through those I have used and then start with a list of those I haven’t. I think that is going to be a huge stepping stone.
Things I have used:
- Chew toys- Yes they are similar to what you give a dog but these are specific for children with ADHD. M had an oral fixation occasionally. She eats her pencils, eats lids on pens, eats off the erasers. She just likes to chew on things. This can be a problem. We tried a chew stixx once. It was chocolate “flavored” and had various sides with various textures. This actually worked really well…until she lost it. There are other options besides the one we used including ones that are very tough. They even have ones like pencil toppers and so much more.
- Mirari myPad– This is a tablet like toy that helps with cognitive and sensory development. We used this with M before she went to school. It helped her to grasp several different aspects of function. When she got older we past this on to A who used it as well. It is without a doubt functional and helpful with kids with and without ADHD.
- Zones of Regulation– This is a little more complex. It also works for a myriad of children, not just ones with ADHD or other sensory like issues. The idea is to give kids a way to understand their emotions and be able to show you exactly how they feel. M has a huge issue of not being able to identify the emotion she feels and things kind of erupt from there. The Zones of Regulation was introduced to me at my previous employment where I worked with kids with various mental and behavioral situations. I highly recommend this program to everyone. It is worth it’s weight in gold and I would honestly say that with using this, many children will learn just what and how they feel and how not all people show the same appearance with certain emotions.
- Timers– We found this one timer a while back and it is like the best thing in the world with keeping kids on track. M has a huge issue with staying on track. This timer helps so much (when it is being used). It can separate daily routines to individual things that need to be done. It can be changed to meet your needs when you need it. The price tag is a little high, I don’t disagree with that one bit. But it relieves so much stress from your and your kids. There is no nagging about what to do and when to do it. Help keep the focus where it should be.
- Weighted Blankets– We tried this once. We used it with A when he was smaller. We only had a lap pad. It didn’t seem to help him like we had hoped. He complained it was to heavy. And it could have been. Weight blankets aren’t a one fits all. Each blanket should be weighted to your child’s weight. I am not very good at explaining this concept but there is a certain weight each blanket weighs based on how much your child weights. Now when we tried it with M, she enjoyed it much more and didn’t complain about it being to heavy. It did help her quite a bit. We need to invest in another one but to her weight now. This is something we will keep investing in over time. Not only does it give her comfort, but when she is in high anxiety overdrive, these blankets help bring her down.
- Calendar- Keeping a calendar is essential. You and your kids need to know what is going on and what to expect. Calendars help to give some grounding with chaos. There are so many out there and you have to pick one to meet your family needs. We have found that a simple Microsoft Word Calendar works great with us. It is easy to read and most kids grow up learning on this calendar.
Now that we have talked about the things that I have tried, let’s talk about the ones I want to try. Some I have stumbled on recently and others they have been in my list for a while. Eventually finding the right items that work takes time.
- Fitness Balls– I have heard using these helps minimize the energy as it disperses. They are in one location and not in 500 places.
- Swings– I have heard so many good things about swings with ADHD kids. It gives them a place to relax. Depending on the swing it could also help calm them down when they are having a bad time. Most swings I have found though tend to be more of a permanent fixture. However there are a few that aren’t but be prepared to take up some space.
- Kindle with Immersion Reading– M loves to read but sometimes she just gets tired of it. She is just learning to read and sometimes it is a little harder. She has stories that are audible and she reads with them. I have learned that Kindle has a way to read a story and then change to audible. So if she started reading a story and then is done with reading, she can continue to listen to it. Same thing for the exact opposite, she can start listening and then pickup reading anytime. There are many books that use this immersion.
- Fidget Balls– just like the stress balls adults use, these are made in mind for kids. Best thing about them, is the balls come in two different weights. So there is a different in the usage.
- Calm Down Jar– I need two of these! It is similar to an hour glass. They watch the gel and glitter move from one end to the other giving themselves time to regroup. Both M and A have issues with this. I would love to try and see if this would work, instead of having to break up cat fights because when they are upset they attack–claws out!
Ok so this is where I will stop. I will pickup another day with things I have tried and things I want to try, I have been doing this for several years and I have tried so many things. I want to work my way through them.
Have any comment or suggestions? Please let me know.