Back to school can be an interesting time for families of neurodiverse children. New environments, challenges, classmates, and schedules can cause a strain on executive functioning. And at the end of the day, we want our kids to be relaxed, supported, and open to learning not in fight, flight, or freeze instead.
One of my favorite resources when it comes to finding classroom tools is the National Autism Resources store. Finding quality sensory gear can be expensive, exhausting, and overwhelming, and I find their catalog easy to navigate, reasonably priced, and their selection is impressive. I’m so happy to be partnering with them on this blog post. All the images will have direct links to products. If you choose to make a purchase, although you won’t pay anything extra, I will receive a portion of your purchase which helps to keep my blog up and running. Thank you for supporting posts like these.
We follow our child’s lead as to what supports she needs around the home or in the school room to give her environmental supports. We especially love the “first, then” cards and the visual audible timer for in our classroom.
Tools like these match her learning style in needing visual aids for concepts like time which can feel indefinite.
Fidgets and Stims
Another set of tools that we find helpful in the classroom are fidgets. Of course, fidgets and stims are incredibly personal as to what your child really resonates with. For our preschooler, tactile stims are especially therapeutic. Some of our favorites are these:
Tactile stims are pretty easy to integrate into our classroom since busy hands often mean she’s relaxed and listening for lesson content. If tactile stims aren’t your child’s thing, I highly suggest exploring fidgets or stims for oral motor, visual, pressure, sound, or vestibular stims. You can find many options on the site!
When it comes to weighted options for classroom use, I’ve been especially impressed with National Autism Resources’ selection of pressure and weighted selection. You can find a full catalog here. If your child hasn’t used weighted or pressure items before, I highly suggest visiting this blog post published previously about how we use these tools.
So, what do you already use in your classroom? What are you interested to employ in the future? I’d love to hear in the comments down below.