By now, you’ve probably heard of fidget cubes and spinners. Right now, fidget spinners are the “hot new toy” on the market and have been outselling almost every other toy on the shelves. They have been so problematic, however, that they have been banned from classrooms and schools across the country.
Here is the issue with this…these sensory tools are not just “toys”. They have now been accepted as “cool toys” to carry around, play with, trade and learn tricks with – but now are being seen as a distraction by teachers, parents, other adults and student peers that may not understand how they can be helpful as therapy tools. What does that mean for children who use them as they are intended? It means that they may be dismissed and no longer accepted as therapy tools, coping mechanisms and helping devices, but rather seen as a fad and novelty toy.
So, your question may be – “What are fidget devices and how can they help children with special needs?”
Fidgets can be a very effective and helpful self-regulation tool! Using fidget devices and sensory balls work well for calming and alerting purposes. They can be used to promote focusing and concentration, and even decrease stress. They can be used to increase tactile awareness of fingers/hands and as a way to keep fidgeting fingers busy! Fidget toys can also provide a fun way to strengthen hands and “warm-up” fingers before handwriting activities and fine motor skill tasks. Sensory balls are one of many fidget toys that can help relieve stress!
Not all fidget devices are the same, and not all circumstance or child is either. Here are some great resources we found that talk about the different fidget devices and some examples on how to use them on understood.com
Does your child use fidgets and has benefited from them? We’d love to hear your experience. Email us, or join us online on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Tag us in your photos, or use hashtag #AisForApple – we’d love to hear from you!
Local Events & Resources
Wild: Abilities United Children’s Discovery Exhibit
Abilities United is pleased to announce Wild, its third exhibition at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. The exhibition will feature works by Abilities United artists and will explore the many members of the animal kingdom. In conjunction with the exhibit, artists Philip Ma and Matthaus will lead a Meet the Artists workshop on June 11 from 10-4. Philip will teach participants to draw baby animals and Matthaus will demonstrate his skill in aluminum foil sculpture.
Click here to see more events and exhibits at the Children’s Discovery Museum
Looking For Special Needs Child Care Services?
Navigating childcare options for a child with special needs can be overwhelming and should be given special consideration. You can visit 4C’s website where they can help make that decision by offering:
- A list of providers who have attended trainings on various topics including children with special needs in their programs.
- Consultation to help parents find child care services.
Other resources for Parents of Children who have Special Needs can be found on their website as well.
Trying to find fun things for your special needs child to do for the summer (it’s coming up quickly!). Check out Via Services. Formerly the Crippled Children’s Society, Via Services has been serving the Bay Area and beyond since 1945. They are a private, independent non-profit dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities and special needs achieve greater self-sufficiency and lead richer lives. In doing so, they ultimately support the entire family. Their diverse programs offer something for everyone. You can find them online here: http://www.viaservices.org
You can also download their Summer Brochure by clicking here.
To learn more about Via Services, you can read about them on their website here
Alexis Alert Band
Have you ever been in the situation where your child has run off? That feeling in the pit of your stomach when you turn around and they aren’t right where you left them (and only two seconds ago?). As parents, that feeling is the worst. As a parent of a special needs child, sometimes this situation is more common. There are a lot of tracking devices and software out there; we were introduced to one recently that is not only local, but affordable, and uses cutting edge technology but simple to use!
The Alexis Alert Band, recently launched by Scanme, LLC, is the newest addition in the wearable technology industry. The device is a flexible silicone band imprinted with a unique QR code your children can comfortably wear all day. You simply scan the QR code with your phone, enter your contact information and a detailed message. The next time your child’s band is scanned, your contact information will appear and the person scanning the band will be directed to either call or email. Additionally, the scan automatically generates an email to you with a Google maps link to the location where your child’s band was scanned, so you will know their whereabouts instantly. A lost child is a possibility that we as parents fear. If that fear ever became reality, the Alexis Alert Band can immediately assist in reuniting your family.
Ask A is for Apple
Have a question you would like answered? A story you would like to share? A testimony about your experience with A is For Apple? We would LOVE to hear from you! Email us with your questions, stories or suggestions and it could be featured in our next newsletter or blog topic!