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At one of my sites, I work with students on the Autism spectrum in the k/1 and 2nd/3rd grade Moderate-Severe Classrooms.  This population can be very tricky to work with because the secret to success is finding what motivates them to communicate!  Often times, these little guys and gals have sensory integration issues, so I also have to figure out how to keep them focused and self regulated.   Today, I am going to share some gifts that would be perfect for any child with sensory integration needs for all ages!
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I got this for my hubby last Christmas and he was super happy with this stocking stuffer!  Aaron’s Crazy Putty comes in a tin with a pound of cool looking putty that will never dry out.  If you are having difficulty with focusing or you are feeling antsy, pull this putty out and stretch, pull and squish it for ten minutes.  I love that it comes in lots of different colors and wouldn’t make kids stand out.  This would be great for students with ADHD or on the autism spectrum!

Every child is different, but I have several little kindergarteners who are developmentally functioning between 18 months and 2 1/2 years, so they are wiggly and have short attention spans. I am able to do therapy with this cuties while they sit in the bean bag chairs! They love to request “squish” and “more” when I take a pillow and give them squeezes while sitting in the bean bag chair. I thought this chevron pattern was so cute!!

These are currently on my wishlist to purchase!  These are great blocks to work on requesting, stacking, colors and some basic concepts.  You can also work on joint attention and cause/effect when knocking down the blocks.  These are very cool because you can squeeze them, chew them and they can’t break!!

The OT at my site gave me a trampoline to have in my room when some of my kids need to calm down.  I have used this with both my general education students when they need a quick break from sitting.  Jumping for 5 minutes really helps some of my kids get ready for learning or releasing energy!  We have one at home for my little ones.

I just got this order in before Thanksgiving break!  It is a very cool product and I am excited to try it out with my students in the Autism classrooms.  This sand stays clumped when you squeeze it and doesn’t make a giant mess!!

I have all sorts of fun animal puppets in my room and just ordered this with my school budget money!  It is sooooo cute!!  My little ones love to have my puppets eat their nose, hands, ears as well as feed it play food and whatever else I bring in.  Puppets have saved me a lot in therapy because I can get lots of engagement with them.

My five year loves his tent! Right now he has made a tent with sheets and chairs and has been camping out in it for the last couple of days. There is something about being confined in a smaller space that helps little ones feel comfortable and happy. I do therapy in a little space in the corner of the room that is blocked off and has bean bag chairs for my two 5 year old girls. I get more joint attention, eye contact and communication when we are all squeezed in!

This peanut ball is on my wishlist!!  It is just like an exercise ball, but easier for little ones to sit on it independently. This is perfect for your movers and shakers.

I plan on getting a set of finger paints for my 17 month old, but this is a great exploration activity for your younger clients as long as you don’t mind cleaning up a mess! This is a great product to recommend to parents to use at home with their child.

I am a big fan of using music in the home and during therapy to help stimulate language (I need to use music more)! As a child, I listened to Raffle ALL THE TIME and still enjoy listening to him. If you push into the classroom setting, circle time is a great way to incorporate music and communication. Down by the Bay…….sing if you know it!

This looks like the coolest resource to have! Definitely on my wishlist to add to the therapy room. You can sit in it, spin, hide under it, look through the holes and lots more. The other cool thing is that it’s recommended for ages 24 months to 7 years, so it can be used with LOTS of kids.

Last up, I have to share wooden puzzles from Melissa and Doug. They have great puzzles that are stimulating and you can cover so many skills with them! This latch key puzzle is great for working on open and close, fine motor skills, turn taking, asking for help and requesting for turns. I also have the fishy puzzle that has magnets and it’s really fun!!

I hope this generates some ideas for what you need in your therapy room and what to recommend to parents for great gifts for their children. Hope you have a great rest of December!! I am looking forward to the 2 week break that is coming up!!

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