If you have a child with Autism, they may also experience sensory issues or have been diagnosed as having Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Senso Minds is a company that has created a line of sensory products to help children remain calm and focused in their overwhelming environments. As I posted previously, when Senso Minds reached out to me to become an Ambassador for their company, I was so excited and proud to have the opportunity to join a company that provides products to help children with SPD. I hope to help educate parents who, like me when Michael was first diagnosed, have no idea what SPD is or products that can help their child.
We were fortunate to have an OT therapist during Early Intervention who always explained everything. Not only did she help us understand the disorder, but she always offered solutions or products to assist Michael in feeling calmer and to receive the sensory input he needed.
Before I continue, I know not everyone is familiar with this and I want to give you a brief explanation of what Sensory Processing Disorder is. First and foremost, it’s important to point out that sensory issues are not caused by a lack of discipline or disciplinary issues. It’s so easy for someone to see a child having issues (melt downs, etc) and automatically assume that they need to be disciplined. It’s not as simple as a child behaving badly. Some of the areas in which children, including my son, Michael, have trouble with is managing emotions, changes in schedules, and coordination and balance. Michael has come a long way in some areas with our help and that of our therapist and Occupational Therapist over the years.
Around the time Michael aged out of Early Intervention and started school, we began to notice an increase in him chewing anything and everything he could get his hands on. He began to chew through his shirts, jackets, toys and books. His school OT began using a chew stick to help him eliminate chewing on inappropriate items. To be honest, when Michael first came home with one in his backpack, I had no idea what it was. I took pictures and sent it to everyone in my family asking if anyone knew what it was. Finally, after some research on the internet, I discovered what it was and its purpose. I also followed up the next morning with his school to be sure I understood its function correctly.
Once Michael began to use the chew stick provided by his school, he was much more calm and able to focus on what he was doing. He was also able to wear it around his neck and have access to it when he needed it. Over time, we were able to successfully phase the chew stick out of his routine. Eventually, Michael no longer had the need for this particular type of sensory input.
When Senso Minds sent me their chew necklace, I was very impressed with what I saw. The chew stick that Michael was given was not made as well as theirs. We would constantly have to replace the stick itself, as he would chew on it until it broke off into pieces. I didn’t feel it was really safe for children to use. The necklace was not adjustable and would often break easily. The chew stick is just that – a stick. This is where the chew necklace by Senso Minds stands out. The sticks that Michael used didn’t have the grooves or edges to provide texture and stimulation as the ones Senso Minds provides. They offer color selection, are more stylish, and provide an adjustable cord with a safety clasp.
I would like to invite any parent of a special needs child who likes to chew to try the chew necklaces from Senso Minds. As a special needs parent, I highly recommend their product. The chew stick necklace is not only functionable, but fun for your child to wear. The sensory chew sticks come in a 4-pack, plus a bonus pencil topper. You can place your order here!
If you have any questions regarding Sensory Processing Disorder or the chew necklace, I am happy to help! Does your child have SPD or Autism? Do they use a chew stick? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!