As the mother of a high-functioning autistic boy, I’m always on the lookout for new products that can make our lives easier. Trust me, anything that can get us out the door in a calm way is at the top of my list. In my quest, I’ve made some great discoveries. These top five picks aren’t just for ASD kids. You might be surprise how they will work for typical kids too.
1 | Lock Laces
These are the coolest thing since slip-on shoes and just as easy for your child to use. They are elastic shoe strings that work just like the regular laces only, once threaded through the gym shoe, they lock in place. No tying. Once they are in, children can just slip their shoes right on. It’s a great option for ASD children with poor small motor skills and is a way that they can be more independent. Plus, they look cool and come in an abundance of colors! With a price point starting at $8, you can invest in several pairs.
2 | Buddy Tag
This little disk-like device is a must for summer outings. Heck, we would use it year-round. It’s a blue tooth device that can be paired with a smart phone that will give alerts when your child has wandered out of range, is afraid, or is submerged in water. It’s fitted with a panic button that your child can push when afraid, and it will tell you his or her last seen location. The disk can be mounted on several types of wrist bands, including a watch style. They retail for around $40 and never need charging so it’s always ready to go. The Buddy Tag is a great choice for children who wander away easily or for outings in crowded places.
No, they’re not for cold weather. These specially designed head phones help reduce the noise for those ASD children suffering from sensory overload. They’re great for parades, crowded parks, and any loud indoor activities that might push your child into anxiety. Plus, they’re cute! You can throw away those industrial head phones from the hardware store. These feature animals of various colors and are designed for smaller heads. They reduce noise but also allow for close conversations. They retail for $25.
4 | Marble Maze
Sometimes on long trips it’s easy to run out of ideas to keep our ASD kids busy. My travel bag is usually filled with games and toys just in case, but those things get old and I’m always on the lookout for the newest portable game. Marble Maze is a small cloth square where children work the marble through the stitched maze to the other side and back again. It’s great for keeping hands busy and promotes logic skills. It’s mostly flat and can easily slide into the side of a bag. There is a round maze as well. Both shapes retail for around $13.
This sensory pod gives your ASD child deep, even pressure as they snuggle up inside of it. Since it’s inflatable, it can come along on any trip. It can be used for gentle rocking and comes in three sizes. It’s tough but soft, and it’s just the thing after a long day when your child needs a break. Keep it in the hotel room or take it to the beach. It’s just the right size for a child to climb into on their own. They start at around $60 but will last for years to come.
Travel can be a fun part of summer. These picks will make your family time a little easier and help your ASD child find comfort and security. Slide into those Lock Lace shoes and strap on that Buddy Tag and you’re on your way!