1.) The very first product we found that helped Kaetlyn was a weight blanket for her to use it a bed. It is a twin size and is weighted according to her weight. You can purchase these through eBay, Etsy, and there are several shops I've found on Facebook away. If you google weight blankets you should find several options.
2.) The second product was actually a freebie with her weight blanket and I'm so thankful we got it with her blanket. I plan to order another one if Kaetlyn ever wants a new design or something happens to it. It is a weight pillow. Kaetlyn loves to sleep with it and this along with the weight blanket have made bedtime much easier.
3.) The third product I'm going to share is my favorite. We found them back in November and they have changed our lives a bunch. They are Peltor noise reducing headphones by 3m. Kaetlyn can't handle loud noises so these have been a lifesaver. We use them when we go out to dinner, at Walt Disney World, and she wore them on our recent cruise. She has learned to ask for them when the noise is getting to them and she loves them. These allow her to participate in activities with the family but not be tortured by the loud noises.
4.) The next item I want to share with you is and Amber/Hazelwood necklace. In all honesty I have no idea how this works but it does. I ordered it based on a recommendation from a friend and soon after getting it we noticed Kaetlyn was a little bit calmer. When she takes it off for bath and forgets to put it back on we noticed a difference. Like I said I have no clue how this work but it does and we are also thankful for it.
5.) The last thing I want to share is something we just discovered last week on our cruise but I think it has been the biggest help in making things easier for Kaetlyn. When she gets mad or upset she will shut down and refuse to speak. She will just mutter sounds and it's like she just can't communicate even though she wants to. Last week on the cruise I took Kaetlyn and two of her sisters to an animation class where they teach you how to draw Pluto. Kaetlyn missed a step and became confused. She got very upset and all of a sudden on her paper started writing things like frustrated, Sad faces, stop, bad Pluto, and other things. She was get flustered so I took her out of the room so she could calm down. Once she was calm I asked her where she learned to write down her feelings and she said she didn't know. I asked her if it made her feel better to get her feelings out and she said yes. She said it was easier to write how she felt than say it. I then asked if I were to get a book that was just for her, daddy, and I if she would write down things to us when she was hurt or upset and she said yes. So off the gift shop we went and we purchased a Mickey Mouse journal and pens and the rest of the cruise she would ask for her book when she was upset and we would communicate. She would calm down a lot faster and it made things a lot easier. I now carry the journal in my purse and she knows when we are home she can go and get it anytime she needs to. I really wish we could have found this solution earlier as it has been a tremendous help. At any rate I'm glad we found this tool and I hope it continues to help like it has.
Each child on the spectrum or with sensory issues is different and these products may or may not work for your kiddo. They have certainly helped Kaetlyn and so I just wanted to take a moment and share them with you.
If you have a child with autism or sensory issues I would love for you to leave a comment sharing what things you have found to be helpful to your family! The journey is a lot of trial and error and we could all use the support of each other.