Special Needs

Want to learn more about special needs? Check out our articles written by experts and get actionable information about autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, sensory processing disorder and more! You can also receive a weekly email digest of our blog. Sign up at the form below!

Occupational Therapy for Autism blog post

How does Occupational Therapy help kids with autism?

by Shea Brogren, MOT, OTR/L February 14, 2018

Children with autism and sensory processing difficulties often receive occupational therapy services as a way to help build skills in the areas needed to complete daily activities. Check out this article to find out exactly how OT can be beneficial.
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benefits of weighted vest for autism blog post

10 Benefits of Weighted Vests for Autism & Sensory Issues

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP February 14, 2018 2 Comments

Weighted vests can be a helpful sensory strategy for children with autism. Learn what exactly a weighted vest is, what the research says about them, and if they can help improve focus for your child with autism!
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toys for toddlers with sensory processing disorder

The 10 Best Toys for Toddlers with Autism and Sensory Processing Difficulties

by Molly Shaw Wilson MS OTR/L BCP February 08, 2018

There are so many sensory toys on the market, it's hard to know which ones are best for toddlers with autism and sensory processing disorder. Take a look at our Top 10 recommendations compiled by a pediatric occupational therapist.
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sensory processing disorder and sleep

What to Know about Sensory Processing Disorder and Sleep

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP January 17, 2018

For children with sensory processing disorder, sleep problems can further compound difficulties with self-regulation. Learn more about how certain factors cause sleeping issues for those with sensory processing disorder and strategies to help improve sleep.
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Sensory Brush Benefits blog post

What are the Benefits of a Sensory Brush or The Wilbarger Brushing Protocol?

by Molly Shaw Wilson MS OTR/L BCP January 03, 2018 9 Comments

A sensory brush is used as part of the Wilbarger brushing protocol and can be part of a sensory diet to help improve self-regulation for those with SPD. Learn exactly what the benefits are, as well as the Wilbarger brushing protocol instructions.
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oral sensory toys blog post

Could Oral Sensory Toys Help Your Child?

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP January 03, 2018 4 Comments

If your child sucks, chews, or bites on clothing, hair, and fingers, sensory toys may help by adding an oral sensory tool may help by promoting self-regulation. 75% of children with autism have some form of sensory processing disorder. See if your child could benefit from a oral sensory toy.
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sensory wiggle seat blog post

Could a Sensory Wiggle Seat Help Your Child Focus?

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP December 13, 2017

Sensory wiggle seats are great sensory tools to help your child stay focused by allowing for subtle movements and adjustments while sitting. They can help for ADHD, Autism, or Sensory Processing Disorder! Active seating is becoming more and more popular in classrooms. Find out why here!
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sensory seeking activities blog post

Our 10 Favorite Sensory Seeking Activities for Children

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP November 01, 2017 4 Comments

If your child is a "sensory seeker", consider adding these 10 sensory activities to your child's sensory diet to help promote regulation throughout the day.
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sensory clothing blog post

Could Sensory Friendly Clothes Help Your Child?

by Nicole Przychodzen October 18, 2017

Children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) often struggle with sensory defensiveness, which is low tolerance to sensory stimuli. Because of this, sometimes they don't like normal clothing. Learn how sensory clothing can help your child feel more comfortable!
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sleep and autism blog post

The Ultimate Guide to Improving Sleep in Autistic Children

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP October 04, 2017 1 Comment

80% of children with autism have sleep problems. Our guide gives an overview of autism sleep issues, as well as the 11 best tips for how to get an autistic child to sleep.
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sensory breaks classroom blog post

How to Make Sensory Breaks Work in the Classroom

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP August 16, 2017

Working sensory breaks in at school helps provide children with supports throughout the school environment that promote regulation, focus, and engagement. Learn how to schedule them, plus learn our favorite sensory seeking activities.
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Benefits of Autistic Swings

What are the benefits of autistic swings? Learn how they can help your child.

by Dr. Cara Koscinski, OTD, MOT, OTR/L April 19, 2017

Children with autism and sensory processing disorder often feel overwhelmed by their environment.  Autistic swings, or more commonly known as sensory swings, can offer a great sensory input that can help relieve some of their issues with sensory processing disorder. Learn more about therapy swings for autism here.
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