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Munchables Turns 8!

It is hard to believe that 8 years ago today, I launched Munchables from a table at the Abbotsford Craft Fair. So much has changed! At the launch, as pictured, I only sold teething items for babies. Based on customer requests, I slowly transitioned to specialising in custom chew designs for older kids. Thank you so much to those who asked for these designs and to all of you who have supported me on this incredible journey. I am eternally grateful.ūü•į

Munchables Owner, Laura, and her son launching Munchables
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DIY Sensory Calm Down Bottle Recipes

DIY Sensory Calm Down Bottles Make Yourself

Sensory calm down bottles are an excellent tool for parents to have in their toolkit. These inexpensive, portable sensory aids can be used to quietly soothe children, avoid meltdowns and help kids manage their emotions.

Sensory calm down jars encourage mindfulness, focus and calm for when children or adults are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Watching them can be a great reset because they can be so captivating to watch. They can also be used as a timer for "time-outs" if so desired. The use of sensory calm down bottles is a mindful activity that can help center children.

Also known as zen jar, mindful jar, relaxation jar, or sensory bottles. There are many different recipes to make your child's sensory bottle, including water, dish soap, baby oil, food coloring, clear glue or hair gel.

Looking to take this idea to the next level? Try making special holiday calm down bottles. Try adding red and green rice to your mindful jar at Christmas or drop creepy spiders into a baby oil sensory jar at Halloween. Take your child to the dollar store and together you can design the perfect DIY sensory bottle. Have fun!

What you can add to a sensory calming bottle

1. Glitter 

2. Foil Confetti

3. Food coloring 

4. Mini toy figures 

5. Beads 

6. Hair gel

7. Baby oil

8. Colored buttons 

9. Colored elastics 

10. Mini glow sticks 

11. Pipe cleaners 

12. Water beads 

13. Dish soap

14. Rice 

15. Beans 

 Sensory Bottle Hair Gel

Hair Gel Sensory Bottle 

1. Add 1/2 cup of hair gel and then fill with warm water 3/4 full. 

2. Put the top on the bottle and shake well. 

3. Add some glitter and shake. 

4. If your beads or small items don't move well you may need to add a little more water.

5. Use super glue to glue the lid shut so it doesn't open. 

* You can add a few beads, lego blocks or small items and toys. 

 

Sensory Bottle Water Beads

Water Beads Sensory Bottle 1. Soak your water beads until they are full size. 

2. Use a funnel and pour the water beads in the jar. 

3. You can pour in color by color or all together, that's your choice.

4. You can add some water or you can have the water beads in your sensory bottle without water too. 

5. Use super glue to glue the lid shut so it doesn't open.

* You can add a few beads, lego blocks or small items and toys. 

 Sensory Bottle with Glitter

Glitter Sensory Bottle 

1. Fill the bottle with warm water. (3/4 full) 

2. Add one bottle of Elmer's clear glue. 

3. Add a lot glitter. 

4. Add a few drops of food coloring.

5. Use super glue to glue the lid shut so it doesn't open. 

* You can add a few beads, lego blocks or small items and toys. 

 Sensory Bottle Eye Spy Alphabet

Eye Spy Alphabet Sensory Bottle 

1. Fill up the bottle using dyed colored rice or sand. (instructions for dry color rice below) 

2. Use a funnel to add small objects into the bottle to find. I used letters as an educational activity to learn the alphabet but you can add absolutely anything.

3. Finish adding dyed colored rice, beans or sand in the other half of the bottle. 

4. Make a list of objects for your child to find in the colored rice or sand. 

5. Use super glue to glue the lid shut so it doesn't open.

Sensory Rice Bottle

Colored Sensory Rice For Sensory Bottle 

1. Fill the sensory bottle up 3/4 with rice. 

2. Pour it in a container with a lid

3. Use white vinegar to just get the rice a little damp. 

4. Add a few drops of food coloring to the rice

5. Close the lid and shake. 6. Lay the rice out on a piece of paper towel and let it dry over night. 

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Mindful Breathing Activities For Children

Mindful Breathing Techniques for Kids

Teaching our children to be mindful, is teaching them long term life skills that will help them as they grow. These life skills will minimize their anxiety and stress, improve their focus, increase their happiness and improve their ability to cope when they find life getting too overwhelming or overstimulating.

Make mindful activities a positive part of their day. This includes familiar activities that they enjoy, especially when they are just beginning to learn how to be mindful. Include mindful activities in your child's visual schedule. This will help them to expect and understand that this will become a part of their routine. After a while, you will notice that your child is practicing being mindful on their own naturally.

Benefits for teaching children mindful activities

‚ÄĘ Increases emotional regulation
‚ÄĘ Decreased depression
‚ÄĘ Better memory
‚ÄĘ Cognitive improvements
‚ÄĘ Stronger relationships
‚ÄĘ Reduces anxiety and stress
‚ÄĘ Better focus and attention
‚ÄĘ Improve sleep
‚ÄĘ Better moods
‚ÄĘ Increased self esteem
‚ÄĘ Increased feeling of calm

Mindful breathing can be done in so many different ways. You want your child to be comfortable. Practice breathing slowly, closing or opening their eyes and asking them to take notice when their chest moves when they breathe.

There is a wide variety of mindful breathing activities for children that you can practice. Here are a few ideas. Some breathing techniques your child will absolutely love, others not so much. Try a few to see which what works for your child.

5 Breathing Techniques for Kids:

1. Teddy Bear Breathing
Teddy bear breathing is an easy and fun breathing technique for children. Ask your child to lay down on their back and get comfortable. Ask them to take their teddy bear and place it on their belly. Inhaling slowly and exhaling slowly. Ask your child to focus on their teddy bear, watching it go up and down as they breathe. Repeat several times until they are focused and calm.

2. Blow Out The Candle Breathing
Ask your child to pretend they are blowing out the candles on their birthday cake. Taking a deep breath through their nose and breathing out through their mouth blowing out the candles.

3. Pinwheel Breathing
Pinwheel breathing is a great mindful breathing activity for children. It can be done while sitting down or standing up, although you will need a pinwheel for your child to do this activity. Get your child to take a deep breath through their nose and then slowly breathe out blowing on the pinwheel watching the pinwheel spin. They can repeat this a few times until they are calm. Pinwheels can be found at some dollar stores and also available on Amazon.

4. Elephant Breathing
Ask your child to stand with their feet apart and their arms dangling in fron of them like the trunk of an elephant. As they breathe in deeply through their nose get them to raise their arms up high above their head. Then slowly swinging their arms down again as they breathe out through their mouth. Your child can repeat this several times until they are feeling calm.

5. Bubble Breathing
Ask your child to sit down and pretend to be blowing bubbles through a bubble wand. Inhaling deeply through their nose and blowing out slowly as they are blowing bubbles through the bubble wand trying to blow the biggest bubbles they can blow. They can repeat this several times. For fun, you can try this breathing activity with real bubbles and a bubble wand.

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Heavy Work Activities 

Sensory Heavy Work Activities Blog Post Picture of Boy Doing Heavy Work

Heavy work can be great calming activities for children and adults who have Sensory Processing Disorder. Heavy work activities are great for decreasing anxiety and regulating our sensory proprioceptive system. Heavy work is lifting, pushing or pulling. 

Children and adults with Sensory Processing Disorder or Autism often need to chew to self regulate. The more sensory input they have in their sensory diet, the less they will chew. 

Proprioceptive Activities 

1. Rough play wrestling

2. Tug of war

3. Crawling through tunnels

4. Pulling/pushing cart or wagon

5. Catching or throwing a heavy weighted ball

6. Wheelbarrow walking

7. Scooter board activities

8. Pulling apart resistant toys/objects

9. Joint compressions

10. Push ups or sit ups

Each persons sensory needs are different. Some will need more sensory input than others, while others will require less. An Occupational Therapist can assess each individual person to determine their sensory diet and how much sensory input they need. 

Heavy Work Activities 

1. Carry heavy items (baskets with cardboard blocks, laundry, groceries with Mom, bag for teacher, etc.)

2. Chew on a a Munchables chew pendants,  chew necklaces, chew bracelets or zipper pull chews

3. Scooter board to and from a designated location (sit and lie on stomach use arms to propel)

4. Carry bean bags on head or shoulders and walk across a room, weighted vests, belts, wrist weights. Carry heavy pillow or cushions. 

5. Pull other children around on a sheet or blanket

6. Yard work, including mowing the lawn, raking grass or leaves, pushing wheelbarrow

7. House work including vacuuming and mopping, carrying the bucket of water to clean with or water plants

8. Chew on chewy or  crunchy snacks (carrots, apples, ice chips or jerky) 

9. Falling into bean bag chair or crash mat

10. Drink a milkshake through a thin straw

11. Climbing activities (such as playground equipment)

12. Animal walks, crab walk, bear walk, army crawl

13. Use a weighted blankets and tighter pj's 

14. Swimming 

15. Gymnastics or dancing 

 

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Inspirational Quotes For Special Needs Parents

Inspirational Quotes for Parents of Children with Special Needs

1. Your special needs journey won't be the same as anyone else's, so don't let anyone in the world tell you what it should look like. ~ Unknown

2. A child with disabilities often spends hours being taught how to interact with others... but why don't we spend time teaching those without disabilities how to interact with them? ~ Calleen Petersen

3. Having children with special needs can be challenging. Getting people to understand can be the hardest part. ~ Unknown 

4. It shouldn’t matter how slowly a child learns. What matters is that we encourage them to never stop trying. ~ Robert John Meehan

5. There is no such thing as a ‚Äúbad kid‚ÄĚ - just angry, hurt, tired, scared, confused, impulsive ones expressing their feelings & needs the only way they know how. We owe it to every single one of them to always remember that. ~ Jessica Stephens

6. When your child is having a meltdown... don't talk. Don't try to reason. Don't get angry. Your child can't hear you. Just be silent and loving until the storm passes. Words can come later. ~ Unknown 

7. I think having a child with disabilities teaches you a level of love, patience, protection, compassion and understanding you didn't even know existed. ~ Unknown

8. Don't let others who don't understand your child's struggles, make you doubt your parenting. ~ Unknown 

9. A child is like a butterfly in the wind. Some can fly higher than others, but each one flies the best it can. Why compare one against the other? Each one is different, each one is special, each one is beautiful. ~ Unknown 

10. Embrace the unique way your child is blooming - even if it's not in the garden you imagined. ~ Jenn Soehnlin 

11. They said he wouldn't, but he did. They said he couldn't, but he can. They said he won't, but he will. ~ Unknown 

12. The best gift you can give a child with special needs is your friendship. To include them, play with them and believe in them. ~ Unknown 

13. Nine times out of 10, the story behind the misbehavior won't make you angry, it will break your heart. ~ Annette Breaux 

14. I am a parent. I am a caregiver. I am a family member. It is my job to see the world through this child's eyes. Explain this child to teachers. Explain this child to our community. It is my privilege to fight for this child's needs. ~ Unknown 

15. My child isn't giving me a hard time, they are having a hard time. ~ Unknown 

16. Special needs parenting can be really tough. Most could never do what you do each day. Don't be so hard on yourself. Be strong. Be brave. You can do this. You are doing a great job. I see you. ~ Unknown 

17. Before you judge me as a special needs parent... Please know that I am already my biggest critic. ~ Unknown 

18. The hardest part of being a parent is watching a child go through something really tough and not being able to fix it for them. ~ Unknown 

19. I think having a child with disabilities teaches you a level of love, patience, protection, compassion and understanding you didn't even know existed. ~ Unknown 

20. Sensory Processing Disorder does exist. It's real. Our kids are not bad kids. Our kids do not lack discipline. We are not making excuses for behaviors. A meltdown is not a tantrum. Sensory Processing Disorder can cause extreme reactions and anxiety. Children with SPD are not spoiled and they do not do it for attention. SPD does not affect everyone the same way. Please be understanding and supportive. ~ Jeanette Baker-Loftus 

21. There are no bad children. There are bad choices. There are bad moments. There are bad days. There are bad situations. But there are no bad children. Period. L.R Knost 

22. We are not special parents because we have special needs children. We are regular people who have become better human beings because of our special needs children. ~ Unknown 

23. When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it's our job to share our calm, not join their chaos. ~ L.R Knost 

24. Don't let others who don't understand your child's struggles, make you doubt your parenting. ~ Unknown 

25. I think the hardest part of having a child with a delay of any kind is the fight. The fight for services, the fight for people to understand who your child is and what they need. The fight for knowledge, because knowledge is power and the quiet fight you have within yourself wondering if you have left no stone unturned. ~ Jessie Doyle 

26. People with special needs are not as different from you and me as you might think. They want the same things we want: to love and be loved, and to be accepted, appreciated, and included. ~ Sylvia Phillips 

27. I will speak for you, I will fight for you, I will advocate for you, So that one day, You can do it for yourself. ~ Unknown 

28. Judging a child who has special needs does not define who they are... it defines who you are. ~ Unknown 

29. Crying and feeling sad when you have a child who has special needs does not mean that you are weak. It means that you're a parent who is in search of getting your child all that he/she needs and at times feels frustrated, overwhelmed and isolated. ~ Unknown 

30. I don’t think the worst thing that could happen to me is raising a child with special needs. I think the worst thing is to raise a child who is cruel to those with special needs. ~ unknown 

31. Do not let a broken system convince you that you have a broken child. ~ Uknown 

32. When you are frustrated with me because of the things I cannot do … Just imagine how frustrated I must be because I am not able. ~ Unknown 

33. Children with special needs come into our lives, leaving footprints on our hearts and we are never the same. ~ Unknown

34. The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways. ~ Russell Barkley 

35. Remember, popcorn is prepared in the same pot, in the same heat, in the same oil, but the kernels don't pop at the same time. Don't compare your child to other children, their turn to pop is coming. ~ Unknown 

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20 Ideas for A Successful Sensory Christmas

  1. Try keeping to your routine as much as possible. Using a visual schedule can be helpful.
  2. Remember, it's ok to have only close family over for Christmas.
  3. If you decide to go out, explain your child’s sensory challenges to family and friends ahead of time.
  4. Have a designated quiet space set aside for your child to be alone if they get overwhelmed.
  5. While you are out, remember that it's ok to leave early. Your child will let you know when it's time to leave.
  6. Try to make Christmas Day last for days or a week - Not everything has to happen in one day.
  7. If you are going out for a special dinner, bring your child's favorite foods along.
  8. When you notice your child is coping well, praise their great behavior.
  9. It's important to fill your child's sensory diet during the holidays to keep them regulated. Stock up on Munchables fidgets and chews to help.
  10. Allow time during the holidays for scheduled sensory breaks.
  11. Lower your expectations as most children with Sensory Processing Disorder will have meltdowns during Christmas activities because they get overwhelmed.
  12. If your child has several gifts, open them gradually over days or weeks so they don't get overwhelmed.
  13. Gradually add Christmas decorations to your home.
  14. Before attending events, make a secret signal that your child can use to let you know when it's too much for them.
  15. Don't be afraid to say no to visitors. If you do have guests, it's ok to have a time limit.
  16. Let your child run, jump, spin and swing as much as they need to during the holidays.
  17. Search your area for sensory Santa events. You can schedule a time to visit to Santa privately.
  18. Be aware of your surroundings. Smells can be too strong, sounds can be too loud and lights can be too bright.
  19. Less can be best. Too much of anything will likely be overwhelming and cause a meltdown.
  20. Enjoy yourself! Celebrate Christmas in a way that works for you and your family.
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New Lanyard Options Available

Introducing Two New Lanyard Options!

The first new style is a thick, smooth satin ribbon Lanyard with a durable breakaway clasp, while the second is a belt-clip style Retractable Lanyard. Either of these options can be used with Munchables chews or fidgets to prevent dropped, lost or thrown items.

Munchables New Lanyards
The Munchables Retractable Lanyards feature a retractable cord with 4 optional attachment points - a clip for a waistband or belt, a carabiner, a lobster clasp and a plastic snap fastener.
The Munchables Satin Lanyards features a loop that can be fastened

to any Munchables pendant. Best of all, the attachment point is removable! You can easily clean the satin lanyard by unclipping the chew. 

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Halloween Ideas For Children Who Have Sensory Processing Disorder

1. Preparing your child for Halloween and what to expect is so important. This will reduce anxiety. Visual calendars are a great tool to prepare them.

2. Their costumes should be comfortable and not scary. Let them choose the costume they will be wearing. Less is best. Most children with SPD don't like masks or bulky costumes. Never force your child to wear the costume.

3. Most children with SPD don't like face painting. Try experimenting weeks before Halloween for the best experience. Creating costumes from familiar clothing may work best.

4. Search for local children's Halloween events if your child doesn't want to go out. If they do want to go out, if possible, avoid crowded areas, houses and crowds in general. Trick or Treating earlier in the evening is best, before it gets dark.

5. Bring a friend along to keep your child company for extra support and encouragement. When your child is tired or doesn't want to do it anymore, end the evening.

6. Tell your child the basic rules of Halloween, such as no treats until you have searched the Halloween bag (allergies & diet restrictions). Let others know of any allergies when receiving treats for your child.

7. Most children with Sensory Processing Disorder don't like carving pumpkins or the way it feels. Don't pressure them. Many children may enjoy painting or drawing on them instead. There's also children who do like carving pumpkins and squishing the guts... This can be a great sensory activity!

8. Remember a regular day can be overwhelming for a child with Sensory Processing Disorder. Halloween can easily cause sensory overload which could result in a meltdown. Take sensory breaks. If you are at a Halloween party, take  breaks. (sensory space)

9. Complete your child's sensory diet before trick-or-treating and before they go to bed. (brushing, joint compressions, heavy work, swinging and trampoline)

10. If your child doesn't want to go out for Halloween, that's okay too! Halloween is not just about trick or treating. Kids might love to be the one who hands out treats at the door. 

Have fun! 

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Research on Sensory Processing Disorder

Want to know more about the ongoing research into Sensory Processing Disorders? Juliana Bunim wrote a fantastic article for the University of California San Francisco back in 2013. I have shared it in its entirety below:

Breakthrough Study Reveals Biological Basis for Sensory Processing Disorders in Kids

By Juliana Bunim
side view diagram of human brain that shows Speech/Language area toward the front, Somatic/Sensory Cortex area at top, Gustatory (Taste) area in center, Language area at center back, Visual area at far back, and Auditory area at center bottom
The image shows areas of the brain that can be affected by sensory processing disorders. Using an advanced form of MRI, researchers at UCSF have identified abnormalities in the brain structure of children with SPD primarily in the back of the brain.

Sensory processing disorders (SPD) are more prevalent in children than autism and as common as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, yet the condition receives far less attention partly because it’s never been recognized as a distinct disease.

Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD

In a groundbreaking new study from UC San Francisco, researchers have found that children affected with SPD have quantifiable differences in brain structure, for the first time showing a biological basis for the disease that sets it apart from other neurodevelopmental disorders.

One of the reasons SPD has been overlooked until now is that it often occurs in children who also have ADHD or autism, and the disorders have not been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists.

‚ÄúUntil now, SPD hasn‚Äôt had a known biological underpinning,‚ÄĚ said senior author¬†Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD, a professor of radiology and biomedical imaging and bioengineering at UCSF. ‚ÄúOur findings point the way to establishing a biological basis for the disease that can be easily measured and used as a diagnostic tool,‚ÄĚ Mukherjee said.

The work is published in the open access online journal NeuroImage:Clinical.

 

 

‚ÄėOut of Sync‚Äô Kids

Sensory processing disorders affect 5 to 16 percent of school-aged children.

Graphic that says "Sensory processing disorders affect 5 to 16 percent of school-aged children."

Children with SPD struggle with how to process stimulation, which can cause a wide range of symptoms including hypersensitivity to sound, sight and touch, poor fine motor skills and easy distractibility. Some SPD children cannot tolerate the sound of a vacuum, while others can’t hold a pencil or struggle with social interaction. Furthermore, a sound that one day is an irritant can the next day be sought out.  The disease can be baffling for parents and has been a source of much controversy for clinicians, according to the researchers.

Elysa Marco, MD

‚ÄúMost people don‚Äôt know how to support these kids because they don‚Äôt fall into a traditional clinical group,‚ÄĚ said¬†Elysa Marco, MD, who led the study along with postdoctoral fellow Julia Owen, PhD. Marco is a cognitive and behavioral child neurologist at UCSF Benioff Children‚Äôs Hospital, ranked among the nation's best and one of California's top-ranked centers for neurology and other specialties, according to the 2013-2014¬†U.S. News & World Report¬†Best Children's Hospitals survey.

‚ÄúSometimes they are called the ‚Äėout of sync‚Äô kids. Their language is good, but they seem to have trouble with just about everything else, especially emotional regulation and distraction. In the real world, they‚Äôre just less able to process information efficiently, and they get left out and bullied,‚ÄĚ said Marco, who treats affected children in her cognitive and behavioral neurology clinic.

‚ÄúIf we can better understand these kids who are falling through the cracks, we will not only help a whole lot of families, but we will better understand sensory processing in general. This work is laying the foundation for expanding our research and clinical evaluation of children with a wide range of neurodevelopmental challenges ‚Äď stretching beyond autism and ADHD,‚ÄĚ she said.

Imaging the Brain’s White Matter

In the study, researchers used an advanced form of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which measures the microscopic movement of water molecules within the brain in order to give information about the brain’s white matter tracts. DTI shows the direction of the white matter fibers and the integrity of the white matter. The brain’s white matter is essential for perceiving, thinking and learning.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) brain scans

These brain images, taken with DTI, show water diffusion within the white matter of children with sensory processing disorders.  Row FA: The blue areas show white matter where water diffusion was less directional than in typical children, indicating impaired white matter microstructure.  Row MD: The red areas show white matter where the overall rate of water diffusion was higher than in typical children, also indicating abnormal white matter.  Row RD: The red areas show white matter where SPD children have higher rates of water diffusion perpendicular to the axonal fibers, indicating a loss of integrity of the fiber bundles comprising the white matter tracts.

The study examined 16 boys, between the ages of eight and 11, with SPD but without a diagnosis of autism or prematurity, and compared the results with 24 typically developing boys who were matched for age, gender, right- or left-handedness and IQ. The patients’ and control subjects’ behaviors were first characterized using a parent report measure of sensory behavior called the Sensory Profile. 

The imaging detected abnormal white matter tracts in the SPD subjects, primarily involving areas in the back of the brain, that serve as connections for the auditory, visual and somatosensory (tactile) systems involved in sensory processing, including their connections between the left and right halves of the brain. 

‚ÄúThese are tracts that are emblematic of someone with problems with sensory processing,‚ÄĚ said Mukherjee. ‚ÄúMore frontal anterior white matter tracts are typically involved in children with only ADHD or autistic spectrum disorders. The abnormalities we found are focused in a different region of the brain, indicating SPD may be neuroanatomically distinct.‚Ä̬†

The researchers found a strong correlation between the micro-structural abnormalities in the white matter of the posterior cerebral tracts focused on sensory processing and the auditory, multisensory and inattention scores reported by parents in the Sensory Profile. The strongest correlation was for auditory processing, with other correlations observed for multi-sensory integration, vision, tactile and inattention.

The abnormal microstructure of sensory white matter tracts shown by DTI in kids with SPD likely alters the timing of sensory transmission so that processing of sensory stimuli and integrating information across multiple senses becomes difficult or impossible.

Future studies need to be done, she said, to research the many children affected by sensory processing differences who have a known genetic disorder or brain injury related to prematurity.

The study’s co-authors are Shivani Desai, BS, Emily Fourie, BS, Julia Harris, BS, and Susanna Hill, BS, all of UCSF, and Anne Arnett, MA, of the University of Denver.

The research was supported by the Wallace Research Foundation. The authors have reported that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital creates an environment where children and their families find compassionate care at the forefront of scientific discovery, with more than 150 experts in 50 medical specialties serving patients throughout Northern California and beyond. The hospital admits about 5,000 children each year, including 2,000 babies born in the hospital. For more information, visit www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Munchables Sensory Chew NecklacesMunchables Sensory Chew Necklaces

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Top 5 Sensory Books For Kids

Looking for books to explain Sensory Processing Disorder to children? Here are our top 5 picks:

Amazon.ca Link for Listening to My Body

1. Listening to My Body: A guide to helping kids understand the connection between their sensations (what the heck are those?) and feelings so that they can get better at figuring out what they need by Gabi Garcia

Big emotions can be overwhelming!

Help your child build on their capacity to engage more mindfully, self-regulate, and develop emotional resilience.

This engaging and interactive book guides children through the practice of naming their feelings and the physical sensations that accompany them.

From wiggly and squirmy to rested and still, Listening to My Body helps children develop a sensations vocabulary so that they can express what they are experiencing.

Includes kid-friendly mindfulness activities woven throughout the book to reinforce the teachings.

 

Amazon.ca Listing for My Socks

2. My Socks by Julie Igel

Do you know a kid who HATES to wear socks?Then you’ll LOVE this book! Parents and kids with sensory challenges will enjoy reading this fun book together. You’ll recognize the struggle and appreciate the surprisingly simple solution.

 

Anger Management Skills

3. Anger Management Skills Workbook for Kids: 40 Awesome Activities to Help Children Calm Down, Cope, and Regain Control By Amanda Robinson

This is a personal favorite. My 7-year old son and I spent many hours going through the activities in this book and learning skills for reducing frustration and regulating emotions. I highly recommend it!

While some children instinctively know how to regulate their emotions, plenty of others lack the skills they need to express their anger in healthy and effective ways. This warm, engaging workbook helps children ages 5-10 develop strong skills for managing their anger through 40 fun activities.

From identifying their feelings and challenging negative thinking patterns to practicing healthy coping skills when angry feelings arise, kids will learn to feel calmer and more in control--and to form better relationships with family and friends and ease problems at school. 

 

I'm Not Weird, I Have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

4. I'm Not Weird, I Have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) by Chynna T. Laird

This book was inspired by the author's daughter, Jaimie, who struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) every day. It was written to validate Jaimie's feelings and to show her other children feel things the way she does. This book can help children with SPD learn how to explain their disorder to others; help peers understand what children with SPD go through; and also help therapists, teachers and/or counselors learn how to talk about it. Helping others learn about children with special needs brings understanding to them and help to make them seem less... different.

 

This is Gabriel Making Sense of School provides a look into the challenges children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) face in the classroom. This easy-to-read and beautifully illustrated picture book gives teachers, parents, and students a better understanding of all seven senses, how they are each affected at school, and what kinds of accommodations are necessary to help children with SPD become learning sensations!

5. This is Gabriel: Making Sense of School by Hartley Steiner

This is Gabriel Making Sense of School provides a look into the challenges children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) face in the classroom. This easy-to-read and beautifully illustrated picture book gives teachers, parents, and students a better understanding of all seven senses, how they are each affected at school, and what kinds of accommodations are necessary to help children with SPD become learning sensations!

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