Every parent/caregiver has their own list of tools that have helped them get through the tough times. Not all tools work for every kid, so we parents/caregivers of kids with special needs have probably filled storage bins with products that we rate as a fail. We also flushed away lots of money on these alleged miracle products that were going to be our solution to a specific problem. Allow me to share with you some of the things that have worked for my family and friends. Of course, this is not a guarantee that they will work for you, but I truly hope they will make your day easier and happier in some way.
My daughter wants to have long, beautiful hair like her friends...but she HATES to have her hair brushed or combed. She also likes to tumble and roll back and forth on my bed, roll in circles in the grass and flip around in all directions on the trampoline. This results on more than just knots, she gets thick matted hair like she's growing dreds. Since she is unable to bear it when we try to brush them out we have resorted to keeping her hair short most of her life, but as she gets older growing her hair long seems to be more of a priority to her. Out of desperation we tried the As-Seen-On-TV Michel Mercier Detangling Brush which is available for different hair types. We still have to hold the hair at the roots so it doesn't pull on her scalp, but so far this seems to be a great solution to our dilemma - and her hair has never looked more beautiful!!
My child with special needs tends to spill things a lot. Most kids and toddlers do, so I know I am not alone in my recurring need to frantically grab something that will soak up wetness quickly. My article "How The Sham Wow Saved My Daughter's Rug" appeared on Yahoo Voices years ago, and I still use the cloths from that same pack just about every day. My child actually feels horrible when she drops something or knocks something over, but she knows that the bright orange towels will clean it up and make everything alright. I love watching her independently find one and try to mop up the mess before she is even told to do it. No, it's not going to get blood out of a white shag rug...but if you need to get blood out of a white shag rug then you probably have bigger issues than stain removal on your mind. And I don't mean redecorating.
Whether you have a teether in the house or just a kid who likes to chew, Sentio's chewable jewelry may save your child's pencils and clothes from getting gnawed - as well as provide some much-needed stress relief and sensory input. Sentio Chews are hardy, thick PVC-free medical grade material that is very durable. The necklaces come in fun shapes and colors, and there are lots of other items on the site. There is also a subscription service so never have to be without a fresh new item when one wears out or is bitten one time too many. You may have read my review of the improved Sentio Chews on Examiner called Chew on This!
A child in school with my son is very sensitive to EMF. Her family noticed how using the microwave always agitated the child, who also struggles with health issues and autism. The family got this system and now they are free to use the microwave without any repercussions. The other family members even felt the difference once the system was in place. I haven't used it myself, but if this is an issue for your child or your family you can do some research and decide for yourself if it or any of their other products might improve your home.
I will continue this list as I find items that help us in our journey. Got a favorite gadget? Let us know about it in the comments below!
DISCLAIMER: I have included links for your convenience. Some of them are affiliate links, fyi.