Necessity is the mother of invention, and many mompreneurs have recognized that something that would help their kids would also help other kids. Special needs moms are uniquely qualified to spot something that helps their kids since they can usually read very subtle signs and forms of communication from their child. Add a healthy dose of mother’s intuition and, in some cases, you've got a solid business plan.
Stephanie Mitelman is one of those supermoms who saw what worked with her own special needs child and found a way to make it available to others. Her son was, in technical terms, a squirm-er Her toddler son wouldn’t sit still long enough to hear a story or finish a meal. Many of us can relate to that! The boy’s occupational therapist suggested a vibrating mat, which was a big hit, but wasn't very portable. Stephanie got to work on a smaller, more practical version and Senseez was officially buzzing along. The name is short for easing the senses, and kids (and adults) find all sorts of ways to use it for sensory input and relaxation. Senseez are covered in easy-to-clean vinyl in many colors and shapes, and there are even fuzzy models in a fun black and white cowhide print for added tactile experiences. Typical kids enjoy the pillows as well!
Stephanie wrote a piece for Pediatric Safety recently where she gives some tips for getting kids to sit still, including letting the child know how long they will need to stay seated and using a visual timer. This is a typical issue for all kids, even those without special needs.
Sure, a Senseez pillow is a brilliant way to help kids sit through a therapy session or lesson at school, but I can think of other places where this would have helped my own child to settle down and sit still:
- Doctors offices. Also visits to the dentist, eye exams and any other specialist that has a waiting room. At a GI appointment I once had to chase my child all the way back to the elevators!
- Restaurants with slow kitchens
- Airplanes and airport terminals during long flights delays and layovers
- Grandma’s house full of expensive breakables
- Live events, shows and concerts
- Worship services
- Long car rides
- School awards ceremonies for older siblings
- Home improvement stores when Dad is deliberating over which type of nail to buy…actually, I could use one for those times, too.