Thursday 2 June 2016

Sporting plastic red belt accessories for half term?

Red chew toys for autism

It's not just the kids that people look at oddly because they have autism.  Never mind their peculiar behaviour, screaming collapses, strange way of talking or just complete lack of speech, I'm 'odd' even when I'm on my own thanks to my latest clothing trend. Red is definitely not my usual colour, but it has been this week.

Both our boys are very sensory seeking.  Just like Jane, their younger sister, most kids love hugs, tickles and cuddles on the sofa.    The boys are a bit different. 

Anthony can crush an adult till it hurts and David might scratch you with his nails if we didn't keep them short.  This describes some of the boys hypo-sensitive or 'under sensitive' issues relating to touch.  Although the boys also have some hypersensitivity issues where they are very sensitive to some things such as sudden loud noises or sudden changes in temperature, their hypo-sensitive side is a lot more obvious. 

David communicates in several ways. He uses Makaton sign language, something called PECS, he verbalises certain syllables for most words and he also uses this hypo-sensitive touch.

A bit like a toddler who pushes another child a way when they go to take their toy, David, would previously push or pull other children to get their attention.  Thankfully, we've managed to help David change his push into a Makaton 'no' and say 'nah' when he doesn't want something or someone to do something.  However, David also uses 'grabbing' as a way of communicating his excitement with those he wishes to share it with.  Invariably this is me. As he has developed and wanted to share more, I've started to feel a bit like a pin-cushion as David grabs at my body to share this excitement.

My current solution is to give him something better than me to grab and encourage him to verbalise his feelings. In reality this means I have an assortment of red plastic sensory toys attached to my belt. And because it's the half term break, I have it there all the time. So when David launches himself at me, I can move his hands to the toys.  

But it looks weird. As I go to pay for my fuel at the petrol station, I see the person next to me wondering if there is some strange fashion or pre-summer fad she's unaware of.  Though I smile at the connection, I later had a sad thought. Although I'm not bothered by the attention wearing this odd collection of ChewyTubes and ChewBuddies makes, I wonder if  my son will one day wear them himself as a way of calming his own system. 

We deliberately purchased red sensory toys because David's school uniform is red and we felt they would be less inconspicuous if he needed to wear them at school.  But what about when he is older.  Will he be looked at strangely? Will he feel awkward or understand?  I don't know, but in the mean time I'll proudly be 'odd' too and sport my plastic red belt accessories for the holidays and for however much longer he needs me to.

Our blog - Make shift ball pit is a sensory success
Our blog - Gale winds and a low sun - is this what it is like for my autistic sons?

External Links
NAS - Sensory sensitivity
As listed on:
The Reading Residence “Our
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday  A Cornish Mum


  1. What a brilliant idea. I think it looks cool. Our big lad needed to chew and we bought him the chewing necklaces these were great too. But some people did look or ask whats that and why does he have it. Sad really... and I also worry about people's reactions. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

    1. David chewed dummies for ages, got to be a bit of a worry choking hazard wise. Thanks for commenting and hosting x

  2. That is such a good idea, sounds like it's really working, too. That is a sad thought, it's such a shame to have to think about people's reactions like this, but it's a grim fact of reality, isn't it? He may not need them, who knows, I guess it's a bridge to cross when the time comes. In the meantime, you work that new accessory belt! Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  3. Thanks and thanks for hosting xx

  4. Anything like this that helps focus energies and remember certain behaviors is a great idea. Maybe it won't work as well when he's older, maybe he'll need to use something different, but for now this is great and sure other people won't get it or wonder about the fashion statement but let them wonder (or ask and get an understanding).

  5. What a great idea and it really sounds like it is working and making a massive difference which is the important thing. I know it is easier said than done but I would try and ignore the other people :-) Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

  6. These are a great idea. If it works bugger what anyone else thinks!! #KCACOLS Mumzilla

  7. As long as it is working for you and your son, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks x

  8. People love to stare don't they? We get that when my eldest son has his injection whilst we're out, but just ignore them all. What works for your child is always the best thing and hopefully he won't care. It's a good thing that you've found something that works for you. Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix, hopefully see you there again tomorrow.

    Stevie x

  9. I bet you look cool not odd :) We do what we have to for our little ones and it is great you have found something to help with the 'grabby' behaviour. Hayden is also a 'grabber' so I completely get where you are coming from. Thank you for linking up to #spectrumsunday lovely, I hope you join me again this week xx

  10. I think this is a really ingenious idea and a really practical way to respond to your child's needs. When I saw the picture (before reading this post) I actually assumed it was an accessory.


I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

Have a look at our most recent posts:

@rainbowsaretoo Ann H on Google + rainbowsaretoo pinterest rainbowsaretoobeautiful bloglovin Instagram rainbowsaretoobeautiful