Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cheap Entertainment

Packing peanuts!!

My sons sensory issues are not as severe as some others' that I have seen or heard about. But they are there. He mostly has issues when it comes to texture on the palms of his hands. He does not like sand, gravel, grass, carpet...even things like a face washer, he can't tolerate. If he happens to fall over, he will try to land either on the inside of his wrists with palms held upwards, or with his hands actually fisted up so as not to touch the ground. On the other hand (no pun intended >_< ) he does like soap, tomato sauce, yoghurt and water, and he has no issues digging into his food with his hands. So in general, rough is a no-go, but smooth is ok. There are ways to work on the sensory aversions. One thing they often do in occupational therapy (OT) is put things in dry rice that the kids can dig for. Erik never fell for this. We tried dried pasta shapes. Didn't work. We even had them dyed in bright colours. Still no success.

Anyway, last year, I found it too difficult to get out and do Christmas shopping ... newborn plus an autistic toddler = way too much stress. So I did all my christmas shopping online. Among the various packaging things we ended up with, was one box full of packing peanuts. And even better - they were made of rice, not styrofoam! I kept the box *grin*. I opened it up one day in front of the kids, and the big girls got very excited. For my son, I think it just looked like too much texture for him. He wouldn't have a bar of it. But, I put a few into a smaller bucket, and kept it accessible for him. Once in a while I'd bring it out and try again. I liked these packing peanuts because although they look very textural, they are in fact large individual pieces. So I could give him one at a time to check out, thus diminishing the 'scariness' factor. This has worked! I brought the whole box out again recently, and this time after a little prompting, he began to dig in himself!

Check out that hand grabbing a fistful of packing peanuts!

Pouring them out of the bucket. He loved watching them fall.

They went "nuts" with the stuff. Haha! :P

Even the baby got into it. Literally! :P

Fistful in each hand :)

Big mess! But lots of fun - and well worth it if it helps with sensory issues and creates opportunity for social interaction too.

So what's your cheap entertainment?


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