Weighted vests provide deep touch pressure, and when the child moves in the vest, can provide proprioceptive input. This type of input is considered calming and regulating. Wearing a weighted vest during seated activities may help the child focus and maintain an upright seated posture at the tabletop. Depending on your child’s weight and age, the heaviness and duration of the vest may need to be adjusted. The weighted vest is good for children who struggle to focus, demonstrate poor body awareness, and need assistance sitting upright at the table.
A ball chair is more unstable than a chair with a supported back and stable seat. This requires the child to engage both trunk muscles and large leg muscles to remain upright. A ball chair may be a good option for a child who is fidgeting, often moves around, and enjoys tipping
back in chairs. It can provide both vestibular and proprioceptive input for the child who seeks this type of input. Yoga balls can be used unsupported, but some ball chairs have a support structure to keep them in one spot.
Fidget toys give children a safe, non-disruptive option if they cannot keep their hands or bodies still. Some children learn best by having a tactile component while listening to a narrator speak. There are various types of fidget toys, and it will be important to work with your therapist to find which toy would be least distracting for your child.
Thick chewing gum provides both oral and proprioceptive input. Oral input is considered calming (think about children sucking their thumb, or adults sipping their coffee nonstop). Kids can chew gum or utilize chewlery to help regulate their bodies during challenging tasks, tests, or seated work. Each school has different regulations regarding chewing gum; consult with your therapist regarding chewing gum as a tool for your child.
Howdahug chairs and similar camping chairs provide a place for children to sit, as well as postural support for kids with weak trunk muscles. Having a specific spot on the carpet, as well as having support for upright sitting, often improves on-task behavior in young children. If your child struggles to pay attention while on the carpet, or struggles to sit upright, this may be a good option.
Slantboards allow children to have wrist extension and stabilization while writing. Left-handed writers especially often hook their wrists when writing, which can lead to fatigue and instability. A slantboard may help your child’s writing skills by providing a better surface to visually attend to activities as well as more stability for the wrist.
By six years old, most children have a mature tripod or quadrupod grasp. However, some children develop other grasp patterns that are inefficient and lead to fatigue and frustration quickly. This can impact writing legibility. There are many different types of pencil grips that may be appropriate for your child.