There are so many great products and therapy tools on the market that can help children with Autism. I came to a sad realisation today that many people have caught on to the benefits of certain things, slapped a therapy tag on it and upped the price to beyond reasonable. Not only do we need these things for our kids, we often need a lot of them. A Labrador like our gorgeous Luna could easily take $35000 to train, a simple, tiny little chewable pendant could cost $20 and need replacing multiple times. I was even shocked at the cost of some simple weighted products. I have no worries when parents make and sell these necessary items to raise money for their own child's therapy but there are some tips I would like to pass on.
1. Although a therapy pet, properly trained is highly valuable, a well trained pet of any kind has benefits. We have three beloved dogs and I think at times they give us all an ear and a cuddle. I don't buy in to the lack of empathy debate with ASD but they can teach loyalty and give much needed companionship and love. Our dogs love and are fiercely protective of all our kids.
2. $2 shops and National Geographic, sensory tools can be found in many places. I've bought the most expensive tools and have found that they last no longer than the cheap stuff. Stress balls in particular need to be replaced often here and chewy stuff. I have purchased some food grade silicone and will start making my own soon.
3. Weighted products can be achieved with cheap materials, rice and fishing weights. If you don't sew, a pillow with a quick unpick in the corner, a bit of stuffing pulled out and some rice and weights is said to be just as effective.
4. A laminator, free clipart from Microsoft Word, some cheap cardboard, and a printer can make routine cards. Rolls of magnetic tape or Velcro can make them stick to things. A cheap manilla folder, with contact on it and magnets or Velcro can make it portable.
I'm sure there are plenty more do it yourself products out there. I find a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and if anyone has more ideas, feel free to share belowin the comments. I'm sure there are some clever parents who have come up with ways to tackle the never ending cost of obsessions too.