Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back to school shopping

As the weather starts to get a bit cooler at night and my birthday approaches, my mind turns to Back-to-School shopping.  So I headed to the mall today and here is what I got:

Oh wait... that's for me to celebrate back to school!  

Here are the supplies I got for Liam:

It's the oddest assortment of back to school supplies that I've ever bought!  As we learn more and more about ADHD, we are trying all sorts of tips and tricks.  And one of those tricks is to have "fidgets" available to, well, fidget with, while you are concentrating on something else.

The principle behind fidget toys is to stimulate the arousal level so the child becomes more attentive.  from the ADHD Discussion Page

We sort of thought it was a bit of a crock till we really thought about it. Liam has always done his best work while being physically active: reading while on the excercise bike, math while jumping on the trampoline etc.. Since he can't do any of that while in the classroom (his school is awesome and forward thinking and willing to accommodate, but they still have 14 other kids in the class to control too!) we needed to find some smaller items.

The gum and sour candies won't make it to school but are good for homework time though some people think gum should be mandatory in school because of how well it helps concentration.    The squeezy toys will also help strengthen his fingers, another area that he has to work on.  The rocks are actually mine!  I am a fidgeter and like to keep them in my pocket so that I have something quiet to play with.  The DS pen is another one that I have been using while watching TV.  I can "scratch" it up and down my arm and apply pressure with it to my fingers or leg.  I'm beginning to think that I may have a touch of the ADHD or at least some sensory issues going on too.

We've only tried "fidgets" for a couple of days at home while reading, but they do seem to help.  We have a meeting with Liam's teachers next week and I'm hoping that they will be on board with the idea.  Since I love to research and read up on things going on in my life, I will be going into the meeting armed with fidgets for them to play with while we meet (so they can see how unobtrusive they are) as well as articles for them to read on the benefits that they will give Liam.

And eventually I will make it back to the mall for all the other Back-to-School shopping that I still need to do.


Heather said...

That looks like a great selection of back to school supplies to me! :-D

You know, it isn't unheard of here for kids to be allowed to chew gum/suck on candies as part of their IEP. My kiddo had crunchy snacks written into her kindergarten IEP. (Pretzels or goldfish.) I don't know what the Canadian equivalent of an IEP is or if Liam will have one, but it might be worth inquiring about if it is something that would help him...

I play with fidgets, too. Just because SPD is a newish diagnosis - or at least recent in terms of public attention - doesn't mean it just began. I'm sure there are a lot of adults walking around with some sort of undiagnosed something or other, myself included. :-)

JenJo said...

My son also has ADHD, and I do too. When he was little and in therapy, his therapist would give him a chunk of playdough to smoosh around in his hands while they talked. Without the playdough it was like he couldn't hear her talking to him and so the therapy didn't work all that well.

I have some small, smooth rocks that my mom always called "worry stones". In Inuit culture these stones are given the power to absorb your worries when you rub them. I always liked them more for their smooth surface and how neatly they fit into my hand and gave my fingers something to do.

I've also discovered that I take tests much better when I can listen to music on my iPod on a very low volume. Vivaldi is my favorite and it helps to drown out the rustling, breathing, coughing, pen/pencil, and other noises in a full classroom.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I never put the fidgeting/thinking thing together. I have my best ideas when I'm physically occupied by something else (like dishes), and this could explain it!

Now I want candy.

billysmommy said...

My sensory/add kiddo is doing great with (A) silly bandz. As long as she is snapping the bracelet, her body is still and her mind focuses. Even though they are banned (no pun intended!) in school here, her teacher allows just the one because it makes such a difference. 'Course, it helps that she is a parent of a sensory seeker.....