Sensory Tools for ASD

Sensory Tools

Many people with autism have difficulty processing and integrating everyday sensory information such as sounds, sights, smells etc. i.e., they have different ways of 'sensing' their world. Some may have issues that interfere with learning and daily living skills, and/ or need strategies that will improve their motor skills to enable more effective functioning.

These ‘differences’ in sensing the world often have a profound effect on the person’s life. They can lead to difficulties completing simple self-care routines, difficulties in participating in play with peers, or avoidance of social situations that may seem too overwhelming. These often result in isolation and unusual responses and behaviours, amongst many other manifestations.

Lot of people with autism may have difficulties in motor skills and coordination, which also may come in the way of learning. Occupational Therapists and parents recommend a sensory diet, including the use of weighted blankets, therapy swings, trampolines and oral motor stimulation. Well chosen play things can be used to develop fine and gross motor skills as well as give needed sensory input to your out of sync child. Sensory therapists seek to "regulate" the sensory systems using assistive technology while teachers, parents, and adults with autism tend to look for tools to deaden sound and calm the nervous system.

Most adaptive technology for sensory challenges is low or medium-tech. Therapists may use trampolines, swings, brushes, balls, and similar tools to help over-responsive sensory systems become less sensitive. Classroom teachers and paraprofessionals often use noise-canceling headphones, weighted vests, and tinted glasses to help students avoid excessive sound and light. To calm the nervous system, teachers and parents may use ball pits, weighted blankets and vests, or "squeeze machines" to provide tactile input.

Apps are commonly used for sensory "breaks." These tend to be simple tools that allow you to do things like pop bubbles, meditate, follow images with your eyes, or play repetitive music. While not necessarily created for people on the spectrum, such apps can be very helpful

Sensory tools for autism

  • The 10 Best Sensory Toys for Autism

  • Sensory Mats. A great sensory toy for children with autism is a series of sensory mats.

  • Chew Toys.

  • Sand, Slime, or Putty.

  • Pin Art.

  • Rainmaker Toys.

  • Fidget Spinners.

  • Electric Dog Pet.

  • Senseez Vibrating Cushion.

Sensory integration tools

  • Sensory Integration Toolkits

  • Sunglasses.

  • Baseball cap or wide-brimmed hat.

  • Ice-cold water bottle with a sport cap for sucking (or an ice-cold juice box with a straw)

  • Chewy snack, such as beef jerky, raisins or granola bar.

  • Hand lotion or lip balm.

Fidgets help autism Fidgets aren’t only useful for kids with ADHD; they can also be useful for those on the autism spectrum or with sensory disorders. In fact, Gilormini says that many adults and people without disabilities can benefit from fidgeting.

Top 10 toys and gifts for children with autism

  • Sensory toys.

  • Gift cards.

  • Video games.

  • Play date.

  • Puzzles.

  • Books.

  • Educational DVDs, toys and games.

  • Quality time. Everyone loves getting gifts, but what better way for a child to play with the whole family than during good old fashioned quality time.

  • Is sensory overload autism?

  • Sensory overload occurs when you get more input from your senses than your brain is able to process. Although anyone can experience sensory overload, this condition is most commonly associated with autism, PTSD, sensory processing disorder, and fibromyalgia.

Why do autistic kids need fidgets?

Fidgeting is a way to use movement to help concentrate; sometimes it helps us with nervous energy.” “For those with ADHD or autism, fidgets are even more important,” adds Gilormini. “They help kids concentrate, focus, and learn.”

What is a sensory mat?

The sensory mats are also a calming & stress relieving activity for kids. VERSATILE USE. Place each therapy mat on the floor as a set of sensory stepping stones, or hang on the wall using our built-in grommets for tactile and visual exploration. Non-slip backing keeps the tiles in place on flat surfaces.

How can proprioception be improved in autism?

Ideas for Proprioceptive Activities

Weightbearing activities e.g. crawling, push-ups. ,Resistance activities e.g. pushing/pulling ,Heavy lifting e.g. carrying books. ,Cardiovascular activities e.g.running, jumping on a trampoline ,Oral activities e.g. chewing, blowing bubbles ,Deep pressure e.g. tight hugs.

Why Sensory Play is So Important for Children with ASD -For children, sensory play and sensory stimulation are important for development. It is even more important for children with Autism because motor skill development can be more challenging for children on the spectrum. sensory play is so important for children who have Autism and what parents can do to ensure a sensory-rich environment for their kids that will help them improve social skills, process information, and aid in their cognitive development

Managing Emotions -Children with autism can experience difficulties with regulating their emotions, have “big” emotions in situations that most of us would consider a “small” problem, and can get worked up at times. In instances where melt-downs may occur, sensory tools can help calm them down and re-direct their focus to the sensory experience in front of them.It can be challenging to know precisely when a melt-down or episode is on the rise as well because children with Autism do not always have the same reaction to emotional disturbances or sensory overload. In some circumstances, the child may have a temper tantrum, but in other cases, they may become removed and refuse to engage or display forms of self-stimulation, such as rocking back and forth, self-talk, etc.No matter what the case may be, sensory tools can play a helpful role in the healthy management of emotions for children with ASD.

Developing Social Skills -While engaging in sensory play, children with ASD are also learning to plan, negotiate, and share. Proper development of social skills for children is a vitally important part of growing and will lead to health and better relationships in adulthood. Often, children with Autism need guidance in learning how to act in social situations. Certain sensory toys can encourage more social interaction and help children with Autism to develop relationships through shared sensory experiences that are highly engaging.

Cognitive skills allow children to make sense of their world. Memorizing information, paying attention to detail, and regulation of thoughts and behavior. While children with ASD often have advanced cognitive skills pertaining to attention to detail and factual information, they often have difficulties with the regulations of thoughts and behavior, or higher level executive functioning skills. You can give your child with ASD sensory toys that provide hands-on stimulation to create pathways in the brain that help build overall brain development. Check out this list for some great options that your child will love.

Problem Solving Skills Children and adults alike come up against situations that require problem-solving skills on a daily basis. Every parent wants their child with ASD to be able to use problem-solving to be self-sufficient and to live well.Toys such as puzzles are a great option for improving problem-solving skills in children with autism. Sensory toys help a child learn about their senses in a fun way and can teach them how to manage their senses and problem solve difficult situations such as overstimulation or emotional dysregulation. Light-spinners, wind up toys and ooze tubes are fun, engaging, and can be added to your child’s sensory toolbox to help them focus, calm down, and relax.

Motor Skills When children play, they tend to run, jump, balance, and move their bodies in all sorts of ways. All of those actions require motor skills. Motor skills are separated into two categories which are listed below:FINE MOTOR SKILLS: Fine motor skills include activities such as buttoning up a coat, holding a pencil, writing, cutting, and playing with legos. Sensory toys that stimulate and promote the development of fine motor skills are very beneficial for children with Autism, as challenges in this area of development can be seen in people with ASD.GROSS MOTOR SKILLS: Gross motor skills include activities such as walking, running, throwing, lifting, and kicking. The latest research shows that about 87% of people with autism have difficulties with gross motor skill development, so finding engaging and creative ways to stimulate and encourage gross motor skill development is crucial

The second annual Autism Pensacola Sensory Street Sensory Street is an interactive community event where people are invited to visit various "sensory stations," each one offering an activity related to behaviors associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The event is open to everyone, not just individuals with autism, and is intended to give a glimpse into the world of autism and some of the challenges that people face

Digit Fidget

Digit Fidget is a fidget toy that helps provide adequate sensory feedback and improve finger strength.

Autism SENSORY Toys

Here are is 2 awesome autism sensory toys you need to help with sensory issues and stimuli for people with autism in 2019.

Here are three different types of travel kits you can make. Depending on where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone, you may want to make more than one of these kits.

7 Autism Sensory Toys

Here are 7 awesome autism sensory toys you need to help with sensory issues and stimuli for people with autism.

Sensory Toys Haul for Children with Autism

Multi-sensory tools and other aids for people with autism

The people affected by ASD have abnormal responses to incoming sensory information from the surrounding environment. We can provide different tools and methods that stimulate various sensory channels in order to facilitate the subjective response of each person.

Fidgeting is a way to use movement to help concentrate; sometimes it helps us with nervous energy.” “For those with ADHD or autism, fidgets are even more important,” adds Gilormini. “They help kids concentrate, focus, and learn.

The DeveloPLAY Box is unique because it includes hand-picked, developmentally appropriate sensory and motor tools and toys by a licensed pediatric occupational therapist. Each box has a variety of favorite tools and toys geared toward children with Autism, attention deficits, anxiety, emotional and behavioral disorders, and developmental delays, but FUN for ALL children. development!DeveloPLAY was created by Lindsey Wood, an occupational therapist with a life long goal to support and nurture the healthy development of children with Autism.

Heat Pad - Relaxing Surface

Miracle Modus

The Miracle Modus is a thing which emits soothing patterns of light and sound. It's implemented as an app on iOS and Android

Sensory processing—

A cross-disciplinary team of researchers from the University of Rochester is collaborating on a project to use virtual reality (VR) to study how humans combine and process light and sound. The first project will be a study of multisensory integration in autism, motivated by prior work showing that children with autism have atypical multisensory processing.

The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, in collaboration with Sensory Souk, Qatar’s first specialist provider of educational, professional therapy, and developmental products, presented a forum titled 'The Impact of Technology Research in Supporting Children on the Autism Spectrum and Their Families' recently.

The event highlighted the future of modern-day technological interventions such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality that are effective in supporting learning for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

8 Calming or Stimulating Sensory Activities for Kids


A rocker doesn’t have to be fancy. Anything from a child’s rocking chair or baby rocker to even mom or dad’s lap can work! Rocking targets the vestibular system, the sensory system that tells your body where you are in space and how you are moving and greatly contributes to your sense of balance Slow rocks

Rhythmic Rest your head to the side .Have someone rock the chair slowly for you .Add a weighted lap blanket .Try Using the rocker to reach an alert state: Faster rocks Unpredictable movements .Use your feet to rock yourself


Scents engage the olfactory system. You can place scented oils or extracts on a cotton ball or piece of felt and insert into a ziplock bag or small baby juice container with holes in the lid. You’ll be able to smell through the bag or container without getting oils or extracts on your clothing. Some scents (lavender, rose, vanilla) can be calming, while others (citrus, mint, cinnamon) can be alerting. Try to pair calming scents with calming activities, like bath time or bed time, and alerting scents with alerting activities, like getting up in the morning.

Therapy balls

Therapy balls are great because they are affordable and easy to find! They also come in a range of sizes and colors, so you can choose one that fits your child’s needs best.

Sit on the ball and bounce .Lay over the ball on your stomach with your hands on the ground and press into the ground .Sit on the ball and rock side to side .Lay on the ground and have someone squish you underneath the ball .Sit on the ball and move the ball around.


Scooter Board Activities: 18 Sensory Play Ideas for Kids

A scooter board is a fun sensory toy and developmental tool often used by occupational therapists and teachers. These boards provide loads of sensory input – mainly vestibular and proprioceptive – responsible for your child’s balance, body awareness, and coordination. Scooter board activities strengthen your child’s core, upper body, hands, and legs. They provide cardiovascular exercise and increase your child’s physical endurance. Kids with sensory needs often find a scooter board an excellent way to regulate and self-soothe.

Tactile Bin

Sensory bins mostly target your sense of touch, but you can easily add scents or colors to your bin as well.

You can use your tactile bins to “Wake up” your hands before a fine motor activity .Practice understanding and distinguishing objects by touch (Can you tell the difference between a penny and a dime in a bin of rice without looking?) .Get used to touching different textures .“Warm up” before an activity with intense touch sensations (like cooking or finger painting)

Sound Machines & MusicAuditory

input can be either calming or alerting, depending on the type of sound and the situation. Auditory input might be added in or removed, depending on the environment and any stressors present. If the environment includes other demands, it can help to eliminate extra auditory input. For example, some people like to turn off the car radio when navigating an unfamiliar route or prefer extra quiet when that are not feeling well. At other times, adding auditory input can increase focus, such as listening to classical music while studying.


Swings awaken the vestibular system and can be a wonderful way to keep active in the winter if you have a place for an indoor swing. Of course, there’s also always swings at your local park or playground platform swing: How does it feel to swing while keeping your head in different positions?Try sitting upright, laying on your side or sitting with your head on your knees

Light Up Toy

Simple and soothing light toys, like the Twilight Turtle, can encourage the visual system in children who have vision. Pairing the lights with music can also have a calming effect on many kids.

Tramploine And Body Socks

Proprioceptive input (deep pressure through the joints and muscles) is calming for most people. Try big jumps on a trampoline or stretching out in a body sock to feel that pressure.

Carry heavy bags, like groceries Put away dishes Push a wheelchair or stroller Crawl through a tunnel of couch cushions Scrub the tub Wrap up tightly in a blanket and wiggle to get free Jumping Jacks Chair push-ups

Illuminated Gel Board

Enjoy a satisfying sensory experience with this multi-faceted gel board.

Sensational Tubes – (Set of 5)

Each of these five attention-grabbing tubes contains an assortment of items that differ in weight, color, shape and sound production.

Wall-Mounted Activity Center

There’s no chance of boredom with this multifaceted, somatosensory activity center

Infinity Cube I

The Infinity Cube’s eight segments can be rotated and turned in all directions to reduce stress. A great fidget for those with Autism, ADHD, SPD and similar conditions.

Smart Kids Sensory Survival Kit - Learning Station Edition Primary (Grades K-12)

The Smart Kids Sensory Survival Kit - Learning Station Edition contains helpful tools to address some of the sensory challenges of the classroom, as well as the challenges our unique, bright schoolkids with autism and sensory needs may face -- all in one stylish and portable kit that fits neatly in a bag

Fold & Go Trampoline

A trampoline is a great, fun way to encourage children to exercise and keep fit. It is ideal for children who crave vestibular motion and a great way to develop gross motor skills and balance.

CanDo Vestibular Wedge - Small 10 in x 10 in

This two-sided inflatable wedge can provide sensory stimulation and relaxation while improving posture and reducing anxiety.

Schkidules visual schedules - Sensory Expansion Pack

The Schkidules sensory expansion pack is perfect for active bodies. Featuring gross motor activities.

These sensory based visual recipe experiments are perfect for classrooms that can not use food, or classrooms that have students that do not eat by mouth.They are great for practicing the life skills of following directions, measuring, mixing, pouring, kneading, sequencing, and identifying supplies

Individualised OT and Sensory Intervention

This programme is available in Action For Autism for those children who have sensory issues that interfere with learning and daily living skills, and/ or need strategies that will improve their motor skills to enable more effective functioning.

The sessions comprise a combination of activities to help in integrating the senses, developing motor coordination, and some ‘table top’ work.

Handwriting Programme

Difficulties in sensory processing, sensory awareness, motor coordination and/or perceptual skills, and lowered motivation are some common reasons that usually lead to difficulties in writing among children with autism. The premise for the handwriting programme is combining sensory activities with direct instructions to help the student learn to write.

Groups of 4 - 5 children along with their parents participate in activities related to developing prewriting & writing skills under the guidance of a special educator and an occupational therapist.

Sensory Kit

We have created a sensory kit with 11 different products that promote self calming, balance, and increased body awareness (proprioception) for users with a variety of sensory needs.

Fiber Optic Sprays

These color changing sensory sprays provide an abundance of multi-sensory benefits and are perfect for your sensory space.