- Sweatshirts are often readily available to provide sensory needs no matter where you are. Here are a few ideas...
Snuggle with arms inside to create a snug tight calming squeeze. there may help a child last through a movie or other long sitting situation.
Or snuggle up the entire body inside the body of the sweatshirt.
Fill plastic bags with sand and stuff them into the sleeves. The sweater can be placed over the back of a chair with the weighted sleeves pressing over the child's shoulders. The weight provides proprioceptive input that is often calming. The child may choose to pull on the sleeves or you may attach them somehow to the chair.
If you place a dynamic seat cushion inside the body of the sweatshirt, the child can sit on it and swing the heavy sleeves over the lap....
It may work even better for some individuals who forcefully rock back and forth in their seats and enjoy the deep pressure of their backs hitting the cushion tucked inside the body of the sweater against the chair back. Simply insert the cushion and either sew or tie in place.
I think its cool to be able to use a readily available sweatshirt in so many ways....to meet a child's sensory needs 😄
The following video demonstrates how to fill socks, sweater sleeves and pants legs with bags of sand.
Source: How to Make Sensory Shoulder or Lap Pads for Children with Autism by RecyclingOT
Here is my client loving the pants with sand bags inside. It is attached to he back of his wheel chair so that he can't throw it, but he can easily toss them behind when he chooses. I am hoping that this behavior will replace the one where he puts his shirt on and off. I love sensory based alternatives!