Category Archives: spd

How to Choose the Best Back-to-School Clothes for a Child with SPD

Choosing the Right Back to School Clothes for Your SPD Child

It’s part of the rite of passage for the start of each school year – back to school clothes.  Every family takes part in this ritual – some with excitement and joy, and others with dread.  Families with SPD children must tackle this task than most.  But, following these few tips will help you end up with new school clothes your child won’t fight you to wear.school

  1. Allow Your Child’s Preferences to Dictate Your Choices – Take your child shopping with you. Let him select outfits that feel good and are comfortable.  They may choose clothes that are loose fitting or baggy.  Or, they may prefer things to fit more snuggly.  They may prefer certain fabrics or fasteners.  Resist the urge to select outfits of your choosing.  As long as the clothes are school appropriate, your child will be more likely to wear them if he has selected them himself.
  2. Choose Items that Don’t Have Extras – Most experienced sensory parents will recommend seamless and tagless clothes, those with no zippers, buttons, or buckles, and those that are extra soft. This especially goes for things like undergarments.  Many children find SmartKnitKIDS seamless bralettes, undies for girls and boxer briefs for boys to be more comfortable than traditional undergarments.  They are all made with super soft materials and are knitted with no seams.
  3. Give Your Child Time to Get Used to the New Clothes – Some clothes and shoes need to be “broken in” before they are comfortable. Do your school shopping a few weeks ahead of time.  Then let your child wear her new clothes for short periods of time leading up to the start of school.  You’ll learn if there are things that make certain outfits annoying or uncomfortable.
  4. Stock Up on Tried and True Things – You know your kiddo. If you’ve found that a certain brand of t-shirt gets the most wear, buy several in different colors and even different sizes.  You may get sick of seeing the same thing on your kid, but if your child is dressed and comfortable, you’ve really scaled quite a mountain.
  5. Choose an Irritant-Free Laundry Detergent – This is something that can often-times be overlooked, but some people have sensitivities to certain dyes and perfumes in laundry detergent. For most people with this sensitivity, it can cause skin rash or irritation, but could also cause an itchy sensation.  Most major detergent brands make a dye and perfume free version that will help cut down on the sensitivity and irritation.  Also, avoid dryer sheets.
  6. Practice Dressing – Some children find comfort in a routine and this can be especially true when dressing. If your child is one of these, help them come up with a comfortable routine of dressing in the morning.  It will make school days go smoother.  Another reason to practice dressing is that you will find there are some things that your child has difficulty with – buttons, or difficult snaps.  You can help them work through these difficulties, or determine that a certain article of clothing may be better for home wear.
  7. Choose Weighted Clothing or Compression Shirts – Many children with Sensory Processing Disorder find comfort in heavy garments. They might be most comfortable completely covered, or want to wear fleece or other heavier fabrics.  Some have described this as putting a protective layer between them and the outside world.  Weighted vests tend to offer a solution for some, but many of these options are not ideal in warm environments or warmer months.  A compression shirt like the Compresso-T from SmartKnitKIDS gives children a sense of protection and calming without bulky or unnecessary fabrics.  The Compresso-T is lightweight and moisture wicking – the perfect solution for hot weather, or as a layer underneath other clothing.
  8. Get Rid of Regular Socks, the Biggest Irritant of All – We hear from parents everyday who tell us that socks are the biggest irritating issue for their child. Lumps, bumps and seams bunch and rub making wearing them very uncomfortable for them.  All of our SmartKnitKIDS socks are made with super soft and stretchy materials that are very comfortable for kids.  And better yet, they are knitted cocoon-style meaning that there are absolutely no seams throughout.  Your kids can rest easy knowing that there will be no irritating lumps or bumps to bug them at school.

Following these eight tips will help you with your child’s Back to School wardrobe, as well as navigating through the morning routine during school days.  For more general tips on preparing for Back to School with an SPD kid, check out this post.

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6 Sensational Summer Sensory Activities

We’ve arrived at summer!  With no school for the next three months, many parents struggle to find ways to keep their children entertained.  The activities below are great fun for all kids, but are especially good for children who struggle with sensory processing disorder.  They are all great ways to introduce children to new textures and senses in a fun and non-threatening environment.

Sand and Water Play

Children have always loved playing in the sand and water.  This is a great way to experience tactile input in fun and creative ways.  But, since not everyone has a beach in close proximity, try a sand and water table.  These great toys come in several different shapes and sizes and can be set up most anywhere.  They are relatively easy to clean out, so sand and water can be changed out frequently, so as to not invite dirty, unsanitary environments.  Better yet, you can fill them with just about anything textured to help a child explore.  Uncooked rice, beans or noodles and shaving cream also make great options.  And if cleaned out at the end of the summer, the child can even use it with winter snow!  Add some toys to mix to make playtime even more fun!

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Play Doh, Gak, Oobleck, Silly Putty

Children need to be able to touch a variety of textures in order to develop normal tactile processing.  These great substances can allow a child to develop, while also being creative, exploring and having fun.  A set of cookie cutters, small bowls and measuring cups will enhance the fun and exploration.

Sensory Scavenger Hunt

Plan a scavenger hunt for the kiddos using different textured areas of your yard.  Include an activity or something to find in the grass, mud, flowers, water or any area that will give them a different textured experience.

Blow Bubbles

What kid doesn’t like to play with bubbles?  Start out by blowing the bubbles for the kids and let them chase them around.  Then help them to blow the bubbles themselves.

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Crazy Straws

Buy a package of fun and crazy straws.  You can use them to let the kiddos use their breath to blow different objects around.  (Lightweight boats in a small pool of water is a lot of fun.)  When the kids get thirsty, they can use the straws to sip on some lemonade.

Water Balloon Catch

Play the good old fashioned water balloon catch game.  The surprise drop of a balloon and spray of water will be a fun way to help them develop.  If you’re unsure of whether or not it will scare your kids, just show them up front what it looks and feels like.

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Bugsley Bucks for Autism Awareness Month

Nearly 25 years ago, the Autism Society designated the month of April as Autism Awareness Month.  What they began was a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all.  Today, the prevalence of autism is 1 in every 88 American children.

SmartKnitKIDS works every day in manufacturing products that help children with sensory differences. Many children with autism also have these sensory issues and therefore, irritations like clothing seams can feel like big irritations to these kids.  SmartKnitKIDS socks are seamless, leaving nothing to irritate sensitive feet and toes.  The form-fitting design gives children’s feet a gentle “hug”, which provides closeness and gentle pressure that are soothing to children.  SmartKnitKIDS uses this same technology and design in a host of other products for kids with sensory issues, including Big Kids SocksKids UndiesCompresso T, and Bralette.

SmartKnitKIDS believes in spreading awareness of the condition, as well as celebrating the amazing individuals that live with autism daily. To celebrate these great kiddos, we are offering one amazing deal on SmartKnitKIDS and Big Kids products.  For any purchases made in the month of April that are at least $25*, SmartKnit will send you a Bugsley Bucks card in your order.  The Bugsley Bucks cards will then work like cash on a single purchase made between May 1 and June 15.

$25 – $49.99 Spent = $5 in Bugsley Bucks
$50 – $74.99 Spent = $10 in Bugsley Bucks
$75 – $99.99 Spent = $15 in Bugsley Bucks
$100 – $124.99 Spent = $20 in Bugsley Bucks
$125+ Spent = $25 in Bugsley Bucks

And we haven’t forgotten about those ordering small amounts either.  Any order under $25 will receive 10% off at checkout!

So, this April, we encourage you to do something to raise awareness for autism.  Wear blue. Put a blue light on your front porch. Participate in a local autism event. And don’t forget to order your SmartKnitKIDS products for extra Bugsley Bucks!!

* Subtotal must reach $25.  Tax and shipping are not included.  See www.smartknit.com/rewards for more details.

 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!!

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Make a Difference Day – October 24, 2015

This Saturday, October 24, 2015 is Make a Difference Day.  Held every fourth Saturday in October, Make a Difference Day is a community service event with a mission to improve the lives of others.

Making a difference in the lives of others is why we do what we do.  In fact, it’s the mission statement of our parent company – Knit-Rite.  Our products, including SmartKnitKIDS seamless socks, undies, bralette and compresso tees, are designed to help people.

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SmartKnitKIDS seamless socks are knitted using a process borrowed from nature – just like a caterpillar “knits” his cocoon.  We start at the toe and knit each sock cocoon style toward the top, resulting in a perfectly seamless sock.

But, what’s the big deal about seams, you ask?  Many children (and even some adults) who experience sensory processing differences, or hypersensitivity find seams irritating, annoying and absolutely unbearable.  We’ve heard so many stories of parents struggling to put socks on their children every morning because of difficulty in children coping with these irritating seams.  SmartKnitKIDS seamless products are perfect for these children.  Our socks and undergarments will not wrinkle or bunch and lay perfectly against the skin making them more comfortable and reducing irritation.

Most parents find that SmartKnitKIDS seamless products help their sensitive children to have stress-free days.  But, don’t take our word for it.  Just listen to what some of our customers say:

My daughter battles me every morning when I ask her to put her socks on so we can get her on the kindergarten bus on time–she hates the sock seams and no matter how we arrange the socks/tights on her foot, we can’t seem to get it so the seam isn’t annoying her. I thought this was very strange until I read other people’s comments on this web site. I ordered two pairs of socks and when they arrived, she examined them suspiciously–she did spot a line on the sock, but held her foot out reluctantly anyway. When the sock went on, her face lit up and she said “Hey……we can put these socks on anytime!” We’ve been doing wash every other day to ensure clean socks, so I am ordering more of these! – Deborah, SmartKnitKIDS Parent

I could never get my son to wear socks before I discovered SmartKnit socks! The PE teacher demanded he wear socks and sneakers to class or he couldn’t participate in any playground fun- all he would wear were sandals. Once we started using SmartKnit socks he put his socks and shoes on without complaining! I threw all the other brands out! Thank you, thank you, thank you! – Michelle, SmartKnitKIDS Parent

It’s been a about a year since our five-year-old daughter, who has been diagnosed with both a sensory disorder and anxiety disorder, has been able to wear socks without a full blown, tear filled meltdown. I tried other “seamless” socks, but I quickly realized that what is seamless to one child is surely NOT seamless to our little girl. When I read about SmartKnit socks, I ordered one pair to see if they would work. When they arrived and I told our daughter that her new socks without “bumps” were here, she started to cry and say that she hates socks. I showed them to her, she took them, and she hid under the table. She popped out, wearing both a big smile AND the socks! She exclaimed, “Wow! These really work! I am going to wear them everyday!!!” With tears in my eyes, I called her dad and her grandparents to tell them the news! We will DEFINITELY be ordering more! Thanks from the bottom of our hearts!!!! – Alice, SmartKnitKIDS Parent

My son and I used to get so frustrated when it came to putting on socks and shoes. He would try on every sock in his drawer to find the one that bugged him the least. He also hated when socks would slouch and cause wrinkles in his shoes or snow boots. Sometimes he would come in from playing just to straighten his socks! I decided to give SmartKnit KIDS socks a try. When he put them on, he smiled and let out a sigh of relief. Then he smiled and said, “Thanks Mom!” Not only are these socks super soft and comfortable, they gently hug the foot and don’t “slouch”. No more uncomfortable wrinkles! He also really love the fact that there is no heal to “line up”. He really likes them, and I love that he can just grab a pair of socks and put them on! – Sherri, SmartKnitKIDS Parent

My five year old son has Autism and with that, a host of sensory processing issues. He has not worn socks since he was two. I found your socks online and ordered three pairs to start. We have incorporated them into his occupational therapy sessions and he is even starting to wear them to school. This is a HUGE accomplishment for him and I am so happy I came across your website. Thank you for making this wonderful product…keep up the good work! – Nina, SmartKnitKIDS Parent

At SmartKnitKIDS, we make a difference every day with our seamless products.  This Saturday, we challenge you to do something to make a difference in the life of someone else.  Make a Difference – Big or Small – Every day!

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Tips for a Smooth Back to School “Transition” with an SPD Kid

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Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 Back to School 2015 is upon us.  Children all over the country are packing their pencils and crayons into backpacks, getting class assignments and waiting for the bus.  But, the start of a new school year may not bring excitement to all families.  Back to School can create extra challenges for the already challenging lives of children with sensory processing disorders.  As you ready your kids for the next big school year, try some of the tips below for helping to make a seamless transition for you and your kids.

Manage the Morning – Create a list of all the tasks that must get done in the morning.  Time each one ahead of time, so that you know how long it will take on average.  Try to eliminate any stimuli or distractions to keep your child on task.

Bedtime Prep 2 Weeks Before – Begin prepping for your child’s school bedtime routine about 2 weeks before school starts.  You can iron out all the kinks that may come up ahead of time, as well as help your child become accustomed to the new routine.

Pump Your Kids Up – Children feed off of your energy.  If you demonstrate a lot of negative or nervous energy about the beginning of school, your children will pick up on this.  Be excited about the start of school and let your kids know it.  They’ll absorb your positive energy and be excited themselves.

Establish Communication with the Teacher – This one is so important.  You need to establish good communication with your child’s teacher right up front.  Make sure you know the best way to contact the teacher and when is a good time to contact her/him.  Help the teacher by letting them know about your child’s challenges, as well as methods that you have for helping them through it.

Have a Safe Zone – Establish a safe zone for your child.  Whenever things – such as homework, the bedtime routine or the morning fluster – get to be too overwhelming for your child, make sure he has a place to escape for a few minutes.  The safe zone should be free of stimuli and contain things that help him cope.

Visit School Ahead of Time – Most schools have a Back To School Night.  These can tend to be packed with people and a little overwhelming, however.  Gauge your child and if an event like this might be too much for him, arrange another time to visit the school during a calmer environment.  But, it’s important to visit the school ahead of time so that your child starts to develop a sense of familiarity with his new surroundings.

Pack a Sensory Kit – Pack a kit to put in your child’s backpack of things that help your child.  Let the teacher know what is in the kit and how it will help your child.  Making sure the teachers and administrators know the types of triggers that create challenges, as well as what things help your child to overcome them will help everyone.

Make a Trial Run – Practice the routine for the entire day ahead of time.  This should include getting ready in the morning, how the child will get to school and get home, and what activities they are to do when arriving home (i.e. homework, chores, playtime, TV time, etc.).  Knowing the routine what is expected of him each day, will help your child to adapt.

Give the Child a Sense of Control – A new routine might be a little scary for your son or daughter, but letting them make small choices will help them to feel more in control.  Make sure the choices are not open-ended, but between no more than two or three things.  For example: braid or ponytail for your daughter’s hair, the dinosaur, ninja turtle or super hero shirt for your son, cereal or pancakes for breakfast, Kids Bop or the soundtrack to Frozen in the car.

Make a Seam-Free First Day Outfit – As moms, we have a tendency to want to dress our children up for the first day.  They look so much cuter for all the first day photos.  It may be tough, but try to ignore this urge.  Choose an outfit that is comfortable and doesn’t have any annoying lumps, bumps or tags.  Your child will have a more comfortable first day all around if they’re feeling comfortable, too.  Don’t forget your SmartKnitKIDS seamless socks, underwear, bralette and compresso t, and your kiddo will be on their way to a great first day!!

Happy First Day of School 2015 from your friends at SmartKnitKIDS!!  Here’s to a seamless school year!!

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SmartKnitKIDS Compresso-T — The Soothing Compression Tank that Breathes

Many children with autism or sensory processing disorders find that deep pressure helps to calm and soothe them.  Constant and even pressure has a soothing effect, which can help many children to have better and more productive days.

Therapists and parents tend to turn to weighted vests or deep pressure vests to provide this compression.  But vests can be heavy, bulky and hot – especially during the summer months.  Sensitive kids may not want to wear a vest that they might find uncomfortable or “funny-looking”. Sensitive skin might get irritated or chafed under heavy vests.  Or, a child may have to wear an extra layer to protect skin, making them extra hot.

SmartKnitKIDS has a different solution.  Our seamless Compresso-T looks like a regular under shirt.  Made with seamless, super soft and breathable material, the Compresso-T is the ultimate in comfort for sensory challenged kids.  The Compresso-T is breathable, but also contains moisture wicking yarns to help pull moisture away from the skin and help keep the wearer cool.  Seamless finishing eliminates uncomfortable pressure points.

But, most importantly, the Compresso-T is made with ultra-stretchy yarns, which provide children with gentle compression, or a “hug”.  Parents find the Compresso-T gives their children the soothing benefits of constant and even pressure in a super soft and absolutely comfortable garment.compresso_t SKKIDS-CompressoT