Category Archives: spd

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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.

mission

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

Smooth BTS

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!!

School Kids

 

 

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

Tips for Traveling with Sensory Sensitive Children

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Are We There Yet?!

Summer is here and it inevitably brings a season of travel – family weddings out of town, vacations to the beach or amusement parks.  As parents, it is always a challenge to plan entertainments for children, but parents of sensory sensitive children have added challenges.  When traveling with your children, remember these tips to help vacations and other trips go smoothly.  Bon Voyage!

  • Plan Ahead and Rehearse Your Trip – Make a detailed itinerary and make sure your children understand each leg of the journey. Rehearse parts of the trip that may give your children moments of anxiety.  Take your child on short, practice runs on car trips, or visit the airport ahead of time.  Walk through the airport and point out things to your child and watch some planes take off and land.
  • Travel With Help – Another family member or support person will be invaluable to any parent traveling with children, but especially with sensory challenged kids. The old adage “two heads are better than one” definitely applies here.  When things get rough, having an extra person available who can help with baggage, check-ins or even truck-stop bathroom breaks will help things go more smoothly.
  • Give Yourself Extra Time – If you’re not in a hurry, the trip will be more enjoyable for all – kids included. Make sure you arrive early for flights.  Leave early for car trips also so that you can plan to stop several times to stretch your legs.
  • Check into Accommodations for Children – If using commercial transportation, call ahead to see what accommodations are in place for children. Take advantage of anything that may be helpful in keeping your children comfortable and entertained.
  • Travel During Sleep Times – Many children have an easier time traveling while they sleep. If possible, plan to leave at night or when your kids are used to taking naps.
  • Bring Extra Clothes – Easy access to an extra set of clothes for each child will make getting through any mishaps easier and stress free. Bring a couple extra pairs of SmartKnitKIDS socks since they can sometimes disappear quicker than larger articles of clothing.
  • Bring Toys – Pack several small sensory input toys that will keep your children’s attention for longer periods of time. Choose things that are easy to pack and pick up, but also things that your children already enjoy.  Good examples are Rubix Cubes, rubber band balls and Play-Doh.
  • Electronic Devices – Tablets, phones or other electronic devices provide touch, visual and audio input for children. Remember a set of headphones and a pair of sunglasses to help those sensitive to bright light.  Download age-appropriate games ahead of time, or make sure your data plan will be sufficient for your entire trip.  You can also bring along a data hotspot.
  • Pack Snacks – Plan to bring some healthy snacks. Chewable and high-protein snacks like licorice and beef jerky are great choices, but you should plan things that each child will prefer and enjoy.
  • Remain Calm – Don’t let yourself get discouraged with minor setbacks. Take each day in stride and enjoy your trip as best as you can.

Reward yourself for a mission accomplished and announce to your kids, “We are there!”  Maybe it will even be before they have asked, “Are we there yet?!”

Helping SPD Children Stay Focused

SPD FocusImage courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To a child with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), the world can seem bigger and louder than it already is.  Coping and maintaining focus is challenging for the child, as well as parents, educators and caregivers.  The following methods can be used to help a child process the world at his own speed and maintain focus for new and everyday tasks.

  1. Use a printed activity schedule (or picture schedule for younger kids) detailing each of the child’s daily tasks. Being able to anticipate the day’s events before they occur will help the child process each one easier.
  2. Warn or prepare the child before anything that may be upsetting or hard to process. (Ex. Before introducing new textures or turning on anything with a loud noise.)
  3. Reduce or eliminate background noise whenever possible. (Ex. Close doors or windows, turn off other media, keep voice volume low, etc.)
  4. Create a “safe place” where the child can escape to when over-stimulated. (A quiet corner of a classroom, a specific room of the house when at home, etc.)
  5. Choose appropriate clothing that the child tolerates. Many children get a feeling of security from wearing garments that offer gentle compression.  Remove scratchy tags.  Choose clothes without bothersome seams.  A Seamless Compresso-T from SmartKnitKIDS is a great choice for kids with SPD.  The T is made from super-soft material, contains no tags or seams and offers gentle and comforting compression.

*** Note: Every child is different and may react differently in each situation.  Check with a professional should questions arise regarding their behavior.

Debunking the Myths of Asperger’s and Autism

February 18 is Asperger’s Day and to observe this, we’ve decided to explore some of the common myths about Asperger’s Syndrome and autism.  Because Asperger’s, as well as all the spectrum disorders, are not easily understood, many people prescribe to several myths common to people with Asperger’s.

Autism Myths

Here are several that we found in no particular order:

Myth 1: Children with Asperger’s Syndrome will eventually grow out of it. – Asperger’s is a condition that can improve with treatment, but is something that does not go away.  It is a lifelong condition.

Myth 2: Asperger’s is a just a condition made up by parents to excuse bad behavior. – Wow!  I wonder about the people that truly believe this.  But, no.  Asperger’s syndrome is not made up, but a real, diagnosed condition.

Myth 3: ADHD and autism are the same thing. – Are color blindness and actual blindness the same thing?  Certainly not!  This may be a bad comparison, but it’s good enough to point out that these disorders are two very separate conditions.  Although, it is possible to have been diagnosed with both conditions, they are not dependent on one another.

Myth 4: People with Asperger’s just need to be taught social skills in order to be “normal”. – Normal – that’s a funny term.  Who among us is truly “normal” anyway?!  That aside, there is a whole lot more going on than just social skills.  For one, many people with Asperger’s experience a form of Sensory Processing Disorder – a neurological disorder in which individuals have a difficult time processing the senses.  When individuals with this disorder sense certain things, the brain has a difficult time analyzing them, which can cause confusion or distress.  Find out more about SmartKnitKid’s seamless sensitivity socks and underwear which help kids with SPD.

Myth 5: Autism is a mental health disorder. – Actually, autism and Asperger’s are neuro-developmental conditions.

Myth 6: People with Asperger’s are sociopaths, psychopaths and are prone to violence.  – This is a tough one that invokes a lot of emotion and debate, mainly because it has been heavily reported in the news of late.  In the last few years, we’ve had to come to grips with mass shootings perpetrated by people who are suspected to have Asperger’s – the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, Tucson, Arizona shooting, etc.  But, to say all people with Asperger’s are sociopaths, etc., is unfair.  Because our attention has been focused on these news-worthy events, many have erroneously drawn this conclusion.  The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Department of Health and Human Services released this statement after the Newtown shooting to say that those with Asperger’s are no more likely to perpetrate crimes like these than the general public.

Myth 7: Autism is caused by vaccines. – The debates in the news about Asperger’s and sociopaths can only be rivaled by the debates about vaccines.  Although this one has been thoroughly debunked, the debate still rages on.  According to the reputable organization Autism Speaks, two decades of research have revealed that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

Myth 8: Autism is a new condition. – Although, autism was not actually diagnosed in the modern sense until 1943, there have been several detailed historical documentations of children whose symptoms resemble autism and Asperger’s.  The earliest probable cases appeared in the 1700s, but some writings as early as the 1500s may have been describing what we now know is autism spectrum disorder.

Myth 9: People on the spectrum are incapable of working. – Many people on the spectrum are able to obtain and keep jobs.  Also, there are organizations that help to train them and help them to find jobs.

Myth 10: People with autism will never achieve anything. – This is most certainly untrue.  Autistic people can achieve a multitude of things – just like the rest of us.  The website Autism Mythbusters has developed a list of amazing people that may have been on the spectrum.  These include: Albert Einstein, Amadeus Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, Michelangelo, Hans Christian Andersen, Andy Warholl and Emily Dickinson.  Of course, this is speculative, but that is some amazing company!

Letter From Bugsley

We hope you enjoyed Letter Writing Week!  We got lots of great submissions.  Here are a few of our favorites.

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Kaiden-Stoelting

Christine Pacifico Charbonneau-KAYLEE-7

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Bugsley loved reading all your letters!  This is his letter back to you!

Bugsley Letter

 

 

 

How Do They Make it Seamless?

Yes, our socks are 100% seamless.  How do we do it!  Magic!  No, not magjc…just kidding.  Our socks are knit the same way a caterpillar spins its cocoon.  We start at the toe and spin up towards the ankle.  It’s that simply.  Very cool, but simple.

I’m Ready to Rock and Roll!

I know it has been awhile since my last post, but I’m back and ready to write. My little bug fingers are itching to type. The last few weeks have been a whirl wind. Summer is winding down and many of my nieces and nephew are leaving the mound for the first time. They are so excited about striking out on their own. It can be a scary world out there and I hope they will be smart and safe. (they need to avoid fly paper, and shoes) Some of my other nieces started school this year and are so excited! They’ll be learning many exciting things like how to steal picnic food and how to be a good bug. It’s all very exciting!

There are also lots of exciting things happened at SmartKnitKIDS. We are starting to work on adult socks that are similar to the kid’s socks. They will be made out of the same material and they won’t have a heal! I’ll keep you posted on its progress, promise! We’re also starting to get ready to the SPD conference and the Kansas City Autism Walk. We’re very busy bugs.

I’ve got to jet, but I’ll be in touch! Can’t wait to share more of the exciting things that are happening at SmartKnitKIDS.