The high cost of sensory integration products available to help children who have autism, Asperger's syndrome or a sensory processing disorder comes as a shock to parents already weighed down by doctor and therapist bills. Sensory integration is a form of occupational therapy and includes everything from tactile balls to indoor rock walls. These products are fun and effective, but you probably already own items that can help your child. Healing Thresholds offers ideas using objects that can be found in your house.

Touch

  • Shaving Cream. Put some shaving cream in the tub with your child at bath time and watch her smoosh it all around. This is a great way for her to explore her sense of touch.
     
  • Pudding. Pudding is another fun sensory item. Let your child get a little messy at the kitchen table. You don't even have to worry about him putting this "toy" in his mouth.
     
  • Beans and Rice. Put some beans or rice in a container and let your child explore it with some measuring cups or sand toys.

Movement

  • Swing Set. Many of us already have either a baby swing or a swing set and this is a great way to work movement into your child's sensory integration therapy.
     
  • Hammock. That hammock you bought to relax in may be feeling a little neglected, so put it to good use and let your child rock away.

Sound

  • The Radio or Your iPod. Turn up the tunes and dance away the day together.

Hand-Eye Coordination

  • Laundry Basket and Ball. Dump that laundry out of the basket — whether it's onto your bed or into the washer is your choice. Use it to play some indoor basketball with your little one.

Balance

  • Rope. You don't need a beam for your child to practice her balance. Lay a piece of rope on your living room floor and have your child walk along it like a tightrope walker.

For more ideas on how to incorporate regular household items into your child's therapy, visit Friends of Asi or read the book Starting Sensory Integration Therapy.

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This post was included in the Carnival of Homeschooling #280.