The TuscBDD Blog

Top 10 Toys that Offer Sensory Input

By Kerri Silverthorn   |   Thu, Dec 6th, 2018

Snow is in the air, and the giving season is upon us. This week I teamed up with TuscBDD Starlight School’s Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Farrah Raines, to get an idea of some fun and unique toys that offer sensory input. This list was compiled by: Farrah Raines, BS,COTA/L. Click yellow boxes to link to websites. 


Movement 

#1 Door Pong: The goal is to hit the ball back to your opponent every time without missing - But more than a game, Door Pong is a fascinating, skill-strengthening activity to enjoy with a friend. It enhances hand-eye coordination, concentration, reflexes, cooperation, and more. $24.95 +$2.10 tax and $3.99 shipping

#2 SwipeShot:  Pulling, swinging, swiping, and bashing - Kids must use the wrecking ball to try and knock down all of his or her opponent's cups first. Encourages active play, gross motor skills, coordination, strategy, quick thinking, fast reflexes. $19.95 & FREE Shipping

       


Deep pressure

#3 Space Explorers: Allow children and young adults to jump, crawl, and pretend while improving sensory integration. This fun suit helps children develop spatial and body awareness, muscle strength, motor planning and creativity. Price $30.99 - $43.99


Visual, auditory, and Olfactory (smell)

#4 Fairy House Room Diffuser: Using the included sticker sheets, kids can decorate this unique-looking room diffuser to make it look like a beautiful fairy house. Then, fill the diffuser with the included lavender scented oil and switch it on. Soothing lights glow from within while clouds of calming smells spread throughout the room. $17.23 & FREE Shipping

#5 Rockin’ Light Up Guitar: Sized just right for little rockers and featuring two volume levels (for playing both small clubs and packed arenas), the Rocking' Light up Guitar really is an ideal introduction to the thrills of music-making. Encourages fine motor skills, coordination, music skills, cause-effect learning, imaginative play. $15.59 & FREE Shipping.

#6 Whirly Squigz: Stick them to any smooth, flat, non-porous surface - like a bathtub wall, a tabletop, or a window - give them a spin, and... WHOOSH! - Around and around they go, faster than the eye can see! Sensory exploration spins in a new direction with Whirly Squigz. Price: $21.95


Tactile (Textured)

#7 Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling: Children make gains in concentration, hand/eye coordination, gross motor abilities, sensory awareness through various textured pins, motor planning, and visual tracking as children’s eyes follow the path of the moving ball. The colorful monsters reinforce cause and effect, taking turns, and friendly interactions. Children learn colors, they practice counting pins that fall, and they count the bowling pins as they stand them up again. As educational play, Monster Bowling scores a strike every time! Price $16.99

#8 Brain Food Putty: Squish it as flat as possible. Stretch it as wide as your arms can go. Squeeze it and watch as it oozes between your fingers. Sculpt it into all kinds of wild, mind-bending shapes. Builds hand strength & improves fine motor skills and Provides relaxation; reduces stress and anxiety. Price $8.95


 Fine Motor

#9 Spin Again: This visually stimulating toy will keep your little ones enthralled as they practice their hand-eye coordination and engineering skills! $29.95 & FREE Shipping

#10 Gears! Gears! Gears! Lights & Action Building Set: Glow in the dark pieces snap together easily and pull apart so kids can build anything they imagine. Sized right for small hands, vivid toy gears encourage fine motor skills, creativity and problem solving. There is no wrong way to build. Price $28.49


TuscBDD Starlight School’s Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Farrah Raines, BS,COTA/L

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Top 10 Toys that Offer Sensory Input

Kerri Silverthorn Thu, Dec 6th, 2018

Snow is in the air, and the giving season is upon us. This week I teamed up with TuscBDD Starlight School’s Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Farrah Raines, to get an idea of some fun and unique toys that offer sensory input. This list was compiled by: Farrah Raines, BS,COTA/L. Click yellow boxes to link to websites. 


Movement 

#1 Door Pong: The goal is to hit the ball back to your opponent every time without missing - But more than a game, Door Pong is a fascinating, skill-strengthening activity to enjoy with a friend. It enhances hand-eye coordination, concentration, reflexes, cooperation, and more. $24.95 +$2.10 tax and $3.99 shipping

#2 SwipeShot:  Pulling, swinging, swiping, and bashing - Kids must use the wrecking ball to try and knock down all of his or her opponent's cups first. Encourages active play, gross motor skills, coordination, strategy, quick thinking, fast reflexes. $19.95 & FREE Shipping

       


Deep pressure

#3 Space Explorers: Allow children and young adults to jump, crawl, and pretend while improving sensory integration. This fun suit helps children develop spatial and body awareness, muscle strength, motor planning and creativity. Price $30.99 - $43.99


Visual, auditory, and Olfactory (smell)

#4 Fairy House Room Diffuser: Using the included sticker sheets, kids can decorate this unique-looking room diffuser to make it look like a beautiful fairy house. Then, fill the diffuser with the included lavender scented oil and switch it on. Soothing lights glow from within while clouds of calming smells spread throughout the room. $17.23 & FREE Shipping

#5 Rockin’ Light Up Guitar: Sized just right for little rockers and featuring two volume levels (for playing both small clubs and packed arenas), the Rocking' Light up Guitar really is an ideal introduction to the thrills of music-making. Encourages fine motor skills, coordination, music skills, cause-effect learning, imaginative play. $15.59 & FREE Shipping.

#6 Whirly Squigz: Stick them to any smooth, flat, non-porous surface - like a bathtub wall, a tabletop, or a window - give them a spin, and... WHOOSH! - Around and around they go, faster than the eye can see! Sensory exploration spins in a new direction with Whirly Squigz. Price: $21.95


Tactile (Textured)

#7 Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling: Children make gains in concentration, hand/eye coordination, gross motor abilities, sensory awareness through various textured pins, motor planning, and visual tracking as children’s eyes follow the path of the moving ball. The colorful monsters reinforce cause and effect, taking turns, and friendly interactions. Children learn colors, they practice counting pins that fall, and they count the bowling pins as they stand them up again. As educational play, Monster Bowling scores a strike every time! Price $16.99

#8 Brain Food Putty: Squish it as flat as possible. Stretch it as wide as your arms can go. Squeeze it and watch as it oozes between your fingers. Sculpt it into all kinds of wild, mind-bending shapes. Builds hand strength & improves fine motor skills and Provides relaxation; reduces stress and anxiety. Price $8.95


 Fine Motor

#9 Spin Again: This visually stimulating toy will keep your little ones enthralled as they practice their hand-eye coordination and engineering skills! $29.95 & FREE Shipping

#10 Gears! Gears! Gears! Lights & Action Building Set: Glow in the dark pieces snap together easily and pull apart so kids can build anything they imagine. Sized right for small hands, vivid toy gears encourage fine motor skills, creativity and problem solving. There is no wrong way to build. Price $28.49


TuscBDD Starlight School’s Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Farrah Raines, BS,COTA/L

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A Look at Advocacy

Chris Sapp Tue, Nov 27th, 2018

What is self-advocacy?

Self-advocacy is learning how to speak up for yourself, and its learning self-confidence. It is learning that as you grow, become more mature, and learn to choose what you want in your life that with all the perks of adulthood there are also responsibilities. It is learning how to accept those responsibilities in a very mature and respectful way.

Why is it important to advocate with others?

If someone was contemplating whether or not to get involved with an advocacy group, I would encourage them to make their own decision. I would give them as much information that I could so that they could make an informed decision on what is right for their life. I believe that networking with like-minded people is something that all of us need to do. It helps us grow, and it gives us confidence. I think that the sense of belonging that you get from being in a self-advocacy group and knowing that what you think really does matter is very powerful.

Local self-advocates weigh in on the reason that they advocate:

Because I want what everyone else wants: To be happy, to have a good life, to have family and friends

I advocate because I like where I am living at

Because I like doing things that are fun

I am a big supporter of myself, and everyone should have a voice

Because I like to remain a professional zoologist

I hang out with my friends and do some fun stuff with them on Fridays

I care about the community

It means you work it out and be thankful

Because I love my group

Because I like helping people, and I want to help people understand what an advocate is and what it means

Because we want to be treated like everyone else

Because we like to make our own goals

Want to know more?

For more information or for questions about self-advocate groups or school age advocacy, please contact the Community Connections Specialist by phone at 330.339.9769 or by email at csapp@tuscbdd.org.

For additional information regarding Special Olympics Input Council, please email the local coordinator at tuscarawascountyspecialolympic@gmail.com.

For more information on FANS Network Allies Outreach (advocacy), please email fans@tuscbdd.org or call 330.339.3199.

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Serving Hands Has a Need

Kerri Silverthorn Mon, Sep 17th, 2018

 The FANS Network Serving Hands needs you. Serving Hands relies on help from the community and has a current community need. Serving Hands aims to help people that receive TuscBDD services by providing a service or item that they might not be able to afford.

Currently, there are several people in need of household items such as bedroom suite, microwave, and etc. because they are in the process of moving. Anything that you could donate to the program would be most appreciated. The FANS Network has already collected and successfully distributed a table, a dresser, and lamps to such people in need.

If you have anything that you wish to donate, or have any questions about any of our programs, please contact Nicole Donant-Moore by email at fans@tuscbdd.org or call at (330) 339-3199.

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Swimming for Gold

Nate Kamban Fri, Jun 29th, 2018

Growing up I was definitely not the most coordinated kid in school. When playing kickball or soccer, I often ended up on my back just like Charlie Brown after yet another failed punt with Lucy. However, in the water, it was a totally different story. By the age of three, I was swimming up and down the pool at my grandparent’s house as my grandma would shout, “how can someone be so clumsy on land, but so coordinated in the water?”

Needless to say, I was very excited to hear that Tuscarawas County Special Olympics would be starting a swim team. I immediately decided that I would join the team in order to get to better know some of the individuals and families served by TuscBDD and also enjoy a sport that I love. Like all other members, I was quickly welcomed as part of the team, and I enjoyed attending practices and competitions. I was a member of the unified medley relay team as the swimmer for the breast stroke portion of the race. We did well as a relay team and we were able to compete in the state swim meet at The Ohio State University. It was truly an awesome experience.

When I reflect on this past season, my mind quickly goes back to all of the individuals and families that I was able to meet while participating on this team. The ability to build these relationship was more memorable to me than the competitions or even the gold medal! As someone who works in the administration side of Ohio’s developmental disabilities sector, a lot of my work takes place behind the scenes. It can be easy to get bogged down by deadlines and the intricacies of the Medicaid system. However, by clearing off some time to interact with individuals served by TuscBDD, I was quickly reminded why I love this field and why this work is meaningful and good.

While on the team, I was able to make many new friends one of which is a young man named Donovan. Like me, Donovan enjoys swimming and (drumroll please)…geography! While at an event, I noticed that Donovan carried around a large atlas. This definitely peeked my interest and we became fast friends. When I see Donovan, we immediately begin role playing Who Wants to be a Millionaire and ask each other a series of obscure geography questions. Donovan usually wins by the way.

These moments and these friendships serve as guideposts along the way that hopefully make me a better employee, advocate and friend. I would encourage you today to think about how you can get involved in partnering with our friends, neighbors and co-workers who happen to have a developmental disability in order to create a more inclusive future. You might look into being a unified partner on a Special Olympics team like I did or visit a provider agency to inquire about how you might help out. However you get involved, I am sure that you will also be greatly impacted.

Enjoy your summer!

Your friend,

Nate Kamban

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ACHOO! Gesundheit!

Lynn Angelozzi Tue, Jun 5th, 2018

ACHOO! Gesundheit!

May was National Asthma and Allergy Month. While May is over, it seems like everyone's allergies are not! The pollen is visible in the air and wafting from trees in the breeze, which makes many of us sneeze and sniffle. If you or your loved one has been showing signs of itchy-watery eyes, sneezing and sniffling, or scratchy throat, it could be a sign of seasonal allergies. 

Asthma and allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), food allergy, and eczema, are common for all age groups in the United States. Asthma affects more than 24 million people in the U.S., including more than 6 million children.

Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.

Symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis occur in spring, summer and/or early fall. They are usually caused by allergic sensitivity to pollens from trees, grasses or weeds, or to airborne mold spores. 

People with perennial allergic rhinitis experience symptoms year-round. Perennial allergic rhinitis is generally caused by sensitivity to house dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches and/or mold spores.

Once diagnosed, allergic rhinitis treatment options are: avoidance, eliminating or decreasing your exposure to the irritants or allergens that trigger your symptoms, medication and immunotherapy (allergy shots).

Myth: We Outgrow Allergies over Time

The real deal: Not necessarily. Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to the presence of “invaders” such as pollen, mold, and dust mites. Your system releases compounds that can cause inflammation, excess mucus, and itchiness in your eyes, ears, and throat.

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Let's Play a Game!

Thu, May 24th, 2018

The FANS Network has a brand new summer activity called Game Time. This summer activity is fun for all ages with or without disabilities and encourages people to socialize within the community all while spreading awareness and playing games. The event is to be held every second Saturday in May through August from 6-8 pm.


The first ever Game Time was held on May 12th and was a big hit. We had a large selection of games to choose from, which included everything from Monopoly and Sorry to Peanuts Bowling and a GIANT Jenga game that stands at 4-foot tall fully constructed! The people who participated had a great time, and the excitement was evident on their faces as the Jenga tower toppled to the ground to be rebuilt. There are plans to have outside activities in the near future, but it is dependent on the weather.


The next Game Time is on Saturday, June 9th. You may bring your own games to play. Game donations are also being accepted at Charmed: Gifts with Meaning consignment store, which is located at 117 West High Avenue in New Philadelphia, Ohio.


If you are interested in partnering with us to host an event or want to join us for our next Game Time, you may contact the FANS Administrative Assistant, Nicole Donant-Moore, by phone at 330.339.3199 or by email at fans@tuscbdd.org.

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