Some occupational therapists at a prof. dev. talked about various methods / tools for calming or alerting children in class, depending on their needs. [A major point that they made with all of their cool samples was that these are TOOLS, NOT TOYS.] They also reminded us that ADHD kids are moving around to keep themselves feeling stable.
BOOK: “Brain Gym: Teacher’s Edition”
Tools for the body:
- t-stools [can make really cheaply with two 2×4’s]
- inflated cushion disc
- balance board (stand sideways = good for hyper kids, stand front-to-back like rocking chair = good for sleepy kids, sit on it cross-legged)
- used bike tubes around chair legs [one tube all the way around the chair / all 4 legs]
- bean-bag lap/shoulder pressure bags [can make very cheaply by creating a sack / case out of old jeans, filling with dry beans (or rice for littler kids) and sewing up the edges]
Tools for the mouth: [Calming. Sensory-motor—big connection between hands, eyes, mouth in brain.]
- Plastic coffee stirrers, cut in half. Rule: Some has to stick out of mouth.
- Chewing gum (lots of related issues—sugarless is not the “right texture” but works great for some).
Tools for the hand:
- “stress” balls
- therapy putty [basically silly putty with resistance]
- bean bags
Tools for the ears:
- Music, therapeutic listening (w/headphones) – for calming, alerting, brain integration. Specially filtered to make brain work
- “Bach for Modulation” series for headphones only
- Four different brain waves: Alpha (creative), beta (heavy academic), delta (sleep), theta (in-between “twilight” state)
- Baroque music is often beta.