School supplies and clothes for kids with sensory issues

Have you bought school supplies yet for your child with sensory processing issues? I’m a big believer in recycling the stuff from last year. It’s cheaper, better for the environment, and better for kids who struggle with transitions (for whom “new” is often a problem).

A few tips–

Watch out for “antibacterial” chemically treated items. I don’t know who decided that a chemical spray on a ruler is necessary to keep kids healthy (actually, it’s just the sort of thing that contributes to the preponderance of staph infections in the U.S.) but beware. You’d be amazed at what they’re dumping chemicals on these days!

Browse the therapy catalogue sites to see if there are any accommodations that might help your child better tolerate learning in a school environment. There are chewable items for oral sensory seekers, spandex bands that stretch across a chair’s legs that the sensory seeking child can push her feet and legs against, fidget, inflatable cushions that provide input so the child has an easier time staying seated, sour and strong-flavored candies to help perk him or her up at homework time and perhaps at school too (great for “wet noodle” kids who have trouble remaining alert), and much more. Please see the products section of the website for more suggestions categorized by sensory or developmental issue.

Check last year’s clothing NOW to see if you need to buy anything as you may want to launder items several times to make them softer and more tolerable for your child, and you’ll want to go shopping early for the best selection of Crocs, sweatpants, and other sensory kid favorites. You’ll also find that many of the soft clothing manufacturers who make sensory friendly clothing are having sales now. I’m impressed by the shirts available at and my coauthor, Lindsey Biel, OTR/L, has checked out and recommends clothes from You might also try Lands’ End and Hanna Andersson cotton clothing (best prices are on clearance or used via eBay or consignment stores).

Have you found any great products you recommend? Excellent sources for sensory friendly stuff? Do share!

Stock up on fidgets for classroom use

Kids may better tolerate "new" clothes that have been washed several times


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Filed under Practical tips for sensory issues, schools, sensory integration dysfunction, sensory processing disorder, Used sensory items

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