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August 28, 2015Posted in: Service Users & Volunteers Tagged:

Supplies & Tools for School-Aged Children with Tourette, ADHD, OCD, Learning Disabilities

This week on the Tourette blog, we looked at strategies for the upcoming back-to-school transition and how to set up a distraction-free work or study space. Our final school-themed blog, is about supplies and tools to assist with learning and functioning at home or in school. Some are items that would need to be purchased either by the school or parent/guardian. Others are items you already have in your home!


  1. Visual Timer: We can’t talk about this one enough. A visual time is adapted version of a clock that is easier to read, shows how much time you have between the start of a session/time period and the end, and tracks how time passes. This is helpful for time management if you have learning differences or exceptionalities.


  1. Wiggle Cushion: For the kitchen table, the sitting room, study area, or the classroom, a wiggle cushion is a must-have for those who prefer not to be sitting still. It goes on top of the chair or seat and allows the person to move while remaining seated comfortably.


  1. Chewing Gum: You are reading that right. Chewing gum actually helps kids (and adults) concentrate. Plus it tastes good too!


  1. Chewable Pencil Topper: It is a tiny little tool that makes sure your pencil or pen doesn’t look like a dog got a hold of them!


  1. Writing Supports: There are all sorts of supports to help with learning to write or print. Give it a google and you’ll see a number of different supports that can help the student in your life. Everything from letter tracers to sensory pens.


  1. Books Kids Actually Like: Rather than focusing on what children should read, ask them what they want to read. Reading isn’t just about learning, it is also about fun and enjoyment. Think outside the box: manga, comic books, short stories, photograph books.


  1. Parent-School Communication Log: This can be done with a diary, notebook, or online via email. You can put it inside the backpack or you can create a series of signals like tying a string to the backpack to indicate a bad night’s rest. You can make the communication as straightforward as writing a 1 to 10 or you can write descriptive sentences. Communication between home and school can really help your student succede!


  1. Ear plugs/Headphones: This can help with concentration and blocking out that unwanted sensory information. This won’t work for everyone (some kids don’t like the feel of headphones or ear plugs), but many find that noise cancelling headphones enhance focus.


  1. Reader Tracker: These types of tools help students to follow the words they are reading and not get lost. It also helps to ensure that they don’t skip lines. There are number of different varieties available.


10.Sensory Stuff you Find at Home: Rice, beans, and shaving cream are great for word, spelling and numbers work! They are also fun to use. Encourage your student to form the items into words or numbers and have fun!


What supplies or tools do you find useful?

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