Do I need therapy grade tools?
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “Where do I get this ___?” Be it a pencil grip, a BodySox, a fidget tool or Chewlerry parents are always wanting to know where the best place is to get tools for their kids.
There are a few things to consider before deciding if you’re going to pay the price for a therapy grade tool from an official pediatric Physio or OT company or make a trip to your local dollar store.
Is it going to be going in your child’s mouth?
If yes, you do need to make sure you’re getting things that are made from (e.g.) food grade silicone so that you’re not risking your child ingesting yucky chemicals because the source is questionable. Also, if your child is a heavy chewer, the therapy-grade ones often come with an ‘extra-tough’ grade that can stand up to a strong jaw
Are you going to need it to be puncture proof / washable?
In cases of things like beanbag chairs and therapy balls, therapy grade tools are best. Manufacturers have already tested the product for its ability to withstand abuse and it would be worth your while to pay a bit more up front versus needing to purchase the item over again because it broke quickly. Being washable is important (or having a washable cover) if a tool will be used and there is a risk of it being soiled (toileting accidents) or used around water or food. If so, having a commercial grade cover is worth it.
All that being said, there are a lot of DIY-able ways to make sensory tools! I am always happy to pass along Pinterest links to tutorials I have looked through and vetted. You can follow PossibilOT on Pinterest here.
Here are a few of the my favourite sources of sensory tools:
and of course, Amazon! 😉