This seat is an absolute lifesaver. It spins really smoothly, on a slight tilt that keeps the movement going and builds Noah’s core strength. It provides vestibular sensory input that helps to level Noah out when he is becoming unsettled. It is one of the only sensory aids that Noah will use without prompting. It is built really well and is strong enough to take my weight, so it should last us a long time!
I don’t think we could manage without Noah’s scooter. It is the only way I can get him to school every morning. It is a five-minute walk to school but Noah won’t even walk one street without huge motivation (note: school is not a good motivator!). He also won’t sit in his buggy to go to school because none of his peers do, so the scooter is just brilliant. We go through a lot of them because Noah bashes them about a lot doing tricks or through frustration but I just invested in a micro-scooter that I hope will last longer.
Every so often I get questions about Noah’s dummy. It is a massive sensory soother for him and probably his biggest settling item. He was breastfed and didn’t have a dummy until he was one and a half because he just didn’t need one. When he weaned off of breastfeeding, I made the decision to give him a dummy because he was drinking so many bottles of milk that he was no longer eating food. He just loves the sensory feeling and it immediately calms him. We have discussed this with his medical team and everyone agrees that he needs it at the moment. This is just one of the delays in Noah’s life and it will take longer for him to grow out of the need to suck. If he doesn’t have it, he becomes very frustrated and he also starts chewing on less suitable items like his clothes and zips. He doesn’t really take to chew aids (we tried that already). Noah also likes to have comforting dummy clips that he calls his ‘googly’.
Special Tomato Jogger Pushchair
It took a long time to raise the money for this buggy but I have never looked back. It is larger to accommodate Noah’s growing size (it is a specially built medical buggy) and it is our freedom. Noah can’t cope with the busy sensory input in places like shopping centres or buses and these places were either nightmares or a complete no-go before the buggy. Now, he can hide away under his blankets and shut the world out when he gets overwhelmed. He also gets a lot of pain in his legs and won’t tolerate walking far as he doesn’t understand getting from one point to another (he lives very in the moment) so the buggy means we can access a lot more opportunities than without, especially because I don’t drive and even getting Noah to walk to the bus stop can be impossible.
You can just about see in this picture that we have a footstool by our couch. Noah has low muscle tone and having his legs dangling is very uncomfortable for him. It interacts with his proprioceptive sense in a bad way and makes him really unhappy. This is expressed through extremely negative behaviour. The footstool allows Noah to rest his feet and prevents this discomfort. He also has a children’s chair with a bar to rest his feet on for when he sits at the table because of this.
Blankets and Loveys
Soft blankets and loveys are an absolute must for Noah. The textures soothe him and help to maintain a sensory balance. He sleeps under a weighted blanket that is plush on one side to give him the weight and his favourite texture. We both have these weighted blankets (from Leanne’s Weighted Blankets) and absolutely love them. We have a number of blankets in the living room and Noah normally puts one under and one over him. He also has a blanket and lovey for his buggy. We never go anywhere without one.
I also raised money for a trampoline following Noah’s diagnosis. It fills our entire garden and was a brilliant decision. When Noah gets angry or is out of balance, he can jump on the trampoline and it settles his sensory system again. This is often how he comes out of a meltdown. It also helps with his processing and speech and when he is bouncing on the trampoline, we are able to have much better conversations with each other. Suddenly memories and ideas start flowing from his mind and give us many precious moments.
On the left is the remote for Noah’s nightlight. It controls the bulb in his main light and changes the colours and strength of the light. This gives Noah control over the light in his room from his bed and means he can feel safe at night. He doesn’t like the dark so a nightlight is a must for Noah. This bulb was so cheap compared to some other versions but works perfectly. The only downfall is that it gives off a buzz. Noah is very noise sensitive but not bothered by this sound at all, however it drives me crazy. Luckily I can’t hear it once I leave the room! The light can be set to a range of colours and four strengths, as well as fading or flashing through the rainbow.