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10 Great sensory products for neurodiverse kids

Chloe Schneider

Chloe Schneider

Chloe is a writer and content strategist with bylines in mindbodygreen, Mashable, Ageless by Rescu, and more. She's a mum to one-year-old Felix, and believes that you can have it all, you just can't have it all at once
Created on Apr 17, 2024 · 6 mins read
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Many neurodivergent and Autistic kids exhibit either sensory-seeking or sensory-avoiding behaviours.  

In other words, they might underreact to sensory input and seek out more, or overreact to sensory input; becoming overwhelmed and irritated.

Sensory products can help in both cases by providing the sensory input they need or helping tune out some of the sensory input from the world around us. They’re also a great reminder that the world exists for everyone, equally — and we all deserve products that support our unique ways of experiencing it.  

Whether you’re a parent, caregiver or educator looking for products to support a neurodivergent or highly-sensitive child – or a loved one looking for a gift – this list of sensory products has got you covered.

1. Noise-reducing headphones or Earplugs

Take a moment to tune in to the sounds around you. There might be music playing, a toddler demanding snacks, ambient noise from the street, the sound of a fridge opening… For a neurodivergent person, all this sound can be incredibly overwhelming.

Headphones or earplugs are a wonderful way to block out that mess of noise and tune in to one specific, calming sound like a kid’s meditation or a favourite piece of music. 

When shopping for kids, look for headphones or earplugs designed to keep little ears comfortable and have filtered noise reduction to minimise sound without eliminating it (total noise cancelling can present a safety hazard). 

Loop Engage Kids Earplugs, RRP $49.95

2. Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets went viral a few years ago when adults discovered their calming benefits. They’ve since transcended trend territory and become a mainstay for adults and children alike looking to ease restlessness and anxiety. 

They do a great job of this because they stimulate deep touch and pressure, promoting calmness and regulating the nervous system. 

When looking for a weighted blanket for your child, look for something specifically designed for kids — lighter than an adult’s blanket and made from kid-friendly materials.

Jelly Bean Kids Adura Weighted Blanket, RRP $60.30

3. Chew Toys

Many Autistic and neurodiverse kids crave oral sensory feedback, and will often resort to chewing on their t-shirt neck or the strings of their hoodie to get it. This can become a problem if the hoodie strings have a plastic attachment at the end that can be swallowed, or when they’re literally chewing through their clothes! 

Thankfully, there is a solution. Chew toys are made from good-quality, bounce-back material like silicone and can be worn in a few different ways like as a necklace or on your hoodie straps. 

Chewigem Chubes Multifunctional Silicone Sensory/Fidget Chew Tunes, RRP $23.99

4. Sensory Clothing

Kids who experience sensory overload often feel all sorts of little things the rest of us don’t notice. Super sensing is a superpower, but it can make everyday things like seams or tags cause irritability and anxiousness.

If you are going through a daily battle getting your neurodivergent kid dressed or keeping their clothes on, try sensory singlets, shorts, leggings, and socks from a brand like JettProof. These seamless, tagless pieces can be worn underneath other clothing or a school uniform to help eliminate sensory overload and settle the nervous system. 

JettProof Sensory Clothing, various prices

5. Therapy Swings

Swinging isn’t just fun, it has a whole bunch of therapeutic benefits for kids of all ages, especially neurodivergent kids. It provides input for a healthy vestibular system, helping kids establish a sense of orientation and become more aware of where their body is in space. It also creates an incredible sensory experience and can promote strength and motor skill development.

Of course, you can (and should!) use the swings at the park, but fabric swings at home can provide even more opportunities to swing in different ways, and build different skills. They can be particularly handy to calm the nervous system before bedtime.

Little Nation Blue Therapy Sensory Swing for Kids, RRP $99.95 (on sale $59.95)

6. Fidget Rings

Neurodivergent kids in school may need ways to keep their hands busy and quiet the mind on-the-go. As they become more aware of their differences, it can be helpful to find some subtle sensory aids that can be worn so they’re always available.

Fidget rings are a great option — you can find lots of fun designs with spinners attached that look just like any other accessory. Look for lead free, nickel free, and hypoallergenic materials to minimise skin irritation. 

My Sensory Space Gold Moon and Star Spinner Fidget Ring, RRP $29.99 (on sale $29.99)

7. Balance or Wobble Cushion

Sitting still isn’t easy — for anyone! Kids with ADHD or sensory-seeking kids often have even more trouble with this, which can make it difficult to sit down and focus in a classroom setting or while at home doing their homework.

Like most neurodivergent behaviours, this isn’t something that can be “unlearned”, and it doesn’t need to be. Instead, find supportive products that give them the sensory input like a balance or wobble cushion that can be placed on a chair in any setting.

Kmart Balance Cushion, RRP $10.00


8. Fidget toys

Fidget toys are specially designed to satisfy the natural fidgeting or stimming urge many neurodivergent kids experience. With somewhere to direct that nervous energy, they’re better equipped to release some stress and find more focus.

There are loads of fidget toys on the market these days. Look for one with a few different ways to fidget, like rolling, clicking, or flipping, and check the materials to ensure the toy is durable and safe. 

Fidget Cube by Antsy Labs Series 3, RRP $7

9. Sensory Bottle

Sensory bottles are clear bottles filled with colour, texture, and glitter. When shaken or turned upside down, the contents move around, providing a mesmerising visual experience for young kids and a sensory distraction that can help regulate emotions.

We love a sensory bottle that can be customised and refreshed — they offer a fun, creative experience for your child, and they’ll feel a sense of connection and ownership having a toy they made themselves.

Jellystone Designs Calm Down Sensory Bottle, RRP $24.95

10. Body Sock

Deep pressure refers to the specific sensory experience we have when hugged, held, or swaddled. It’s something many of us love and can benefit from, but studies have shown it generates a really positive impact for children and young people with autism. 

A body sock is a wonderful way to provide deep pressure touch, otherwise known as proprioceptive input, to calm the nervous system and support regulation. The sock is made of a stretchy and lightweight material that wraps around the body and provides some resistance. Once inside, kids can play, dance, strike a pose, or have some downtime with a book or TV show.

Occupational Therapy Resources Sensory Body Sock, RRP $59.95

Wrapping it up

Rather than pressurising your neurodivergent kid to fit into the mould; shape their experiences to actually support their unique needs. Sift through solutions that empower them and tools that can balance their senses. When we understand our children’s needs, emotions, and reactions, we have the chance to work towards more comfortable and encouraging environments that help them thrive. Hopefully, some of these products can be a productive step in the right direction for your family.

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