Toys and tools
Stretchy resistance kick bands – A great way to keep fidgety kids focused. They can move and kick their feet against the bands while leaving hands free to do work.
Hand2mind Phoneme Phone – Kids speak softly into the “receiver” and hear their amplified voice directed into their own ear. It’s great for pronunciation, fluency and the ability to distinguish between similar sounds.
Learning Resources Jumbo Tweezers – Fantastic tool to build fine motor skills by developing the thumb-forefinger pincer grasp. Tweezers also help kids with sensory issues participate in tactile play!
Our therapists have compiled this list of great toys that are both fun and work on skills at the same time.
The Time Timer – Help kids stay on track with this visual clock that can help with homework, never-ending meals, stressful transitions and resistance to routines.
Sit disc – An inflatable disc on top of your child’s chair encourages better posture and “active sitting.”
Stepping stones – A fun way to work on gross motor skills and balance, these stepping stones can be used indoors or out.
The Pencil Grip – A simple way to help kids learn how to hold a pencil properly. Improve handwriting, help give more control, and reduce hand fatigue.
Harkla inflatable sensory chair – A cozy, safe space for kids. Most children can get in the “pod” themselves, applying deep, even pressure to the body.
Kick Bands for Chairs – These stretchy resistance bands are great to keep fidgety kids focused. Great for the classroom, homework or even the kitchen table.
A Little SPOT of Emotion Book and Toy Set – The wonderful emotional-learning book, A Little Spot of Feelings, comes with cute little plushies of each feeling in this set.
Mindful breathing boards – These mazes are a screen-free way to help kids build social-emotional coping skills as they are guided through breathing exercises.
FlusterClux with Lynn Lyons – A podcast focused on kids with anxiety, but offers general parenting advice as well.
Nightlight Stories – Legacy Elementary’s assistant principal, Melissa Bugaj, has written these original stories that are just perfect for bedtime or anytime.
More Than Child’s Play – Speech-language pathologist Lacy Morise and physical therapist Nicole Sergent host warm and helpful conversations where the early childhood world and daily parenting life meet.
Milestones – Information about developmental milestones, sensory processing and other general child development discussions.
Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled – Each episode addresses a reader’s parenting issue through the lens of Janet’s respectful parenting philosophy, consistently offering a perspective shift that ultimately frees parents of the need for tips, tricks, and tactics.
The Bilingual Parenting Podcast – Cultivate and celebrate bilingualism with local Bilingüitos owner, Kaila Diaz.
The Out of Sync Child series – This groundbreaking book was the first to explain Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and presents a drug-free approach that offers hope for parents. The revised edition includes new sections on vision and hearing, picky eaters and coexisting disorders such as autism.
How to Compromise with Your School District Without Compromising Your Child: A Field Guide for Getting Effective Services for Children with Special Needs – A book that has been described as a must-have guide for parents to help their children get the fair and appropriate education they need and deserve.
Occupational Therapy Activities for Kids: 100 Fun Games and Exercises to Build Skills – This colorful guide offers concise information on how occupational therapy works and how to apply it to your family. The activities are even divided into chapters based on different types of occupational therapy skills, so you can focus on the ones that are most important for your child.
Speech therapy apps
Technology can be a wonderful tool when helping children with their speech and language development. Check out some of these great apps.
We’ve compiled this list of our favorite engaging, language-rich books for kids 0-5. Start reading to your child from day one!
And we love these books that feature kids with disabilities.
Local businesses we support
We love these four great inclusive and accessible playgrounds in NoVa.
Jake’s Ice Cream in Falls Church employs people with disabilities. Go Jake!
SimplyBe Coffee in Leesburg offers workplace and internship opportunities for special-needs people.
A Farm Less Ordinary is an organic and sustainable vegetable farm that provides employment and a welcoming community to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Blossom and Bloom Thrift Shop is a volunteer-run second-hand shop whose proceeds benefit local adults and children with disabilities.
Autism F.I.R.S.T. offers free lectures to learn how to navigate the complex systems you encounter as a parent of a special-needs child.