Why Should We Use Fidget Toys?

Playing with a stress ball, geometric puzzle, tangles or similar toys may seem a lot like idle distraction. In fact, these toys are useful objects to help calm and focus a person, while helping to promote the more creative and clearer thinking. Also, the fidget toys are a practical option for tactile input and movement that is necessary for some people’s ability to learn. They come in a wide range of textures, sizes and shapes for ease of use and comfort.

What are they?

Fidget toys are practical for both adults and children. They are mostly used as therapeutic toys and relatively small in size. Most of the toys can easily sit comfortably in the palm of the hand. This small size means they are easy to carry in a lunch box, pocket, purse, or backpack. The toys are used in all types of environments, such as the office, in school and at home. They are built in a variety of materials from metal to washable nylon material, but no matter the type, it is still intended to increase a person’s attention and focus. The toys are often recommended by counselors and teacher’s doctors for those that lack focus in a learning environment.

Use for children

Children today can be more distracted and less inclined to learn and pay attention to their teacher. Their behavior, diets and entertainment options are completely different to previous generations of children. For the children that are quite restless and often fidget, it is worth trying these toys to see if it can help increase their focus and attention span. The fidget toys are practical to use in the home or school and help in a wide range of situations. Plus, the children are likely to have a lot of fun with these toys and they are very affordable.

Benefits

The benefits of the fidget toys are wide-ranging for both adults and children. They are a useful choice to help improve focus and self-regulation. For those that use them in a school or work environment, there is the potential to see an improvement in academic development or an increase in productivity. The toys held in the hands are very effective at giving a calming influence and can keep a person more alert. A further benefit is the ability to improve the tactile awareness of the hands and fingers. The regular user of this type of toy can see an improvement in strength of the hands and fingers overtime.

Oh Wisdom, Wherefore Art Thou

One feature of the Christmas story has to do with the wise men. I’m not sure if there were three or not, but if there were I should like to be number four.

Wisdom is such a rare commodity today I think it would be a wise thing to resurrect these wise men. After all, you never can have too much wisdom.

I was thinking about this the other day as I was going over my weekly “to-do-list.” I make one of these every week so I know what I’m supposed to do. As I finish one task, I check it off in red ink.

It’s not that I don’t do a lot of things during the week, it’s simply that I sometimes don’t do the things that I plan to do for the week.

I certainly am not like the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage who has a PhD in planning. I know that if I don’t make my own plans and write them down, she will be glad to assist me. Looking at her “to-do-list,” makes me dizzy. How she can do so much in one week is beyond my understanding, and frankly, I don’t want to understand.

My “to-do-list” contains things that I want to do. That is not too hard to figure out. My wife’s “to-do-list” contains things that she wants done, whether she does them or I do them.

For example. Next month my wife will begin making plans for next year’s Christmas. We are not over this year’s Christmas and she has ideas for next year’s Christmas.

That brings me to the point of wisdom. I do not have enough wisdom, or at least not enough that I would like to have. I am not smart enough to figure out how much I really need, but I am smart enough to know that I sure do need more wisdom than I’ve got.

Wisdom tells us what we can do and cannot do. That sounds like my wife.

One of the great advantages of getting old (and the definition of old is up to the person using it) is that I can always say, “I’m too old to do that anymore.”

The real problem with this excuse is, it does not work well with my wife. She is, and I say this most cautiously, just a wee bit older than I am. When I offer this excuse, she always says, “I’m older than you and I can do it, so go ahead and do it, and no more excuses.”

That is why I need to have my own planner where I can outline my own plans.

This created somewhat of a problem not too long ago. I am not making any accusations, mind you. But I do have my suspicions.

The beginning of the week I opened my weekly planner and noticed I had jotted down “to-do” things I really did not quite remember. I just thought that was old age and I had forgotten I had jotted down these things.

The whole page was filled with all kinds of things for me to do during the week. I did not recognize one of them. Being the kind of person I am, I began doing those things and checking them off with my red pen as I finish them.

When I got to the fifth thing to do, I was a little surprised and not sure what it meant. It simply said, “Get groceries for the week.”

I did not quite understand this. I went back through my weekly planner to see when the last time I got groceries for the week was. I could not find one time that I did.

Right after that one was, “Fill my wife’s car up with gas.”

The next one was, “Do the laundry for the week.”

Now I was getting a little bit frustrated. I do not ever remember writing any of these things down. I know I am getting old and lack a lot of wisdom, but this is ridiculous.

I examined my weekly “to-do-list” and noticed nothing on that list that in any way pertained to me. None of the chores I do every week was even hinted on that page.

Sitting in my chair slowly going over the list my wife walked in and looked at me. She said, “What are you so much in thought about?”

Without even looking up I replied, “I’m trying to figure out my weekly to do list here. I must’ve been crazy when I planned this week out.”

Then, the person on the other side of the room began laughing hysterically. When she quieted down a little she said, “Have you finished all your chores for the week?”

I looked up at her and saw her laughing and all of a sudden, I had a stroke of wisdom like never before. Looking at her I asked, “Did you write this in my book?”

She did not have to answer with words, her dancing eyes and hilarious laugher, told me everything I needed to know.

I thought of what Solomon said, “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold” (Proverbs 3:13-14).

Parent Educational Choices in Autism Assessment

Parents are often making choices about a young child’s educational future at the time of an autism assessment. Many educational angles are presented to parents during the autism assessment process. The following information includes five choices that parents make during the autism assessment.

Choice to Give Consent for Autism Testing

First of all, the parent has a choice as to whether or not to give permission or consent for a team to conduct an autism or early childhood educational assessment. Once the information is explained to parents, some parents make the choice to opt out or not have the child tested in the assessment process. However, many parents gladly accept this opportunity to learn more about their child’s skills and abilities as well as letting professionals give their opinions related to autism characteristics.

Choice to Agree or Disagree with Autism Results

Second, parents have a choice to agree or disagree with the results and recommendations of the autism eligibility meeting and team. Some parents are right on board with the results of the multidisciplinary team assessment, while other parents don’t see their children in the same way. It is not uncommon for parents to say that he or she ‘does not act the same way at home as he or she behaved in the assessment.’ At other times, the educational team may have different ideas than a doctor or early childhood intervention specialist so parents must make a choice in how they review the results of the assessment. There are times when parents disagree with the eligibility results, but still agree to have the child put in a special education program.

Choice to Complete Part of the Educational Assessment & Program

Third, some parents complete an autism or early childhood assessment and complete only the eligibility portion of the assessment. However, after the results are presented some of these parents will make the choice not to complete the Individual Educational Program from the local school district. Perhaps, the child is doing well in another program or with behavior therapy so the parent opts out of accepting a structured educational program in the school district.

Choice of Placement Options

Fourth, parents have choices to discuss placement options for the child with autism. Some children need more structured programs with intensive interventions, while other children need less support and can function in regular education programs with limited special education support and consultation.

Choice of Placement Changes

Finally, parents have a choice to work with special education staff to consider autism placement changes. If a special education program is not meeting the child’s needs then the type of program selected for the child may need to be modified. Parents have the option to ask the school to reconvene and have another meeting to discuss trying an optional educational program on a temporary or part time basis to see if the child with autism can function and adapt in the new educational situation. Most importantly, parents are making significant educational choices to help young children with autism. Parent input is extremely helpful and valuable in the child’s autism assessment and educational planning process.

Meeting Expectations As an Autistic Employee

For thousands of autistic adults everyday is an opportunity to prove themselves. The testing fields are business organizations all across the nation with employees on the autism spectrum. For adults on the spectrum fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, the path is filled with obstacles. Consider the fact that so many autistic employees live with secondary medical conditions which require management and sometimes therapy. Further, those conditions may cause side effects such as pain and difficulty focusing as a result of medications. Living with the constant challenge of managing a permanent medical condition is difficult, by anyone’s definition, but life under these conditions with autism is hard. Yet, there are courageous
women and men who stand gallantly each day in the face of tremendous odds, as they are determined to live independent lives expressing their abilities to the fullest. These are the people who bring their “A” game every day, even when it is apparent they are experiencing extraordinary distress. Rather than complain, they move forward with the determination and heart of a warrior in environments that can be hostile at times – even unforgiving and callous.

There is an even greater enemy, however, that autistic adults must combat daily. That foe is invisible, lurking, insidious, and unrelenting. Challenges are not limited to health or physical conditions, but the emotional burden of low expectations and neglect can take a mental toll. Despite the fact that thousands of autistics are now enrolled, in and graduating from, colleges and universities around the world – there remains a perception of low achievement for those diagnosed with autism, in some circles. Working in such an environment is a tremendous source of stress for many on the spectrum. After years of meeting deadlines and serving as a model employee, there is an underlying doubt related to autistic workers performing at a level that conforms to company standards. While this may not hold true for all industries, the prevalence of these attitudes seem unusually high in the technology and computer fields. The argument could be made that certain occupational areas attract larger numbers of autistic employees. Perhaps – but the pressure to dispel myths is real and prove the doubters wrong is a powerful motivating force.

Ultimately the battle comes down to overcoming self- doubt and negative perceptions we all struggle with from time to time. The key here is to not allow labels or the expectations of others define who we are. There is still so much we don’t know about autism, but the process is evolving with new discoveries and possibilities. For anyone diagnosed with autism, it is vital to get the support needed to maximize the talents and gifts within. That is a fundamental right as a human being and without each individual making her unique contribution to society, the world simply isn’t as good as it could be. Some practical steps for autistic employees to consider would include seeking help from a support group or a professional skilled in the area of workplace conflict resolution. In addition, most group situations, including work settings, are comprised of caring people who are in touch of their surroundings. Gravitate to them and they will reach out in return, thus cancelling out the minority who are entrenched in antiquated thinking and negativity. Regardless of what others may say or think, we are all responsible for our feelings of worthiness and how we interact with others around us. Autism is not a barrier to achievement and being a good citizen of the world – unless we allow it to become a personal detriment. Stay strong and keep it moving in the direction of your goals. Eventually the walls will come down and all resistance is gone.