Blog With 7 Senses

As most of you know, I have been working diligently on a children's picture book, This is Gabriel Making Sense of School (due out Spring 2010) that focuses on children with Sensory Processing Disorder succeeding at school.

This subject is very near and dear to my heart.

Not only does Gabriel have SPD, but he still struggles at school needing movement breaks, heavy work and generally keeping his body regulated.

The first step in this process, as everyone out there with a SPD kiddo knows, is educating the school on SPD.

Although I keep reading good things from the SPD Foundation about the chances of getting SPD acknowledged in the DSM (the diagnostic manual that doctors, insurance companies and school districts base benefits off of), my kid is struggling today, and I can't put off getting him help until the medical world gets on board.

The first thing I struggle with when teaching anyone about Sensory Processing Disorder is the simple fact that there are SEVEN SENSORY SYSTEMS.

Not. Five. Nope. There are 7. SE-VEN.

Let's recap:

Sight -- Your eyes help you see

Hearing -- Your ears help you hear sound

Touch -- Your skin and fingers help you feel things around you

Taste -- Your tongue and mouth help you determine taste and texture

Smell -- Your nose helps you smell which is closely connected to your taste system

Vestibular -- located in your inner ear, it is the basis for balance and understanding where your body is in relation to its surroundings

Proprioception -- located in the muscles and joints and controls how much pressures is used (pushing and pulling)

I am guessing many of you knew this--but shockingly most teachers don't! I have pushed this so hard with Gabriel, that every year he starts up the debate with his teacher to prove that there are seven. That's my boy already starting to advocate for himself!

So I am starting a crusade to educate the entire WORLD that we have 7 senses.

Will you help me? Com' on -- Who's with me?

Grab the button I created up there on the left hand side of my blog and put it on your blog. Then encourage your readers to do the same.

Soon we will have dominance throughout the blogging community and will succeed in changing the face of the world.

OK, I'm getting a little carried away...

But, I sure can hope that spreading the word that there are 7 senses will help with the basics. Right? Like when you walk into your child's teacher the first day, you can skip the part where you have to explain, repeatedly, that there are seven senses....

Don't worry, you're not going to have to educate the masses empty handed for long. When my book comes out it will help you educate your child's teachers, peers and others not only about what is going on with your child, but also how they can help; including the fact that there are 7 senses.

So grab the button now!

When you take the button--leave a comment that you are doing so. It will encourage others to do the same, and then I can come to your blog and visit it. :) Like my little babies leaving the nest.

Now chant with me:

Se-ven Sen-ses, Se-ven Sen-ses, Se-ven Sen-ses!

INSTRUCTIONS in case you don't already know...for Blogger only...

1. See the code under the button? Click in that box and select all, you can do this by simply pressing Ctrl A. Then copy it by using Ctrl C (or you can use the right click on your mouse to do both operations).

2. Go to your blog dashboard and click "Layout".

3. Under Layout, click on "Add a Gadget"

4. Select HTML/Java Code

5. Paste the code from my blog, into that window with the right mouse function or Ctrl V

6. Give it a title like, "Hey there are seven senses!"

7. Click save

8. Click "View Blog"

9. Da Da! There it is!

We Made It.

It seems like the holidays come faster every year. Maybe that is because they show up at my house cloaked in anxiety and stress.

There is some level of excitement, buried under the worry for Gabriel, and for me. That excitement has to do with what comes after the holidays; time off and new toys.

So, for our family, we have official made it to the other side.

That said, Christmas actually went really well for us.

We woke up Christmas Eve morning, to Nicholas in our room. Par for the course.

He walked up to my husband, leaned over and gave him a huge hug, "Daddy! I knew you'd stay home for the holidays." He beamed at my husband. I guess he thought Jeff would go to work? Probably--so let's not tell Nick that Jeff technically was working from home that day. : )

We had a lot of extended family at our house for Christmas Eve dinner. Normally we would've been at my mom's house, but with the added guests, it only made sense to have it here where there is just more space.

And for Gabriel, when he hits sensory overload, which I know he will at least once, there is a safe place for him to go: his room.

Christmas Eve dinner was loud, fun, full of champagne and everyone talking enthusiastically over each other. Add another 3 kids under five and the house was busy to say the least.

But Gabriel didn't meltdown. Not once.

I was surprised. PLEASANTLY surprised.

I sometimes am afraid to think it, but maybe this is what I have always been told, and actually preach too, "Things get better."

Gabriel used his coping mechanisms, and the family that was here has no issues accepting Gabriel for who he is. Actually, my brother teaches special education at the high school level in California. So, theoretically, he knows a little something about what is going on with Gabriel.

Dinner was great, and we had too much dessert. But, the boys climbed in their matching jammas (a tradition since they were born, passed on from the fact that my mother bought me new jammas every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember), their dad read the traditional bed time story of T'was The Night Before Christmas, and they happily went to bed.

Christmas morning was good.

Gabriel was actually excited--an emotion that is always clouded by anxiety--but not this year.

His smile reached from ear to ear and he was READY to go downstairs to examine his new found treasures.

We had to wake Matthew up at nearly 9am. Which was only minutes after Gabriel woke. Of course Nick had been up much earlier, but hung out early Christmas morning in bed with Jeff and I watching Christmas cartoons on TV.

It was, dare I say it, relaxing.

After we ripped through everything, including the great stocking stuffers that were a huge hit this year: water weenies, mad libs, plastic recorders, teddy grahams (which they immediately ate, and shared with the dogs), bath toys (like loofahs, only with Santas), and a few extra things--like "Red" the firetruck from the movie Cars for Matthew that Jeff had to buy off eBay. LOL

We played with everything.

We cleaned everything up, into laret plastic bins, one for each kid (I highly suggest that for you next year), and they took everything to their own room before their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents came back. Taking their new "specail" things to their rooms gave them ownership and control over them--no little cousins would touch, ruin, break, move or even look at them wrong. Big anxiety reducer!

When the extended family arrived, Gabriel was calm--still in his adorable orange snowman jamma pants. He opened some more presents, and then retired to his room to play.

Truth be told, he spent a lot of time upstairs--building. Building with my brother, building with his Papa, and just building alone. He was self-regulating. Too many people downstairs meant that he was safe upstairs. And if anyone entered his room, I quickly reminded them that Gabriel's room isn't a place to play.

Gabriel didn't meltdown at all on Christmas. A first for him. For us. A first.

Now, things weren't exactly perfect here---he definitely had some bouts of frustration that were larger than typical, but for Gabriel, this was the perfect holiday.

And for me too. Heck, for the entire family.

Now, the big question, is what in god's green earth am I going to do with him for another week? LOL Hopefully Santa's genius plan of buying toys that Nick, Gabe and Matt could play with together will keep them busy throughout the week.

Otherwise, assume I will be blogging a much different post in a few days. *sigh*

Until then, I have reason to believe that some day soon the holiday season will not be met with anxiety and interpretation on my part--or Gabriel's.

Here is to the holidays being over,

12 Days of Christmas -- SPD Version

12 Days of Christmas -- SPD Version

On the first day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
A meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the second day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the third day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
Three screaming boys,
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the fourth day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
Four spinning Egg Chairs,
Three screaming boys,
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the fifth day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
A five hour migraine,
Four spinning Egg Chairs,
Three screaming boys,
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the sixth day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
Six ears a-covered,
A five hour migraine,
Four spinning Egg Chairs,
Three screaming boys,
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the seventh day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
Seven squishy stress balls,
Six ears a-covered,
A five hour migraine,
Four spinning Egg Chairs,
Three screaming boys,
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the eighth day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
Eight hours of brushing,
Seven squishy stress balls,
Six ears a-covered,
A five hour migraine,
Four spinning Egg Chairs,
Three screaming boys,
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the ninth day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
Nine packs of chewing gum,
Eight hours of brushing,
Seven squishy stress balls,
Six ears a-covered,
A five hour migraine,
Four spinning Egg Chairs,
Three screaming boys,
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the tenth day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
Ten hours of heavy work,
Nine packs of chewing gum,
Eight hours of brushing,
Seven squishy stress balls,
Six ears a-covered,
A five hour migraine,
Four spinning Egg Chairs,
Three screaming boys,
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
Eleven relatives left speechless,
Ten hours of heavy work,
Nine packs of chewing gum,
Eight hours of brushing,
Seven squishy stress balls,
Six ears a-covered,
A five hour migraine,
Four spinning Egg Chairs,
Three screaming boys,
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
SPD gave to me
Twelve gluten-free cookies,
Eleven relatives left speechless,
Ten hours of heavy work,
Nine packs of chewing gum,
Eight hours of brushing,
Seven squishy stress balls,
Six ears a-covered,
A five hour migraine,
Four spinning Egg Chairs,
Three screaming boys,
Two heavy blankets,
And a meltdown Oscar worthy!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Call for Submissions

I am sure everyone out there is stressed from the holidays. But I think this is the right time to talk about something I feel is important: Taking care of yourself.

Parents like us really need to start taking better care of ourselves, taking care of our personal needs (ah, anyone get a shower in today??), medical (when was your last check up? Dentist visit?), emotional (ever get time alone?), spiritual and nurturing our relationship with our partner/spouse (when was the last time you were alone with your significant other??). These are seriously overlooked by parents with special needs kids.

Nurturing the parts of us that are imperative to our emotional and spiritual survival is not something that should stay on the back burner. It is as much our responsibility as our children’s health.

We need to be able to focus on ourselves, our health, our marriages, our spirit, or own internal desires for self worth. And this isn’t SELFISH. So get that word out of your vocabulary immediately. : )

That said, I am starting a new series here on my blog called
“First Things First” focusing on making yourself, your relationship and your spiritual health your first priority--or at least not your last.

The best part is that I have multiple contributing authors already lined up to provide articles and insight into all parts of life being a special needs parent, including Chynna Laird, author of Not Just Spirited, A Mom’s Sensational Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder (available here) and I’m Not Weird, I have SPD. You can learn more on her website (and don't forget to sign up for her newsletter while you are there too!), but I will be featuring an interview with her the beginning of next year here on HLW3B too. So check back.

With that in mind--I am putting it out there for all of the fabulous writer/bloggers that I know. If you are interested in participating in this great series and have a passion for special needs, specifically SPD and/or ASD, here is your chance. These articles will be highlighted in multiple online blogs, websites and newsletters. This is a great opportunity!

Please contact me directly, at with the subject line "First Things First" and a sample of your writing (either as an attachment or link). After submissions are reviewed, I will be in touch to discuss your potential contribution, subject matter and deadlines for articles.

All sample writings must be received by 1/15 in order for you to be considered for this series.

I think that it is going to be a GREAT series that will help us be better moms, dads, spouses, and friends!

I am sincerely hoping to see contributions from many of you,

Sock Winners!

Have I mentioned how much I love SoftKnitKIDS? Because, if I haven't said it before, THEY ROCK!

After a terrific giveaway here on HLW3B, and 8 entries, the great people at SoftKnitKIDS are giving EVERYONE free socks!

Woo Hoo!!

That's right, the following readers have won a pair of of socks, in their choice of size and color:

Patty Mullins, Jennifer, Jen, Missouri Flat Traveler, Knowledge Safari, Fabiola, The Real Me, and KD.

(The Price Is Right announcer voice)

But wait! There's more....Tell them Bob, what else is there?

Missouri Flat Traveler--seeing as this is the holiday season--you have won not just 1 pair of seamless socks for your boys--but TWO pairs! (Really, with twins, were you gonna have just one? LOL).

And that's still not it....

The Real Me (in Kansas--GO JAYHAWKS!), seeing as you have not 1....not 2....but 3 kiddos with sensory issues, that could all use these socks, you've guessed it, you won THREE PAIRS!

That's right--the great people at SmartKnitKIDS socks are truly invested in helping families. So take this as their official welcome to each and every one of the families that entered here on HLW3B into their ever growing family of happy customers.

Take a minute to choose your size and color form their very easy to use chart and email me at with your name, address and size/color choice and I will pass it along to them.

Thank you again to everyone who entered, and if you want to send me a snapshot of your kiddos in their new socks, I would be happy to post it!

Have a GREAT holiday season--

8 Crazy Days of Socks Giveaway!

I came upon this great website that is dedicated to making sensory-friendly and completely seam free socks for kids Have you seen it? When I found it, I immediately contacted the owner to find out more about these socks. And you know what? I found a great company run by a woman who truly wants to help parents like me. Even better˜she wants to give YOU free socks! Keep reading to find out how you could win -- the rules will be slightly different this time!________________________________________________

Please welcome to my blog Kam Howard! I am really looking forward to learning more about the great socks you are making, but first can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your family? How did you get the idea to make seam-free socks for kids?

About me: I’m a married, working, mom of three. Busy to say the least. I am so passionate about our products because no matter how small or simple they might be, they make a difference. I know first hand because my daughter hated sock seams when she was younger.

Prior to working here I would just suffer through my mornings of putting on and taking off socks 6 times until they were “just right”. We had the meltdowns, the tears. I know now that my situation is nothing compared to some other parents out there.

About Knit-Rite: SmartKnitKIDS is a brand of Knit-Rite, Inc. We have been manufacturing medical textiles for over 85 years. Knit-Rite is a third generation family owned business with Mark Smith as our President and CEO and his partners Ron Hercules and Chris Vering. Mark’s grandfather and father served as President in the past both leading and fulfilling our mission of developing products for a better quality of life.

The Knit-Rite family is an amazing team and we are so humbled by the fact that what we do every day is helping someone out there.Because we have the capabilities to innovate unique products, we often receive requests for hard to find products. A couple of years ago several moms contacted us searching for a truly seamless sock for their children. We began to understand that something as simple as a sock seam was a real issue for a child with sensory issues. Helping these children was a natural fit so we quickly developed a special sock for little feet.

Most of my readers have kids with Sensory Processing Disorder, so they can relate to having to go through tons of different brands of socks in an attempt to find the *right* ones for their kiddo. Can you tell me what makes SmartKnitKIDS socks different from the other socks out there?

SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks are unique because they are truly seamless! This is not a flat seam, smooth seam, or a seamless feeling sock like many socks out there. People often put their hand in a SmartKnitKIDS sock and turn it inside out looking for something only to find there really are NO seams. They look amazed and ask, “How do they do that?”

These patented socks are knit the same way a caterpillar spins its cocoon, starting at the toe and working up to the ankle, creating a completely seam-free sock. SmartKnitKIDS socks also do not wrinkle or bunch. We use a form fitting design that “hugs” the foot and keeps the lumps and bumps out of the socks. We use extra soft material in our socks to make them as comfortable as possible and our socks do not have a heel that helps kids confidently and easily slip their socks on.

Your site features some heartwarming (and toe warming!) stories from readers sharing what these socks have done to help their child˜will you share your favorite story with us?

We believe parents are the champions of this product – providing us feedback on how to improve the product, referring friends and family, and sharing these heartwarming stories of how a simple pair of socks has improved their child’s life. We love to hear their stories and we love to share them with other parents. The still remember the first time I read this story and as a mom, my eyes tearing up and getting chills on how sincere it was.

"It's been a about a year since our five-year-old daughter, who has been diagnosed with both a sensory disorder and anxiety disorder, has been able to wear socks without a full blown, tear filled meltdown. I tried other "seamless" socks, but I quickly realized that what is seamless to one child is surely NOT seamless to our little girl. When I read about SmartKnit socks, I ordered one pair to see if they would work. When they arrived and I told our daughter that her new socks without "bumps" were here, she started to cry and say that she hates socks. I showed them to her, she took them, and she hid under the table. She popped out, wearing both a big smile AND the socks! She xclaimed, Wow! These really work! I am going to wear them everyday!!!" With tears in my eyes, I called her dad and her grandparents to tell them the news! We will DEFINITELY be ordering more! Thanks from the bottom of our hearts!!!!"

Will you tell us about your holiday giveaway on It looks fabulous!

SmartKnitKIDS is proud to offer our First Annual Holiday Contest. What better way to celebrate the holidays than with prizes – a way for us to give back to all those families and our loyal customers. It is also getting cold outside for most of you and that means keeping your little ones in socks! So we are proud to offer a prize with SmartKnitKIDS socks to make those little feet happy and some other great gifts for your child and even a few things for you!


Thank you Kam for taking the time during this busy holiday season to talk about your socks here on HLW3B. I am really excited to test out your amazing socks and even more excited to give some away to my readers. ‘Tis the season of giving!

SmartKnitKIDS Socks has generously offered to give away 8 pairs of socks. I told you they were awesome!

Here is how you enter:

Join my blog through Google (link at top right) and leave a comment below about how these socks will make your child's sensory world better.

And you are officially entered. But wait. Do you want really want to win?

OK, I am in the holiday spirit, how about this:

I am making MULTIPLE entries available! It is like a little Christmas gift from me to you. :)

You can get multiple entries by doing the following:

1. Blog about this interview/giveaway and link back to the original post here on HLW3B then post the link in the comments below,

2. Share this interview/giveaway on your Facebook and post the links in the comments below,

3. Tweet this interview with @ParentingSPD then post that you did in the comments below,

4. Tweet this interview with @smartknitkids then post that you did in the comments below.

You may answer the question for 1 entry, and then you can earn up to 4 more entries DAILY (by doing the above 4 things every day) until the contest ends on December 19th at 9:00am PST.

We will select 8 winners—that is 1 per day—at random from the total number of entries received. Then the winners will be posted by Monday 12/21/09.

Good luck—and hope you are one of the lucky readers to get the gift of truly seam-free socks for your child.

Thanks again to Kam and SmartKnitKIDS!

You Know You Have an SPD Kiddo When...

I couldn't leave up the "Worst Day" post today--so I am going with something light and fun to take its place this morning. :) If you haven't seen it, enjoy--if you have, read it again!

You Know You Have an SPD Kiddo When. . .
  1. You judge every playground by the number of swings or spinning equipment it has.

  2. You hear the Red Robin crew begin to clap and you immediately cover your child’s ears to avoid the Happy Birthday song.

  3. You have memorized where the automatic flushing toilets are in your whole town.

  4. You can, all by yourself, cover the automatic flushing mechanism on a toilet, help your child to use the bathroom , do a “clean butt” check, and yell, “1-2-3!” all without your child being “in” the stall when the flush goes off.

  5. You can think of 5 ways to use a can of soup, and none of them require opening it.

  6. You hear about a new “spa” that allows you unlimited time to use their showers, pools and hot tubs and the first thing you think is, “My son would love that!”

  7. You have a trampoline in your main living area (probably not far from the TV or the kitchen.

  8. You have objects that are OK for “chewing” and are not edible.

  9. You have visual aids so your child can get himself ready for school independently.

  10. You can explain the difference between an IEP and a 504 in one sentence.

  11. Your discussions with your doctor require a better understanding of acronyms than doing your own taxes.

  12. You wonder if you can write off a swing in your playroom as a “medical expense.”
  13. You haven’t been on vacation...pretty much ever.

  14. You consider reading the Support Group List Serve an “afternoon out with friends.”
  15. You have turned down more invites for parties than you attended during YOUR ENTIRE college career.

  16. You spend equal amounts of time convincing others that your child is “not” OK as you do that he “is” OK.

  17. Before your child was one year old, you had your first doctor ignore your concerns.

  18. You can, from memory, give Handwriting Without Tears verbal cues without hesitation.

  19. You have a pair of earphones that were so expensive; your husband can’t believe you let your child use them.

  20. You carry gum, bubbles, protein snack and ear plugs in your purse; but no lipstick, powder or mirror.

  21. You have looked into buying MULTIPLE of your child’s “favorite” toy so that if need be, you could secretly replace it.

  22. You have heard more than one person insist that you have to spank more.

  23. You have had at least one family member stop inviting you over to their house because they think your child is a bad influence on theirs.

  24. You can give a minimum of 3 things OTHER than a chair that a child can use to sit on.

  25. You have given up the idea that your child will *sit* through an entire meal.

  26. You have seen so many doctors, it would make most women’s head spin, but for you, you can recite them, by name, and date, and what they did or did not do for your child without hesitation.

  27. You remember the day you found support.

  28. You remember her name, too.

  29. You pass your new found "support" on to everyone you can think of.

  30. You wouldn’t trade being the mom of your kid for any other “typical” kid in the world.

The Worst 24 Hours EVER

Ugh. I have had the worst past 24 hours ever. Truly.

Gabriel had a 2 hour full psychotic break last night—which was shocking since his medication has recently been increased. He lost his ever loving mind at my mom’s house during my dad’s birthday dinner. Not SPD, not Autism, but in a mental health-Bipolar kind of way. I literally was packing him up, raging, attempting to bite himself, trying to throw large rocks at me, kicking and struggling. He wouldn’t get in the car, he wouldn’t stop screaming. It was awful.

I told him we could go to the doctor, but that I wasn't sure what the doctor could/would do. He yelled back at me, "Ask him to KILL ME!"

I finally gave in and said, "What good would that do?" after spending a great deal of time and emotion telling him I was his mom, I protect him, and there was no way anyone would hurt him.

He responded, "If I was dead I wouldn't have fits anymore!!"

"Fits feel that bad?"

"YES!!! THEY DO!!! I want the doctor to KILL ME!"

"We are going to see a special doctor, in January, who is kind of an "expert" on meltdowns. He is a psychiatrist. His name, you are going to love this, is Dr. King. Pretty good, huh?"

He settled down long enough to look at me, and then at his lion. We like the word King. Good for me.

I assured him that Dr. King would help us. I only pray that is true.

Then the yelling, throwing himself around, pulling on his seat belt, and demanding to be killed started up again.

I worked on distraction all the way home.

My hubby is in Germany, so there was no relief at home. The meltdown lasted 2 hours including the 40 minute car ride in which I prayed for a police officer to pull me over so that I could ask him to follow me home and assist. Crazy as it sounds, it is true.

Gabe passed out last night in his room under a heavy blanket. Thank god. I was prepared to take him to the Emergency Room for hospitalization. I was scared.

I have to say that it was the first time that I could see he truly had no control over the meltdown--no stopping it and he wanted to stop it. No way to stop raging. It broke my heart.

I wake this morning to think that things are OK, until Gabe gets angry with me AGAIN because his shoes are in the van still (he wouldn’t wear them home last night) and then he locks us out of the van. Both sets of keys, and my purse, locked in the van.

I sent him to school, got a locksmith, and $50 later began getting Matthew ready to school while he was crying that he wanted to stay home. Who could blame him? We’d been through the emotional ringer the night before—I wanted home and comfort too.

On my way up to get clean socks for Matthew, I could smell that the water spill from two nights ago (from the humidifier because god knows we can’t all be healthy) has molded in his room. I can smell it clearly.

So now I am waiting for my dad to come up, so we can attempt to clean the carpets or worse case scenario pull them up and dry them (something I had to do when Matthew flooded my bathroom/hall/closet last year).

And my hubby called to ask me to remember to give him his wake up call in Germany.


All in a day’s work, right?

101 Sensational Stocking Stuffers 2009

If you are parenting a SPD kiddo like mine, or one on the spectrum, then you can relate to my challenge with filling my kids' stockings with things that don't get played with--it is like a big fat waste of money.

Not this year.

This year I began researching things that were worth spending money on, things that would benefit my kid in multiple ways (sensory, social, small motor skill) and that my kids would like. You will see some of these things you have already thought of, but hopefully you will think of it it a new light, and some of these things will be new.

I am using this list to do my shopping and I sincerely hope it will at least provide you with inspiration for your holiday shopping.

101 Sensational Stocking Stuffers List 2009

1. Spin toothbrush -- we love these disposable things, and chew through them quick!

2. Animal flossers -- good for your teeth, and great to keep little hands (and mouths!) busy.

3. Flavored toothpaste (vanilla from Tanner's Tasty Paste) -- this stuff tastes like REAL ice cream; if your kid hates to brush, this may be the answer (they have chocolate, creamsicle and fluoride free too!).

4. Peek-a-Boo Bags -- this is a great sensory activity for little ones with tactile defensiveness. A easy way for mom to do some sensory work at home, since these adorable little bags full of soft pellets make "therapy" fun!

5. Webkinz -- it is always nice to ease anxiety by having a "friend" with you.

6. Snacks -- something not candy, so that when they open their stocking, they can eat what they get--even for breakfast. The link goest to my favorite new meals (Gabe takes them every day for lunch) which are prepackaged--but not crap. They even include a dessert in each box. Mmmmm.

7. GFCF Candy -- this is an extra special treat for kids on the diet. The link is a list of options, so you can pick what your kid would love best.

8. Fidget Toy -- we have this great, metal, small (a little bigger than a quarter) fidget toy that is just as fun for me as it is for Gabe. Originally designed for kids with ADHD. Use discount code save15 when ordering--the company has offered my readers a discount. WOOO HOOO!

9. Chew Stixx -- this is a great, scented, safe to chew, pocket sized object for kids to carry with them. We have 4 of them. :) Use discount code save15 when ordering--the company has offered my readers a discount. WOOO HOOO!

10. Pencil toppers -- lots of options out there, but toppers you can chew are terrific.

11. Pencil grips -- good for children that are struggling with handwriting (like mine!)--ask your OT for good direction on which grip will work best with your child.

12. Rubix cube -- something to keep your child's mind and hands busy--a requirement at our house.

13. Numbers slide puzzle -- old school but still fun. My boys love ours, and truthfully, so do I.

14. Personalized puzzle (Snapfish) -- take a photo of your kid, and make it into a puzzle you can do on the go. Obviously you can just buy a puzzle too. LOL

15. “Happy Thoughts Book” (Snapfish) -- a small flip book full of the most fun memories your child has--visit from Grandma, birthdays, family vacations--pull it out when you need to "snap" him out of a bad mood (do you think that is where "Snap"fish got its name? hmmmm). The smaller books are also AMAZING to buy in bulk and give out to family and friends for any occassion (especially wiht multiple book discounts!), they can be seen here.

16. Paint Brushes -- give your little artist a new set of brushes; these are specifically good for young kids or kids with lower small motor ability.

17. Smencils--Scented colored pencils -- scented pencils give an incentive to practice coloring and writing.

18. Sensory videos (Bear in the Big Blue House) -- although this only covers 5 of the SEVEN senses, it is a pretty cute show. I tried to get them to make it all seven senses, but they won't take my calls (something about a restraining order? Kidding--LOL).

19. Water Flutes-- noisey, but great fun in the bath.

20. Water bottle with straw -- great for in class, in the car, or just hanging out at home--these are especially cool because you can get it with your child's name on it.

21. Bath Squirters -- keep bathtime fun and add in some pinscher grasp work.

22. Bath paints/Crayons -- have a hard time getting them in the shower? Let them color the walls and practice handwriting--at the same time.

23. Glee Gum -- all natural, gluten free and allergen free. I am ordering some for Gabriel today--they also have "make your own gum" packs as well as "make your own gummy candy" packs. And if you click on the Glee Gum pic on the navigation bar (top left of this page) OR YOU CAN CLICK HERE you will be taken straight to a Buy One Get One Free coupon that Glee Gum created esepcially for HLW3B readers! I LOVE THIS COMPANY!!

24. Slipper socks with grippy feet -- cold feet are no fun, but slipper socks with grippy feet are terrific at any age. These are from Lands End, a fave of mine.

25. Scented lip balm -- 'tis the season for chapped lips. Stop the cracking with some festive holiday scented lip balm. Careful they don't eat it.

26. Gloves/mittens -- keep hands warm with soft cotton gloves or mittens. While you are on Old Navy's site (which has flat shipping), check out the matching hats and scarves!

27. Whistle -- great for proprioceptive input -- and pretending you're a cop.

28. Kazoo -- hum along to all of your favorite songs.

29. Harmonica -- teach them to play for real, or just let them pretend.

30. Wii Sports -- I recently learned how this game was being used to help kids "cross the midline"-- what a smart idea! This is the only thing on my list that is expensive--so don't let it throw you off!

31. Diji games -- kind of like DS, only educational. Great incentive to work on spelling and math.

32. Spy scope -- give them a secret mission -- spy out the windows or search the house.

33. Small note pad -- encourage writing smaller with their very own little note pad to write down clues.

34. Magnifying glass -- got to have something to find the clues!

35. Small car -- great option for traveling; a must for any adventure and a new one only sweetens the pot.

36. Action figures -- just like having a car, a Star Wars guy, Transformer, or whatever girls carry with them (wow, clueless on that), is a good way to increase dramatic play.

37. Key chain for backpack -- my boys love to have things on their back pack -- plus it gives them something to play with on the bus or while waiting in line at school.

38. Sand Blocks -- these are going in our stockings this year! Also check out the water and glass bead versions--great visual!

39. Watch -- great for kids that are learning to tell time, or just those who are concerned about what time it is -- all the time.

40. Bubbles -- blowing bubbles is a great proprioceptive activity--don't let it be just for summer!
41. Pokemon cards -- or whatever other kind of collecting cards your child is into--encourages reading and gives something for them to focus their organzing energy on--mine's a little OCD :).

42. Handy Manny tools -- these have been great for my 4 year old--he can "fix" things all over the house.

43. Music cds -- get your child's favorite music, whether they like classical or "Kidz Bop" like Nick, you are sure to have a hit.

44. Noise Quieting Headphones -- keep ears covered and muffle the sounds of unwanted noise--and look cool doing it.

45. Fruit -- OK, my mom-santa gave me fruit when I was a kid, and I hated it; now I love giving it to my kids (Gabe really loves to find an orange in his stocking) because it takes up so much room. I don't give them Harry and David, but I sure wish Santa would give some to me. LOL

46. Card game (Uno, Go Fish) -- Uno (they have themed decks, like this Christmas Charlie Brown one) is a great game that the whole family can play!

47. Flash cards -- give them the first 100 site words, math facts or other educational cards. Having their "hands on" the lesson makes learning more fun.

48. Legos -- small Lego sets can easily be built and then taken apart to do again. I also found this great Lego Advent Calendar which is a terrific way to show visually how many days until Christmas--great for reducing anxiety.

49. Bionicles -- a small motor skill building activity is vauable any time--and a good play date toy to engage new friends in.

50. Bakugan -- I know nothing about these, but do know that lots of kids are into them which gives our kids an opportunity for social play that NT kids might relate to (and they fit in the stocking nicely!).

51. Peek-a-Blocks -- great for toddlers, and they have a few different sensory sets, including this one which is "sounds".

52. Little People -- great for little hands, especially with the little vehicles for both girls and boys.

53. Ta Doodles -- bring out the artist in your little one without worrying about small motor skills--these fit easily in little hands and are adorable!

54. Playdoh/clay -- great to have any time.

55. Playdoh accessories -- there are so many, including Star Wars stampers, confetti makers and this adorable Hungry Hungry Hippos set.

56. Stamp w/ink set -- this is a great activity, the pressing and transfering is great for our kiddos.

57. Taggie Blanket -- no matter how old you are, a nice soft blanket with a satin edge can be calming, especially on the go.

58. Santa Buddies-- a new movie is always a hit for us on holidays! It gives structure to the day and allows for a "cool down" period (especially under a heavy blanket).

59. Books (Junie B. Jones or Magic Tree House) -- find a good kid's holiday themed book to encourage your child to read, and give them something to hold onto the holiday spirit.

60. Tickets to movies -- with the AMC Sensory-Friendly films showing all over the country every month, tickets to the movies couldn't be a more sensational gift.

61. Microwave popcorn -- makes everything better.

62. Fidget balls -- these are great for sensory input when your child needs to sit for long periods of time or just seems to need something to do with his hands.

63. Flash Light -- we can get enough of these--but don't forget the batteries--in bulk.

64. Ornament -- this one is adorable (I love the song I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas), but any special ornament with their name or year is a special treat.

65. Scarf -- your kid might not like this, but I assure you it will keep them warm (and seriously, how dang cute is this scarf for only $5 at Old Navy?)!

66. Stress ball -- another great thing to squeeze in your hand.

67. Ear plugs -- funny as it may be, having these on hand reduces the sress in our house. Remember to use care when putting these in your child's ears, and PLEASE ask your doctor if you have any concerns about it--shocking to find out, but I am NOT a medical professional, nor do I play one on TV--I just write. : )

68. Hand warmers -- a good thing to have for snow play.

69. Goggles -- keep them for the bath or shower (or we use them in the hot tub).

70. Electronic Bubblewrap -- really, just genius.

71. Tootsie Roll Bank -- a tradition at our house.

72. Temporary Tattoos -- get holiday ones and give your kids something to do after they open presents.

73. Theraputty -- they have a great 2 oz version to fit right in their stocking, and then in your purse! Don't forget to ask your OT which color would work best for your kid.

74. Ceiling Stars -- bedtime struggles are made easier when they have glowing stars to look at each night.

75. Flat Friends -- this product is new and really cool. It is made of 100% pure Australian sheepskin which has been shown to have calming and therapeutic effects. I personally love the wolf. Thanks to Sherri at Sensory Assault Ops for telling me about this!

76. Ice pack (themed or shaped) -- some of my kids hate ice packs, but usually a good character version makes the "owie" get better quicker anyway (even if the "owie" is really just an overreaction).

77. Band Aids in favorite character -- their own box of bandaids--go crazy!

78. Stickers -- in their favorite character are always a hit.

79. Polly Pocket-- a very cool option for a little girl, great at home or on the go. I also found this Polly Pocket Advent Calendar as well as a My Little Pony Advent Calendar which would be a fantastic way for you to count down the days to Christmas.

80. Littlest Pet Shop -- great option to encourage imaginative play.

81. Cookie Monster Building Set -- we have built the Ernie over and over, but Cookie is my favorite.

82. Barrel of Monkeys -- a great game that will help with hand eye coordination, turn taking and encourage social skill building.

83. Bike Bell-- decorating your bike is always cool.

84. Yahtzee -- a great way to have fun with the whole family -- while practicing social rules like taking turns, being a good sport and losing graciously. And this "A Christmas Story" version would only be better if the container was shaped like a lamp...if you know what I mean. : )

85. Wind Chimes -- help the wind make a new sound-- music!

86. Jump rope -- good for inside (maybe...) and outside play; help your kids' engine run.

87. Frisbee or flying disc -- fun to throw, and a great activity for increasing coordination.

88. Foam Glider Plane-- we love these.

89. Paper Dolls -- simple, classic, and still fun.

90. Bean bags -- having a few of these on hand, homemade ones are great, give a fidget toy and an instant game at home or away. The set I have linked to, is the alphabet (and they have numbers too!); a GREAT GREAT way to have a multisensory experience with letters. Love it!

91. Mood ring -- they are coming back! Give your kid the ability to monitor their own mood (sort of...I at least like the idea that they are thinking about monitoring their mood, even if the ring is inacurate).

92. Interlocked metal mind puzzles -- these are more complex than the one we have, but my boys love them and do these forever.

93. Mad Libs (or Mad Libs Jr. or Star Wars or Christmas or Christmas Carols) -- fun for kids with a good sense of humor, and even better for encouraging writing. Do you remember how fun these were? Can't wait for Santa to deliver these to our door.

94. Chewlery Bracelet -- I have said this before, but I stick by it because it WORKED for us. They have new versions, so feel free to look around at other options.

95. Sling shot Monkey -- this is just hysterical. Let them have fun, it is Christmas and you've been stressed for over a month. ; )

96. Straw Glasses -- any kind of straw is a great way to get input for our kiddos--but this just makes it silly.

97. Tape Measure (real or pretend) -- my little builders love these. You can get them at the dollar store and then when they ruin them, o well.

98. Tangle DNA Puzzle -- this is just cool. It is textured and glows--can you say multi-sensory? need I say more?

99. Blob Ball -- this is gross, and my kids usually pop them, but they are fun sensory activity while they last.

100. Super Ball -- this is one of our favorites! Take them to the local public school playground and they can throw them against the building in the covered play area. GREAT outting even in the rain!

101. Slinky -- ending with a classic, not to mention it helps with problem solving and feels cool.

Good luck shopping and Happy Holidays,

Now for the disclaimer:
I am sure you know this, but I have to say it any way -- I am not getting paid by any of these companies to suggest their items, just as I cannot personally vouch for any of the suppliers (although wherever possible I tried to go with larger suppliers like Amazon); this is a place to get inspriation and buy whatever strikes your fancy. It's all on you.