The Amazing Benefits of Fidget Toys

The Amazing Benefits of Fidget Toys

When in a state of agitation, nervousness, boredom, excitement, frustration, or a combination of these feelings, people tend to move or shake restlessly. This movement (fidgeting) usually happens unconsciously, and it cannot be explained and this is where fidget toys comes in.

What are fidget toys?

So many devices are made to aid these spontaneous movements. They are called “Fidget toys”. These tools help improve attention, concentration and focus. They can calm users and also enhances active listening.

When people fidget, they play with their hair, ears, fingers, wristwatches, rings, or bracelets. Some shake their legs or hit the table repeatedly. It should be noted that fidgeting usually happens while seated. For some people, they fidget while thinking or mind wandering.

Fidget toys come in different shapes and sizes. However, there are numerous devices intended and explicitly made for both children and adults. Fidget toys include fidget cubes, fidget spinners, fidget stress ball, squishy, fidget pen, flippy chains, and more.

Fidget toys are typically made for and are beneficial to children who have autism or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The toys help them focus better. It also helps adults who have a hard time focusing on one thing or are overexcited.

Benefits of Fidget toys

  • Helps improve concentration and focus in children and adults.
  • Helps take one’s mind off distractions.
  • Helps children with special needs and ADHD.
  • Reduces anxiety and stress.
  • Improves learning ability by improving focus.
  • Helps movement and sensory input in children in school. This is essential because both the left and right part of the brain is required for effective learning and carrying out tasks.
  • Enhances skills.
  • Improves coordinating ability.
  • Assists in the development of muscles of small hands.
  • Boosts attention.
  • Reduces restlessness.

Now that you know what fidget toys are, what they do, and their benefits, I made a list of the popular fidget toys and their features to help you make a choice.

  • Möbii fidget balls: It is made of smooth interlocking rings. Stroking the rings has a calming effect. It’s pretty handy because of its small size. However, it’s not advisable for small children; they can choke on it.
  • Flippy chain: Made of clean bike chain links, it fits in your pocket, and it is quite handy too.
  • Mini Rubik’s cube: Though this requires a little more involvement of both hands if you’re a puzzle-solving freak, this is your best bet.
  • Desk toys: They are a bit larger than other toys. They are best suited for a spot on your desk. Examples are Spoley desk sculptures, Euler’s disk, and useless box.
  • Jewelry: Fidget jewelry are great options too when considering getting a fidget toy. They also help soothe anxiety and regulate focus. Examples of fidget Jewelry are Sterling silver fidget ring, Möbii necklace, and Acupressure rings.
  • Classroom fidget toys: These helps some children deal with stress and anxiety. It also improved their learning ability. Examples are Kick bands, Chewable pencil toppers, and Tangles.

In general, fidget toys can help fight the symptoms of stress, fear and other mental health ailments. The continuous motion of clicking and spinning fidget toys can also increase concentration since they help keep you calm.

Fidget Toy Pop It Simple Dimple Fidget Toys For Anxiety(Opens in a new browser tab)

Stretch Marbles Ball  For Children(Opens in a new browser tab)

Push Bubble Pop It Soft Fidget Toys(Opens in a new browser tab)

The Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket

The Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket

Anxiety and stress can hinder a good night’s sleep . This has compelled people to take sleeping pills as a means to improve their sleep. But why take pills when a weighted blanket can help? There are many benefits of using a weighted blanket. It helps can combat stress and anxiety since it harnesses Deep Touch Stimulation, which relaxes the nervous system.

What is a weighted blanket?

A “weighted blanket” is a heavy (around 10 pounds or more for an adult) blanket packed with plastic or glass pellets. Using this blanket will help relieve stress, and ease anxiety.

Due to its calming effects, it is ideal for children and adults with sensory processing disorders. Below are 5 benefits of using a weighted blanket.

  1. It improves sleep quality 

A weighted blanket can improve the sleep quality of a person who faces challenges with resting at night.

Do you spend most of the night turning and tossing instead of having a peaceful sleep? Do you find it difficult to relax and sleep well at night? It could be that the stress that has accumulated during the day is affecting you from having a quality sleep at night.

Poor sleep quality will make you rise from bed every morning, feeling restless and fatigued. However, having a quality night rest will make you feel refreshed and revived every morning. A weighted blanket can play a great role in improving sleep quality. The gentle pressure will make you sleep longer and deeper, and you will feel happy and energized when you wake up every morning.

  1. It gives the feeling of being hugged 

When you cuddle under the covers of a weighted blanket, it feels like you’re experiencing the most comforting hug.

Research has shown that a hug can create happiness, prevent loneliness, elevate one’s mood, and even boost self-esteem.

A weighted blanket can give you that feeling of being hugged by someone without anyone holding you. You only need to wrap yourself with your weighted blanket and experience that soothing feeling.

  1. A weighted blanket offers comfort and warmth

One of the benefits of using a weighted blanket is for warmth. Do you often cuddle up with your loved ones for comfort and warmth? What if he or she is away? You don’t need to feel lonely when your loved one isn’t with you.

Using a weighted blanket can offer warmth when your loved one isn’t with you. You can be assured of a warm and comfortable sleep at any period of the day.

  1. It eases stress and anxiety 

Did you feel worn out and fatigued after experiencing a long day at work? Do you feel anxious and have the desperate need to relax?

You can cuddle up on the couch with a weighted blanket while you sip from a mug of tea and read a novel or binge-watch one of your favorite series. This simple task can help you de-stress and relax.

  1. It has a calming effect 

People with lots of energy find it difficult to experience quality sleep at night. A restless body that is much energized can prevent one from experiencing a long and deep sleep.

Using a weighted blanket has a calming effect as it lowers anxiety that is ignited by the feeling of restlessness and promotes rest. This will enable you to get the much-deserved sleep.

Using a weighted blanket will promote a good night rest and calm down stress and anxiety. People often cuddle up more peacefully when someone they love is beside them. So, a bigger weighted blanket can be shared with your significant other, friends or family. What other benefits can you gain from using a weighted blanket? Let us know what you think.


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International Bipolar Disorder Foundation

Mayo Clinic

Genetics Home Reference – NIH

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Support program: Sibling Support Project

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Center for PTSD

Wounded Warriors PTSD Project

Warriors Journey Post Traumatic Stress

The Blue Ribbon Project: supporting victims of child abuse and youth in foster care

Faces of PTSD

Eating Disorder Hope website

Bulimia.com

Maryland Preschool Special Education

Maryland Department of Education Division of Early Childhood

 

 

Kindness During COVID-19: Supporting Each Other

Kindness During COVID-19: Supporting Each Other

From National Institute of Mental Health

By Joshua Gordon

A few weeks ago, a couple of weeks into social distancing, my wife and I were walking our dog Zoey on a drab Friday morning. It had been a challenging week, and my mood was not particularly good. We went down the street to our car, which my wife was going to take to work — an essential New York City employee, she still has to go to work in person some days. She got in the car and started to drive off before suddenly pulling over and pointing at what used to be the passenger side mirror. It had been stolen. So had nearly every other passenger side mirror in a long row of cars in front and in back of ours. Thieves had taken advantage of the fact that people are using their cars less under the stay-at-home order. My wife gingerly drove off without the mirror, but I just sat down right there, stunned and overwhelmed. Amidst all that was going on, opportunistic ugliness revealed itself. Not for the first time since COVID-19 came along, I unsuccessfully fought off tears.

Now, as I write this a few weeks later, I’m reminded of another time I sat on a street corner, overwhelmed. On Saturday, July 6, 2013, I was bicycling through central Kansas on a 97-mile journey from Dighton to Great Bend. The last leg of the ride looked to be a 32-mile slog without services, according to what my navigation app told me over lunch at a diner in Rush Center.

The ride was hot, and I was working hard against the wind, sucking down water that was becoming warmer by the minute. As I rolled into a small town called Albert halfway to my destination, I was desperate for a cold drink, but it didn’t look like anything was open.

The kindness of rest

I sat down on the porch in the shade, settling for sipping hot water from my dwindling supply, and the next thing I knew, a pickup truck pulled up. The driver said, “I saw you looking around. You all right? Is there something you need? ”

A picture of a road in Albert, Kansas depicting a red building with a covered front porch on the left hand side of the road.

This is where I sat down in the heat in Albert, Kansas.

“I was just hoping to get a cold drink,” I explained. “Want some water? Pop?” he asked. “Sure,” I answered. And off he went. A few minutes later, he dropped off a bottle of water and a can of soda, both ice-cold. Thanking him, I asked if I could give him anything for it. “Just say a prayer for me, ” he said, and drove off, just like that.

About an hour and a half later I made it to Great Bend, just barely, woozy from the heat and down to my last swig of water. But for the kindness of this stranger from Kansas, who knows what would have happened. I made sure to thank him with a quiet prayer that night.

The kindness of generosity

All these years later, in the middle of all the ugliness of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was reminded of this experience while watching YouTube. I live in New York, and ever since COVID-19 hit my state hard, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been giving daily press conferences. I try to catch them most days, both for the up-to-date statistics on the epidemic in my home state, and for the inspirational messages he often tags on at the end. On Friday, April 24th, after reporting the latest stats, he shared a letter he had just received from a man named Dennis.

“I’m a retired farmer hunkered down in northeast Kansas with my wife, who has but one lung and occasional problems with her remaining lung,” the governor read aloud. “We are in our 70s now, and frankly, I am afraid for her. Enclosed, find a solitary N95 mask left over from my farming days. It has never been used. If you could, would you please give this mask to a nurse or doctor in your city? I have kept four masks for my immediate family. Please keep on doing what you do so well, which is to lead.”

I have no better words to describe how hearing this made me feel than those offered by Governor Cuomo: “How beautiful is that. How selfless is that… It is that generosity of spirit that for me, makes up for all the ugliness you see.”

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this amazing story about kindness during COVID-19!


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Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

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National Center for PTSD

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Maryland Department of Education Division of Early Childhood

 

The Benefits of Essential Oils for Anxiety

The Benefits of Essential Oils for Anxiety

Do you want to know how essential oils help relieve anxiety? There are many benefits of essential oils, and it depends on the fragrance you prefer.

It is difficult dealing with anxiety. Most times it feels like you can’t control it: your heart racing, your mind churning, the shaking, and the restlessness can be overwhelming. Over the years, there have been a range of treatments for anxiety, and one of the evolving methods is the use of essential oils.

The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) described aromatherapy as the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances (essential oils) for holistic healing. It has also been defined as the practice of inhaling the scent of essential oils to improve one’s well-being.

Essential oils are known to have medicinal effects when absorbed or inhaled. Also, essential oils have existed for centuries, mainly used to relieve stress and, of course, anxiety.

So here, we are going to be looking at the benefits of essential oils for anxiety. We will also discuss how essential oils can help treat other health conditions.

Stress and Anxiety

It has been said that the use of essential oils during a massage may help relieve stress even though the effects may only last for a while.

Studies have shown that aromatherapy and the smell of some essential oils can work alongside traditional therapy to treat anxiety and stress.

Mood

Essential oils can help improve your mood and help you feel relieved by smelling the fragranceBergamot oil has been shown to improve mood, reduce fatigue and even lower levels of stress hormones. It is also found that bergamot oil appeared to have calming, anxiety-reducing properties.

You can also use basil essential oil to sharpen concentration and alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. It may relieve headaches and migraines. It should be avoided during pregnancy.

Depression

Improving sleep cycles is one of the many benefits of essential oils. These oils have been proven effective against depression. Although they do not cure depression, a 2016 study showed that inhaled lavender improved the sleep cycle of people at college who experienced sleep disturbances, which can be an effect of depression.

Headaches and migraines

Recent studies, here and here, have emerged supporting essential oils to be effective against a headache pain by reducing their effects after applying peppermint and lavender oil to the skin.

Increased Energy Levels

With essential oils, you can boost energy levels given their therapeutic compounds. The Sweet Basil, for instance, helps calm the mind, relieve stress, making you feel energetic.

Sleep and insomnia

Lavender is arguably the most popular fragrance of them all. The smell of lavender oil has been thought to impact the limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for balancing our emotions. It also helps improve sleep quality.

Anti-inflammatory Effects

Researchers argue that essential oils may help fight against inflammatory conditions. Some test-tube studies show that they have anti-inflammatory effects.

Now you know the benefits of essential oils. As such, you must understand how to use essential oil best. For starters, do not inhale any essential oil or apply directly to the skin. Hence, it is highly advisable that you, appropriately refer to the product leaflet for instructions, or seek the advice of a professional.


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External Resources

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Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

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Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Center for PTSD

Wounded Warriors PTSD Project

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The Blue Ribbon Project: supporting victims of child abuse and youth in foster care

Faces of PTSD

Eating Disorder Hope website

Bulimia.com

Maryland Preschool Special Education

Maryland Department of Education Division of Early Childhood

Coronavirus resources and online activities

Coronavirus resources and online activities

From Pathfinders for Autism

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) RESOURCE PAGE
Covid 19
We are trying to keep track of as many resources as we can find to help you while we are home and working, playing, learning and living.  This list is being updated regularly.  Please feel free to email Neal Lichter with any resources you would like to see added.
This resource page is divided up so you can find resources for at-home activities, educational websites, virtual field trips and other categories

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Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

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Caregiver Could Get Paid Leave Under COVID-19 Relief Law

Caregiver Could Get Paid Leave Under COVID-19 Relief Law

FROM DISABILITY SCOOP

Parents who must stay home from work to care for their adult children with disabilities due to coronavirus-related closures may qualify for paid leave, federal official say.

The stimulus bill signed by President Donald Trump in March includes a temporary expansion of paid leave for workers in some circumstances. The provision was intended to address the needs of employees across the country who are unable to come to work or telecommute because they must care for children while schools and other child care providers are closed.

Paid leave and the COVID-19 stimulus law

The law was largely mum on the needs of families of adults with disabilities whose typical daytime activities have been canceled. Now, however, the U.S. Department of Labor appears to be including parents of adults with disabilities in the groups that qualify for the expanded paid leave offering.

In a rule published Monday in the Federal Register, the Labor Department determined that the definition of “son or daughter” for the new program should be consistent with that of the existing Family and Medical Leave Act, which “expressly includes children 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.”

Under the rule, businesses with 500 or fewer employees can receive tax credits for providing up to 14 weeks of paid leave through a combination of sick leave and family leave to workers who are unable to come to work or work remotely because of the effects of COVID-19. In addition to child care issues, workers could qualify for leave if they have coronavirus, are under quarantine or for a handful of other reasons.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

 


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External Resources

Support program: Autism Sibling Support Initiative

Support program: Sibling Support Project

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Maryland Preschool Special Education

Maryland Department of Education Division of Early Childhood