Heading back to school can be challenging under the best of circumstances. But if you are a student in the neurodivergent community, the new classrooms, people, sounds, smells and schedules can overwhelm. That’s where Sensory Tool House, LLC in Lacey comes in. They are ready to help your student enjoy the new journey with their Back-to-School Sale, August 30 – September 3.
Sensory Tool House provides information, programs, devices, clothing and more to calm the reactions of neurodivergent students and improve their learning experiences. Students may experience heightened classroom stress if they are neurodiverse, which means they are on the autism spectrum or have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or other brain differences causing a uniqueness in cognitive processing.
Katie McMurray, Sensory Tool House CEO and founder, says back-to-school transitions can be incredibly difficult and confusing. “Prepare for that transition from summer to school, especially for people who are neurodivergent, but also for everybody,” she says. “Transition support can help with the anxiety with everything that happens.”
Sensory Tool House Back-to-School Sale
“Teachers and districts can always reach out to us,” McMurray says. “We want to support educators from daycares to high schools and beyond with things that are appropriate for their space and with items that stand the test of time.” These items also help parents of neurodiverse students get their children ready for school.
McMurray says Sensory Tool House is having an online and instore Back-to-School sale August 30 – September 3. See the Sensory Tool House website for details and online order codes. Sale prices include:
- BOGO 50% off for Sensory Pathways with code TRANSITIONFUN
- BOGO 50% off dynamic seating with code WIGGLES
BOGO 25% off for all sensory and adaptive clothing with code DRESS4SUCCESS
- 20% off for visual planners, visual timers, emotion regulation and routine with code KEEPCALM
- 15% off for pencil grips, pencil weights, adaptive scissors, adaptive crayons, classroom light filters and more with code CLASSTOOLS
- 15% off weighted lap pads with code LAPPAD15
Sensory Tool House Tips for Transitioning Back to the Classroom
McMurray also offers these tips to decrease the back-to-school stressors, particularly for the neurodivergent community, their parents and others who support them.
- Create a visual countdown to the first day of school. “You can have a calendar where you mark days off,” says McMurray. “Or create a paper ring chain – something tangible. You can make links that are different colors, such as green and blue, and removing a blue link moves up bedtime one-half hour.” She adds that finding a tangible way to count down the days and hours can help a student who has challenges visualizing time and for whom a clock is not enough. “A visual timer can be helpful,” she says.
- Explore if your child can check out their new classroom or bus before the first day. “Don’t be afraid to ask,” says McMurray. “See if you can meet the teacher or tour the school separately from a large gathering, to get your child re-acclimated. They can learn about their new classroom in a sensory friendly experience.”
- Review written plans such as an IEP (Individualized Education Program) or 504 (for students with disabilities). “Now is the time to contact the IEP team regarding any concerns or changes over the summer,” she suggests. “It’s giving that personnel enough leeway to have time to set students up for success.”
Provide the school advance notice if useful adaptive tools, such as a wiggle seat, weighted lap pad, a quiet fidget device, adaptive technology or other item is needed. “Reach out to the teacher on why it is valuable and what are the consequences if it is used inappropriately,” McMurray says.
- Use a board to check off each school day’s tasks at home such as times to wake-up, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast and head out the door. “It can be a magnetic calendar or piece of paper to move the marker from ‘to do’ to ‘completed’,” she says. The same tool can list after-school tasks.
- Consider noise-cancelling headphones to help block out distracting sounds. “There are also noise canceling ear plugs that are very discreet,” says McMurray.
- Think about clothing designed for students who benefit from calming pressure. “Compression clothing is another great thing to use,” says McMurray. “Some can be worn under clothes or outside of clothes. Other people don’t need to know they are wearing it. There is also weighted clothing. There are more options today.”
Sensory Tool House has a wide range of supportive products to assist with back-to-school transitions and year-round life, including chairs, cushions, devices to chew on to release stress, magnetic boards and more. Sensory Tool House can work within an educator’s budget and reduce costs by having items shipped to the store. And McMurray says that not all their products are listed on their website. “If you are curious about something, reach out to us and we can see if we can get it,” she says.
Sensory Tool House, LLC
5831 Lacey Boulevard SE Suite J, Lacey