Monday, 7 November 2016

Autism Sensory Feedback - Body Socks

An envelope made from Lycra, otherwise known as a body sock, came to the rescue of my autism household yesterday.

It was one of those days you dread as a single mum to any kids, let alone those with special needs. The dreaded sickness bug had hit! I'd been up half the night with the Bug who had the bug, and I didn't feel much better myself. I'm never actually sick but I felt pretty rough. My usual helpers were steering well clear for fear of succumbing to the plague themselves (understandably), so there we were, all stuck in the house, me pinned to the sofa by a 5 year old who was feeling pretty sorry for herself.

I did what we all do - stuck the TV on, got the iPads out, anything to keep them occupied all day. But as the day wore on I could tell Boy was desperate for sensory feedback. He was spinning and stimming, making strange noises and doing his best to irritate his sisters. It was a freezing cold day so although he tried to go out on the trampoline, he just couldn't face it. Missy was having one of her days when no-one is allowed in her room, so he couldn't even go on the climbing frame.

To be honest, I'd forgotten all about the body sock. You try out so many things to help your kids that some get swept away with all the regular detritus. He hadn't used it for ages and it had been buried in his bedroom somewhere, but Friday night he had used it as an overnight bag, a la Dick Whittington, and it reminded me we had it.

What is a body sock? Well basically it is a large rectangle envelope of Lycra, big enough to fit a person inside, with a hook and loop fastening. When a child who is craving sensory feedback is inside, they can stretch and push against the Lycra and get the sensory feedback they need. It can also provide much hilarity when you have a child wandering around the house in a blue envelope. Alternative uses (but not to be recommended) are fitting yourself inside it, sliding down the stairs and seeing how many pairs of shoes you can knock flying, while screaming at the top of your lungs. The fabric is very breathable and the kids assure me they can see through it when they're inside it. They can use it with their head inside or outside of the sock. It's also a great way of feeling cocooned.

Remembering this wonderful device I sent him upstairs to fetch it. Instantly I could see the affect it was having on my bouncy, sensory seeking boy. He stretched in it and fought against the fabric, then curled up on the floor, enjoying the safe feeling of it being all around him. Once his sensory needs were filled it was then a case of being an average 8 year old boy and trying to work out what else you could do with it, especially if it would annoy your sisters!

Stretching against the material of the body sock

Stretching the body sock against the body


Enjoying feeling cocooned in the body sock


I would highly recommend getting a body sock if you have a sensory seeker, if only for those days where you just can't fill their needs any other way. They can be bought at a range of different places including Amazon. Do be cautious when searching for body socks however, as there is an alternative product with a whole different use! Sensory body sock is usually a better search term!

I hope this post helps someone who has a child like mine, who desperately needs sensory feedback, and is looking for different ways to fulfill it. If there is a product you have found which really helps, please let me know in the comments section.

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