ASK THE EXPERT 

Frequently Asked Questions to our in-house Paediatric Occupational Therapist and owner, Aisling Nebor. 

How can I be sure the Therapy Toy or Product I buy is right for my child?

All of the WiggleKids Toys and Products are tested, researched and meticulously chosen by our in-house Paediatric Occupational Therapist, Aisling Nebor, specifically to help and bring joy to Neuro Diverse people of all ages and strengths. If you need further information as to whether your child or client would benefit and enjoy a product, you can give us more details and ask us below!

What makes you experts in Autism Therapy Toys and Products?

Not only is our founder and operator, Aisling Nebor, an experienced and active Paediatric Occupational Therapist within the field of Autism, she is also a mother of 2 children, one of whom is on the spectrum themselves. “Ash” understands Neuro Diversity as a parent and as a therapist and has personally tested and approved every one of our products. 

Why should I use Therapy Toys or Products with my child or client?

Therapy Toys and Products make a world of a difference for Neuro Diverse people of all ages and strengths. Society was not built for those who are easily excitable from sensory stimulation, whereas these toys and products ARE! The best thing you can do for someone is provide them a fun, functional, high-quality tool to bring joy to their lives and eases their burdens. 

Question: My child seems to be quite sensitive to textures: he is picky about the clothes he will wear and he is reluctant to play games that are messy (finger painting or sand etc.) Is there anything you could recommend?

Answer: Some children are overly sensitive to tactile (touch) input. It is important to respect your child’s boundaries, and provide them with opportunities to increase their comfort with different types of tactile input at their own pace. You can start slow by playing with dry rice/bean bins. This is a great way to introduce a little texture without mess. You can make a game out of this by hiding little figurines or toy cars etc. for them to dig and find in the dry beans/rice. If they have difficulty placing their hands in the rice/beans, start out by providing them with a tool to use (e.g spoon) and progress from there. We have a Tactile WiggleKit that has a variety of products that provide unique tactile experiences to work on increasing comfort. We also carry a fun tactile tool set!  All of our WiggleKits also come with WiggleTips created by our Occupational Therapist which provide specific ideas on how to play with the products in a creative way to maximize learning and enjoyment.

Question: My child has difficulty doing up buttons. Is there any way to work on this?

Answer: Buttons can be tricky as they require coordinated use of both hands and fine motor movements of the fingers. I love to play games to work on bilateral integration skills, so the child learns as they are having fun! Games such as Lego (Duplo for younger kids, standard Lego if your child has the skill/ability), Lacing Boards or Games, and Rock ‘n Gem Surprise are all great options to work on the fine motor skills and strengthen little fingers.

Question: How can I work on core strength with my child at home?

Answer: One of my favourite activities to work on core strength is to have the child lay prone (on their tummy) over the peanut ball to play a game. I love using sticky balls and having the child reach up with both hands (superman/superwoman pose) to retrieve the ball, and then extend their arm to overhand throw at a window or whiteboard target. This always gets a lot of giggles, and is a great way to increase core strength.

Question: My child holds the pencil in a funny way. How can I help them?

Answer: There is a natural progression of grasps that a child goes through as they mature and develop. A great way to work towards a mature tripod grasp is to use small pieces of chalk and crayons on an upright surface (chalkboards, easels and whiteboards work well). The upright surface works on shoulder stability, and encourages the wrist to extend, pulling the fingers into a natural position for the tripod grasp fingers to do their work with the small crayon/chalk. It is also helpful to play games that involve tongs or clothes pegs to strengthen the muscles required for a mature grasp. We have some great options such as: Super sorting pie, and the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game. We also have a great selection of pencil grips, if your child needs additional support.

ASK THE EXPERT!

Do you have an Autism Occupational Therapy related question? Ask our in-house expert, Aisling Nebor, and she will do her best to provide you with an answer!

Resources & Articles

Summer Fun!

Summer Fun!

The sun is finally shining and there are so many great ways to work on gross and fine motor skills when outdoors! Here are a few to fill these beautiful sunny days: Get your hands in the sand! If you are lucky enough to be near a beach/lake, make sure to bring your...

Learning To Use Scissors

Learning To Use Scissors

How can I help my child learn to use scissors? Scissor skills can be very tricky for little hands! Why is this??? Because it is a skill that requires bilateral integration: the ability to use both sides of your body in a coordinated way. When cutting with scissors,...

Our OT’s Favourite Apps

Our OT’s Favourite Apps

With everyone walking a fine line of home-schooling, social distancing and everything else that has our stress levels to the max, we thought we'd share some of our favourite apps to help educate and relieve some of the guilt some folks feel about screen time. Doesn't...

Why do I need to use a visual schedule?

Why do I need to use a visual schedule?

A Visual Schedule is a tool that can contain pictures or written words to help a child understand the plan for a period of time. This can help them prepare for upcoming activities, which can help with transitions. Adults use visual schedules all the time - often we...

Halloween – The Spookiest Time of the Year!

Halloween – The Spookiest Time of the Year!

Halloween is an exciting time for many kids! However for some children with sensory processing challenges it can be difficult to participate in all of the activities. Here are some quick tips from our OT to keep in mind this halloween: Halloween is an...

Joint Attention – Why do we need it?

Joint Attention – Why do we need it?

Joint attention or shared attention is the shared focus of two individuals on an object. It is achieved when one individual alerts another to an object by means of eye-gazing, pointing or other verbal or non-verbal indications. It is one of the...

The Dreaded (pun intended) Haircut

The Dreaded (pun intended) Haircut

Many children with sensory processing difficulties have trouble staying regulated when getting their hair cut. This experience can provide a lot of uncomfortable tactile and auditory input. There is also often a stranger in their personal space, and this...

Brush, brush, brush away!

Brush, brush, brush away!

We constantly hear from parents about the struggle with teeth-brushing. This is quite an invasive task for a child with sensory challenges, and can actually be quite uncomfortable for children with tactile/sensory over-responsivity. Here are a few tips to...

Rain, rain, go away!

Rain, rain, go away!

I don’t know about you, but here at the WiggleKids office in Vancouver it is RAINY season! Not to worry … we’ve got you covered with one of our favourite sensory games to play when your kids are stuck at home indoors (and bouncing off the walls!)It’s...

The Tripod Grasp

The Tripod Grasp

What is the Tripod Grasp? (And Why is it important?) A tripod grasp is a functional pencil grasp that uses the thumb, and first two fingers to manipulate a writing utensil. This allows the 4th and 5th fingers to rest and stabilize the hand...