Many therapists and families have found vibration beneficial for some children with sensory issues, autism or disabilities. So what are the best vibration resources for sensory integration, available at the moment? Read on.
The proprioceptors in our muscles are particularly sensitive to vibration. Vibration can bring about changes in muscle tone and improve awareness of small joint position. One recent study found that vibration improved muscle movement by up to 60% (see link here). It has also been found that the benefits of vibration can continue past when the use vibration ends.
At Starfish we are particularly interested in the benefits of using vibration tools, toys and resources for:
– calming and relaxing (if a student is becoming hyper aroused or their behaviour is escalating)
– focus and improving academic engaged time, and
– improving body awareness
We have found that some children absolutely LOVE it the vibration tools, but they aren’t a one-size fits all and they won’t suit everyone. Vibration options are a good option to trial and have available.
The Good Vibes Massager is an affordable, lightweight, strong and portable massager.
It has 3 light up nodes that provide relaxing and soothing vibration.
Press the button and away you go!
The ZVibe Grabber is a vibratory oral tool for developing oral tone and improving a variety of speech, feeding and sensory skills. It comes with a long rippled tip that can reach to the back molars if needed. Other tips are also available (including brushes, spoons etc) and can easily be interchanged. The ZVibe grabber can be used without vibration or turned on for additional sensory input.
I particularly like the ZGrabber as the purple “grabber” can be used as part of the oral therapy and as a handle. It can also be combined with a safety lanyard and worn or attached (to avoid it begin dropped).
The Squiggle Wiggle Writer is crazy fun to use and fabulous as a tool in the therapy room or at home.
Turn the vibration on and it will send proprioceptive feedback and increase awareness of the hand and pencil grip.
The squiggle wiggle is heavier than a typical pen and can also provided added weighted benefits.
Watch the squiggle wiggle writer in action here.
Last but not least – the vibration cushions and pillows from Senseez.
We have a few options with the vibration cushions/pillows. The blue vinyl square is a practical choice given it is easy to wipe clean. The plush cow and turtle have tails which provided added tactile/fidget input (the covers are washable) and then the totally cool flannelette shirt is well suited for adolescents and adults (and would be perfectly appropriate sitting on a lounge or in the bedroom).
The Camo and Flower Adaptables Cushions are great for adolescents and adults. They have a few more options – as a hot/cold pack and as a vibration cushion.
These vibration cushions are activated when gently squeezed, pushed, pressed or sat upon. Many children like to lie on the floor with the cushion under the tummy. Some sit on them on a chair and some squeeze them against their chest/stomach or have it behind their back as they sit on the lounge.
Watch a quick youtube clip about the Senseez cushions here.
I’d love to hear if you’ve found other great vibrating resources.