Emergency sensory kits are bags that have tools that help ease anxiety and increase communication for individuals experiencing a sensory meltdown caused by overstimulation due to a high stress situation. Having a sensory kit close by is a wonderful way to help prevent sensory avoidance or meltdowns.
Change of clothes – A child that has sensory issues is considered to have a low threshold for tactile input, meaning they register tactile input at a higher rate than neurotypical people. Your child feels every wrinkle, seam, fuzzball, and gets extremely irritated by tags. They might not be able to tolerate clothes that actually fit them, and they need clothes that are tight or too big. When a child that has, sensory issues is forced to wear clothes that are uncomfortable it causes their brain to be in a state of constant high alert receiving aversive stimuli on their bodies. It takes a lot of cognitive energy to filter out sensations in order to focus on the important things. This results in the child being exhausted which causes sensory meltdowns and other behaviors.
Sunglasses– some Individuals with ASD experience hypersensitivity to bright lights or certain wavelengths such as LED or fluorescent lights. Sunglasses are a great accessible tool that you can carry for those moments when the lights are too bright.
Mask or essential oils-Others get overwhelmed with certain smells. It might be helpful to carry around a certain scent that you know that your child likes for the times where it is not possible to get away from the aversive scent.
Noise canceling headphones– To help block out background noise.
Technology– favorite song or video that your child enjoys. Paired with noise canceling headphones, which allows you to be able to listen to a song on repeat without annoying others around you.
Fuzzy blanket /weighted blanket– comfort items are a great way to quickly relieve stress and anxiety. They are a source that provides constant, calming pressure. Weighted blankets also provide deep pressure which has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Low tech core board with simple icons.
Snack/ water bottle– As you know a lot of problems can be solved by providing your child with a snack and giving them a couple minutes to compose themselves. Being hangry is a real thing… so it is always a great idea to have something to eat close by.
Assorted sensory fidgets– Such as water tubes, chewies, Aku ring, pop-its ect…