25 Back to School Supplies for the Special Needs Child
Note: I may earn money or products from the companies, products, or links mentioned in this post.
It’s that time of the year again. Time for all the kids to end their summer and go back to school. For special needs parents, this can mean so many different things, because we have a child with needs that may be more difficult to handle in a school setting.
While every school will be different, here are some supplies and tools for the special needs child to help make that back to school transition a little easier!
1. Mini Easy Grip Scissors
These easy to hold scissors are perfect for the special needs child who struggles with cutting paper or who has a weak grip.
2. Weighted Lap Pad or Weighted Vest
A weighted lap pad or vest can help the special needs child sit still in class and help to provide calming and sensory input. The lap pad is great if your child does not want to wear a weighted vest.
3. Chew Necklace or Chewy Pencil Toppers
Chew necklaces are perfect for the school-aged child so that they can have that calming, sensory input all day long and not have to worry about losing the chewy. The chewy pencil toppers are a great alternative for the special needs child who wants to chew on their pencil.
4. Classroom Light Filters
Many children with special needs are highly sensitive to bright lights – especially the fluorescent lights that most schools have in classrooms. Sending your child to school with these light filters can help with that so that your child can focus better during classroom time.
5. Bouncy Chair Bands
These bouncy chair bands are great for the child who needs to move while they work. They are easy to install, safe, and quiet so it won’t disturb other students. They are also great for preventing children from tipping back in their seat.
6. Sitting Wedge or Wobble Cushion
Both of these are perfect for your child’s classroom seat. They help with posture, balance, and low muscle tone. Great for kids who need to move a lot.
7. Pencil Grips/Writing Aids
These pencil grips are perfect to help your special needs child hold a pencil correctly and to be able to write better letters and words.
8. Fidget Toy
Fidget toys are perfect for the child who has a hard time sitting or standing with idle hands. They are fun and are small enough to fit in your child’s backpack.
9. Visual Timer
A lot of children with special needs do well with timers. A timer is set and the child can see how much time is left to complete their task. My son uses timers for almost everything and it has helped a lot!
10. Back to School Books
For the special needs child who needs a little help transitioning back to school, there are plenty of books out there to help every child of any age.
11. The Nesel Pack – The World’s First Sensory Backpack
I found this backpack online and I have never seen anything like it! It has huggable straps, a security strap, a personal ID pocket, a hip belt, sensory tool hooks, and a tablet compartment. Want to learn more? Check out this article: Nesel Pack Backpack is Designed to Bring Comfort to Children With Autism.
12. Mood Bands
These bands are perfect to help the special needs child communicate their understanding of a topic or to help describe their feelings visually to students or the teacher. The green side says, “Happy to talk.” The red side says, “Please leave me alone.”
13. Noise Canceling Headphones
If your child gets overwhelmed easily or can’t stand loud noises, these headphones will help with that! Whether they’re used to help calm, or to help turn down the noise on the playground, they are the perfect back to school tool!
14. Handwriting Without Tears
While this isn’t technically a school supply item, it is perfect to help work with your child who may struggle with writing during the school year.
15. RE-Vibe: Anti-Distraction Wristwear
While I do not know much about this product, I do see that it is used in many schools to help children with special needs stay on task.
16. Little Pencils
From the website: “Little Pencils are perfect for school, classrooms, therapy sessions and homework. Their 4″ length encourages just the right grip needed to learn handwriting skills, minimizing problems occurred when longer pencils rest in the web of the hand.”
17. Squiggle Wiggle Writer Pen
This special pen will help with grip and can also be used as a sensory tool. For kids who need that input in their hands, this pen vibrates to help give your child a sensory break during the school day.
18. Twist and Write Pencil
The twist and write pencil is an ergonomically correct pencil. It helps assist kids in writing properly by using the right tripod finger posture and teaches kids the correct way to write.
19. Dry Erase Markers
For children who tend to press down too hard when writing, these dry erase markers are strong enough that the tips won’t get pushed in. Each cap has an eraser, making it easy for kids to write and erase at the same time.
20. Palm Weights
For the special needs child with shaky handwriting or excessive finger fidgeting, these weights help provide proprioceptive input that will help relax your child’s fingers and improve their handwriting.
21. Shock Proof Tablet Case
Will your child be bringing their tablet to school? This case will protect it from any bumps or impacts made by your child. Also, can be used as a stand for classroom use!
22. Bright Lines Spiral Notebook
From the website: “Bright Lines paper shows kids just where to write and how big to make each letter. The paper provides visual cues for the proper formation of letters and adequate spacing between words. Each page has highlighted yellow lines which indicate just where the lower case letters should be placed. The double-width lines have been properly spaced to help children locate the writing area and visualize proper spacing between lines. Lines at the end signify where writing should stop. Great for children with autism, visual processing or sensory challenges.”
23. Back To School Sensory Clothing
Does your child require special clothes for sensory problems? Fun and Function has many different things that your child can wear to school, whether it be underneath their regular clothes or on top of their regular clothing, there is something there for everyone!
24. Boundary Chair
The boundary chair is perfect for kids who have the wiggles and are always falling off their chair. It helps create awareness of your child’s own (and other’s) space and is lightweight for travel between home and school. Also great for home use during homework time.
Perfect for the child who is a picky eater or who has oral and sensory aversions, the LunchBlox will keep your child’s packed lunch fresh, separate, and organized so their food doesn’t touch.
What about YOU? What school supplies and tools does your special needs child use?