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International Autism Acceptance Week 2023: Sensory tools to help improve concentration

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Featured image: Isobel Bates

World Autism Acceptance Week takes place Monday 27 March to Sunday 2 April. To celebrate, Isabel Bates rounds up a series of sensory tools which could help with concentration.

Having been diagnosed with Autism at an early age, it has become part of my identity. However, I am not defined by my autism. The early intervention I received means I know what to do if I am feeling burnt out or fidgety.

Following ADHD/Autism influencers such as Ellie Middleton has also helped me discover new phrases such as ‘dopamine dressing‘ and ‘the Autism paradox‘, which has enabled me to further understand my behaviours.

So, what is Autism? Autism is a developmental disability which causes differences in the brain. While there are certain autism characteristics such as social communication and repetitive behaviours recognised within the disability, everyone’s autism is unique to them. Some people have sensory issues and others can experience lapses in concentration.

I have found my own strategies to help me through my student life and I’m sharing a short list of sensory tools which could help you too with concentration.

Tangle Creations

Suitable for any sensory needs, Tangle Creations are great for fidgeting and reducing anxiety. I use mine during presentations or lectures to help me focus my mind on what I want to discuss. They come in a range of different colours so there’s plenty of choice for everyone.

Spinner Rings

This latest sensory tool has become a growing trend on TikTok and come in a large choice of patterns and designs. Spinner Rings can help you redirect and focus your mind when your thoughts are racing. They typically feature a band in the middle which can be pushed around allowing it to spin around your finger and they are small and discreet, which is perfect for those who might not be as open as me about their autism identity.

Button Fidget Cubes

Fidget cubes can offer different types of sensory components such as a joystick, push buttons and multiple gears. They are great for people who experience lapses in concentration as the different components adds a variety of textures to fidget with.

Sensory Rings

Rubber spiked rings are perfect for keeping your hands busy and can help reduce anxiety and stress. While similar to Tangle Creations, these offer more texture as they have a rubber feel to them and feature small spikes.

These are just some of the available sensory tool for adults on the spectrum so I’d recommend having a look around and seeing what’s right for you and your individual needs.

About the author / 

Isobel Bates

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