In many parts of the country, kids are already heading back to school. That means their parents are busy with back-to-school shopping. But finding accessible back-to-school supplies, clothing and shoes can be more challenging for children with disabilities. Here are some items to make back-to-school shopping fun, fashionable, accessible, and oh yeah – educational.
2. ADL Boards
One of the hardest parts of sending kids back to school is getting them up, dressed and out of the house. Our ADL Board helps them build the fine motor skills necessary to dress independently. There are boards that teach buttoning, zipping, snapping and lacing.
3. Slant Board
Kids with fine motor challenges will benefit from our slant board. It is ergonomically designed to encourage correct wrist position, posture, stability and good penmanship.
4. Weighted Handwriting Gloves
These gloves provide the proprioceptive input and compression, students need for legible handwriting and other fine motor tasks.
5. PenPalz Handwriting Helpers
Another tool to improve penmanship, PenPalz help students to find the proper writing position. Plus, their high cuteness quotient will make younger kids the envy of their classmates.
6. Adaptive School Uniforms
if your child attends a school where they are expected to wear uniforms, Lands End’s website could be your go to adaptive clothing spot. They offer adaptive shirts, pants, shorts and skirts specially designed for neurodivergent and physically disabled children.
7. Fashion-forward Adaptive Apparel
Kohls has been offering adapted versions of some of their children’s styles since 2019. “With features including abdominal access and sensory-friendly and wheelchair-friendly options, the new adaptive clothing is thoughtfully designed, making stylish, quality apparel accessible to all,” says a press release from the department store. And Kohls isn’t the only store that offers adaptive clothing for kids. Designers are getting on the band wagon all the time. Some of the best collections can be found at Tommy Hilfiger; Target, JC Penney and Patti and Ricky.com.
8. Myself Belts
Even if your child can get his shirt and pants on independently, he may not have the coordination to fasten his belt. Myself Belts close with Velcro, making it simple for children with fine motor challenges to get dressed.
9. Adaptive footwear
Nowadays, more and more shoe sellers are making adaptive shoes that are easy to get on and off. One fashionable choice is Nikes FlyEase shoes. FlyEase are laceless and have a zippered heal so that wearers can just slide their feet in, zip up and go. Other brands to consider are: Hatchbacks, which sells its “Elites” line of shoes designed to accommodate ankle foot orthotics (AFOs). Billy offers shoes and sneakers with universal design, which means they are appropriate for people of all abilities. According to Billy’s website, the company’s “goal was to combine fashion with function—dissolve the line between adaptive and non-adaptive—and create mainstream shoes for the masses, yet still preserve the functionality for those that need it, like Billy.”
10. Chew Necklaces
Some kids with sensory challenges focus better when they’re chewing. Gum has its drawbacks, mainly risk of swallowing, and isn’t usually allowed at school. Chew necklaces make it possible for children to receive oral stimulation while they learn. It’s easy to find all styles on Amazon.