May We Help was fortunate enough to participate in the 2017 Autism Expo to help kick off Autism Awareness month. The event was a huge success! We brought along our Sensory Chair designed by Senior Volunteer Bob Woolf. The sensory chair was designed to support the sensory needs of children with Autism and other sensory processing disorders. The chair provides an enclosed space, slight deep pressure, rocking motion, and screen to block out visual stimuli. These components help to regulate the sensory systems which are often overstimulated in persons with Autism.
Throughout the Expo over 50 children gave the chair a try. It was amazing to watch their reactions. For most you could see an instant calm, others a look of pure joy! Most kids did not want to get out and at times we had a line! The creation of this chair is really something special! Here is what parents had to say about the sensory chair;
“Bradley has meltdowns due to his developmental and speech delays. A sensory chair would be great to help him calm down without the possibility of him hurting himself or others around him. His meltdowns can get so bad to where he will hit others or himself. It can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes to get him to calm down and normally I have to hold him to get him to calm down. When he sat in the calming chair that was at the convention he instantly calmed down and was a happy kid again. When he was beginning to have a meltdown towards the end he kept pointing to where the chair was in the building wanting to go sit in it.”
“A sensory chair would help my sons need for a “small space. He has sensory overload and is not able to regulate his behavior accordingly.”
“Friends who went to the autism expo last year told us about the sensory chair. We went this year and Harry loved the chair. He did not want to get out. This will help with his Anxiety (often anger, frustration results) and repetitive behavior.”
“Our daughter with Autism, is a sensory seeker. She can become aggressive and swinging and rocking are the only ways that seem to calm her. As she is getting bigger (165 pounds), it’s increasingly becoming more difficult to find ways to give her the input she seeks. My hope is that the chair will provide her with the input she needs to calm herself. I am looking to have one created for home but would like to pay to have one created for school as well. When she tried out the chair, I could see her relax while in it. Amazing what you have created for these kids!!”.
“Julian craves weight and compression. He has younger brother and sister and he would like a space that is just his. We saw the Sensory Chair at the expo and he was very excited about it and immediately climbed into it with his weighted blanket. Having one of these would satisfy that need for compression along with having a place he could enclose himself that his siblings wouldn’t bother him. They would know if he’s in that chair that it is time to leave Julian alone because he is getting overwhelmed.”
“My nine-year-old son has ASD, ADHD and Sensory Processing disorder he is constantly in motion. He likes to sit and rock or hide under things as a “calming place”. He will sit and rock while he watches TV, his IPad or while playing with his blocks. He struggles on a daily basis to try and rock on the couch; he is constantly in need of the rocking motion. We have found out that the sensory disorder can really control his day, if he is able to get that sensory piece under order he has a pretty good day. His therapists take sensory breaks in all his therapy sessions. This is one of the things we struggle with at home and the chair would really help him not only in the motion piece but also with his seclusion.”