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Do you use sensory toys to manage stress levels?

Mr Allen

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member

It was suggested at a meeting I attended at Autism Plus last week that I bought some sensory toys to reduce my stress levels and help with anger management, so I bought some from The Entertainer, a toy shop in Meadowhall, only cost 3 quid and they're great, really helpful.

So anyway, does anyone else use anything similar?
My son, recently told he's on the spectrum, absolutely loves anything with flashing lights! He has a light up fidget spinner. He loves flash lights of all kinds. Myself, flashing lights bother me, and especially shining a flashlight in my eyes. (I guess no one likes that anyway, but he just doesn't seem to learn not to do that. =( )
I flip things, like spin them in the air and catch them. Usually a lighter. The sound of the spinners drives me up the wall.
I always carry a Leatherman tool with me. I use it as a tool a lot, but when I am not busy, I fiddle with it a lot. I fold and unfold it a lot. It makes a slight mechanical noise that I find comforting. I like that is well built and operates smoothly.
I have a few. I like the purple ones because they feel soft (I can't abide anything that feels hard or pointy), the tangles are brilliant for idly playing with while watching TV. The keyring has coloured oil that moves from top to bottom that I like to watch and there's a fidget cube too. The pink one is a chew to try to stop me chewing the insides of my mouth (hasn't worked so far.)

I do the same thing with mine. I can fiddle with it hours on end.

I always carry a Leatherman tool with me. I use it as a tool a lot, but when I am not busy, I fiddle with it a lot. I fold and unfold it a lot. It makes a slight mechanical noise that I find comforting. I like that is well built and operates smoothly.
Tangles (the ones with the rubbery coating and the plain ones) -- I mostly pull them apart and click them together. I do it so much that I eventually break all the pieces.

I also like beads on string, and things you can chew on.

Also squishy foam things, and anything with clicky or spinny bits.

Lava lamps are quite relaxing for me as well, but not really a sensory toy, per se.
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A small, smooth stone that I glide between my thumb and fingers.
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Straws - I fold them, fidget with them, make geometric shapes out of them. It keeps me from picking at and/or breaking other things.
I used to have a scented squishy ball that I liked playing with. But its the type of thing you cant really take out. I now use a beaded elastic band that my daughter made for me. It provides a lot of different sensations. I can play with an individual bead, or rub my fingers along several of them. I can also pull it and spin it around my wrist. The beads are coloured and not in any specific order, but I like to try to pick patterns out, or mentally rearrange them. I broke it the other day and it was a bit of a panic for me. But its fixed now and it feels back to normal.
No really... I usually just fidget with something I find around me when I'm stressed, such as my keys, my hair or the sleeve of my jacket, sometimes a soft plushy I have on my desk or a smooth stone or some worry beads. I do fidget quite a bit, though!
  • Disney Tsum Tsums, both the plush and vinyl ones. Dory is my favorite one. :blush: I also love the "fuzzy" (flocked) vinyl Tsums that were available for a limited time at Walmart - they have the same texture as Calico Critters.
  • Tangle toys - my current favorites are a textured Tangle Jr and a Tangle Relax Therapy.
  • A red jasper worry stone and a rhodonite heart.
  • A small assortment of non-plush/plastic toys - a die cast car, some Safari LTD animal figures, a Calico Critters cat, and a small toy of Peridot from Steven Universe.
  • A "game controller" - shaped fidget pad
  • Small stuffed animals, bean bag plush
  • Earmuffs/noise-cancelling headphones
  • Hair scrunchies that I wear on my wrist b/c I find that pressure comforting.
I don't have any stim toys specifically, but it seems that I'm constantly fiddling with any objects that happen to be near me. So maybe I should have stim toys.
I have stim toys. These days they are explicitly used as stim toys, including a number of them that my wife made for me using strands and beads and that I use frequently while working, walking or even relaxing at home. Others are perhaps not originally for stimming, but I use for that purpose, such as my wedding ring, which is 3 interlocked gold bands which roll smoothly over each other very satisfyingly.

It also appears that I use my keyboard as a stim toy - when I get stressed, I tend to write very dense emails at speed!

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