Halloween Tips for Children with Sensory Processing Challenges

“Halloween can be very overwhelming for children with sensory processing challenges. With special planning for your child’s needs and preferences, Halloween can be enjoyable. This blog will provide tips and tools to use during the Halloween season.” – Tools to Grow

CLICK HERE: Halloween Tips for Children with Sensory Processing Challenges

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Lava Lamp Light (Visual Toy)

When my boys begged me for their own lava lamp lights for their room, I thought it would just be something novel. Instead, it has turned into their nightlight for when they’re falling asleep. They love watching the soothing ebb and flow of the “lava” as it rises and falls.

Lava Lamp Light

Lava Lamp Light

Ah, the lava lamp. One of the most beloved and recognizable icons from the 1960s and 1970s. Lava Lite resurrects the groovy gizmo, bringing it back to the forefront of trendy home decor. The iconic lamp’s shape stays true to the original’s geometric design, while its wax/ liquid color scheme bubbles its hypnotizing splendor behind the glass for a whole new generation. Furthermore, a steel base anchors the unit with a sturdy foundation, while a matching cap infuses it with a cool sense of symmetry and completion.

Powered with a standard electrical cord with inline switch and lit with a 25-watt incandescent bulb, the lamp’s soothing glow gently illuminates any study, den, office, or bedroom. Better yet, pair it with a disco ball and some hip records to drum up a downright dynamite party. A funky, radical gift for a family member or friend. Carries a 90-day limited warranty.

The original manufacturer of Lava Lamps, Lava Lite delights in satisfying the cravings of lava-lamp aficionados with a continual offering of new lamps–everything from glittered and patterned varieties to cool and quirky color schemes, color-phasing vortex styles, and more. Lava Lite’s selection of replacement bulbs, help keep each light operating in style and at peak capacity.

When you first start this Lava Lamp, give it 4-6 hours to run in a lava-y fashion. The Lava Lamp will start by forming “towery” wax pillars. This is normal and eventually it will start to flow, with blobs colliding and oozing around the glass globe.

To see all of the colors available and purchase a Lava Lamp Light, please use the following affiliate link:

Shipping is FREE with Amazon Prime or $35+ order. Sign up for a FREE 30-Day Amazon Prime Trial HERE. Along with FREE shipping you will get access to thousands of movies, tv shows and books for FREE!

More Sensory Visual Toys & Tools

Sensory Visual Toys & Tools | The Sensory Spectrum

Teaching Emotion Regulation Skills to Sensory Kids

Learning emotion regulation enables students to effectively manage intense feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, and distress. Like learning to walk, talk, and read, learning emotion regulation to successfully deal with distressful feelings follows a developmental progression.


Teaching Emotion Regulation Skills to Sensory Kids

Emotion regulation development proceeds to a greater ratio of adaptive compared with maladaptive strategies, from adult initiated to more independent, and to increasingly complex coping strategies. Emotion regulation difficulties can contribute to depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders that interfere with learning.

Positive Behavioral Support programs have been used in regular education by teachers to significantly enhance students emotion regulation, behavioral and social skills. Because emotion regulation is interrelated with language, cognitive, and social skills students with developmental challenges are particularly vulnerable to emotion regulation problems.

Teachers in conjunction with occupational, speech, physical and mental health therapists have begun successfully helping special education students develop effective emotion regulation and behavioral skills. Students with developmental challenges can be taught emotion regulation in regular education classes while given supplemental support from special education teachers and therapists.

A valuable tool for assessing and promoting emotion regulation in special needs students is the FABTriggerCopingForms. Assessment of emotion regulation can be done by asking students to choose 3 items from each page. On the first page the student selects the 3 environmental triggers that most often precede their misbehavior, while on the second page they choose the 3 body triggers that most often precede their misbehaviors. The environmental and body triggers provide warnings to the student and teacher of the trigger situations and body reactions that indicate the need for emotion regulation strategies.

On the third, fourth, and fifth page the student selects three coping strategies that best enable them to manage strong feelings with out getting in trouble. The coping strategies presented also provide opportunities for students to learn new movement, sensory processing, and mindfulness strategies that can help them manage their feelings of distress.

For visual learning of emotion regulation strategies students can draw and post pictures to distinguish appropriate feelings from inappropriate behaviors


identify their environmental triggers and body triggers



and identify their most effective coping strategies. As students explore their most successful coping strategies for managing distress, they can (using the Pagano FAB Trigger & Coping Forms) cut out, paste, and post their most effective coping strategies in the areas where their triggers most often occur (e.g., math or holiday time).



Similarly, for special education students with several teachers and therapists it is helpful to construct coping cards. Using an index card they list their goal, preferred character, and coping strategies so all their teachers and therapists know their goals and coping strategies.


Working together teachers and therapists can combine their expertise to help special education students develop their emotion regulation skills.  Positive Behavioral Support strategies have successfully helped regular and special education students improve their emotion regulation, behavior, and learning.


Simonsen, B., Britton, L. & Young, D. (2010).  School-wide positive behavior support in an alternative school setting.  Journal of Positive Behavioral Intervention, 12(3), 180-191.

Kovacs, M. & Lopez-Duran, N. (2012).  Contextual emotion regulation therapy: A developmentally-based intervention for pediatric depression.  Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America, 21(2), 327.

Riggs, N.R., Greenberg, M.T., Kusche, C.A., Pentz, M.A. (2006).  The mediational role of neurocognition in the behavioral outcomes of a social-emotional prevention program in elementary school students: Effects of the PATHS curriculum.   Prevention Science, 7(1), 91-102.

Suveg, C., Southam-Gerow, M. A., Goodman, K. L. & Kendall, P. C. (2007).  The role of emotion theory and research in child therapy development.  Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 14(4), 358-371.

Hands-On Activities for Children with Autism & Sensory Disorders

Hands-On Activities for Children with Autism & Sensory Disorders

Hands-On Activities for Children with Autism & Sensory Disorders

Innovative, practical and fun activities for children with autism and sensory disorders.

Following a step-by-step recipe format, Teresa Garland, MOT, OTR/L provides nearly 200 activities and interventions to help children with their sensory needs. This highly detailed, illustrated and accessible guide is a rich resource for any therapist, teacher or parent.

  • Crafts, recipes, music and exercises for the clinic, classroom or home
  • A multi-sensory enrichment program for children with autism
  • Gradual exposure activities for children who can’t tolerate sensory input
  • Sensory immersion activities to desensitize the child to touch, taste and sound

To purchase this book, please use the following affiliate link:

About the Author

Teresa Garland, MOT, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and author specializing in sensory and modulation issues. She has worked in schools, sensory clinics and medical settings with children and adults, treating sensory disorders, ADHD and autism. Ms. Garland works closely with other health professionals, teachers and doctors to understand and treat underlying sensory, timing, and coordination/motor planning issues as well as overlying socio/emotional behaviors in the symptoms of autism. She is trained/certified in the SIPT, Interactive Metronome®, Integrated Listening Systems (iLs), Therapeutic Listening, Wilbarger’s Sensory Defensiveness, the Natural Heart Approach, Mindfulness Training, and Food Chaining. Her book is titled Self-Regulation Interventions and Strategies: Keeping the Body, Mind and Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD or Sensory Disorders (affiliate).