We are a large special needs family and we use a lot of products!
Some of the products we currently use are designed especially for people with special needs in mind while others, ones that I still consider special needs products, were not.
Because these products have enriched my daughter’s life, I want to share them here with you in the hopes that they may improve life for you or your loved one with special needs, too!
Some products we’ve owned were useful in their day but are no longer needed or wanted, but others have stood the test of time!
Some of those products, Bethany has just never stopped needing or loving.
Below are 6 products that have stood the test of time for Bethany.
She has either needed or loved using these items since she was little girl and now at almost 18, she still enjoys using them or needs them today!
I consider the following items to be essential special needs products for Bethany.
Audible Time Timer. We could not survive without our Time Timer. I know this to be true because the one we had for nearly ten years just broke a few months ago. I thought we might be able to function without it, But I was mistaken! It’s evident that we could still benefit from having one, so I’ve just placed my order for a new one! Using this product has been extremely helpful in motivating Bethany to cooperate with getting ready on time to go to her appointments and classes! This timer helps her see the passage of time and helps with the transition from one activity to the next. We just move the red disc counterclockwise to the desired amount of time we want to allow her until she needs to make a change! The red gradually disappears as time elapses. This helps her understand the difficult and abstract concept of time passing!
Dominoes. We’ve had our set of Double Nine Dominoes for years! We could not get along without it! Dominoes has been Bethany’s favorite game since she was just a toddler! She still plays several rounds with Dad every single night ! At first, when she was younger she played by matching up the colored dots. But over the years, as she got older she learned to count the dots. We’ve even used dominoes to teach her addition. There are also dominoes available that teach all kinds of concepts, including, Time Dominoes and Fraction Dominoes! Dominoes are a great math teaching tool for unschoolers!
Bingo Games Bethany loves bingo games, so we’ve collected quite a few different types over the years. Bingo is great for teaching all kinds of things, including addition and subtraction, sight words, multiplication and division, fractions, decimals, and percents, and even social skills and stress management! We even had a USA Bingo game! If you are an unschooling or homeschooling family, you simply cannot go wrong playing educational bingo games!
Mini DVD Player. Bethany has had a mini DVD player since forever! We’ve taken one along with us on every trip to Ronald McDonald House, hospital stay, and long car ride. She also uses it at home instead of watching movies on a big TV. We actually got rid of our big TV years ago when Bethany began having terrible insomnia. She was watching Barney very late into the night and wanted the volume loud! No one could get any sleep! Giving Bethany her own mini DVD player with headphones has been a life saver for everyone in our family!
Head Phones. As I mentioned above head phones or ear buds have helped this family get more sleep and stopped us from going crazy listening to Barney songs over and over into the wee hours of the morning!
iPad. Bethany loves her iPad and uses it extensively every single day of her life! She watches Netflix and YouTube on it and she loves playing its many matching games and jigsaw puzzles! We make use of the many educational apps available as the backbone of her educational program. There are even apps for setting up visual schedules and communication devices, if that’s something you might need! If I was permitted to pick just one item for Bethany to have, it would be an iPad. May Steve Jobs rest in peace!
Other products we’ve found useful but no longer need are:
I’m sharing at the:
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