1. Parenting

Readers Respond: If You Could Invent a Special-Needs Tool, What Would It Be?

Responses: 10


Our world is full of technological wonders, but when it gets down to everyday life with a child with special-needs, we're often still operating by our wits and our grit. I've shared ten labor-saving, stress-cutting, anxiety-eliminating devices I'd like to see to make our days a little easier. What would you add to this list? Brainstorm here.

Non-judgement glasses

I would invent something that would allow everyone to see our kids as kids first and not make judgements about our kids that "make scenes" or "look different". It would also help them to see the possibilities in our children, not the disabilities.
—Guest Christine

Auto Swing mechanism

I would invent a easy to stall mechanism that would be able to be on a timer and swing an adult with disabilities in their accessible swing.
—Guest Elaine Scherer


I would put together a self-feeding machine. It would remind a child to pick up a spoon and take a taste, chew and swallow. The machine would adjust textures and size of a serving. It would encourage the child to hold a spoon and offer fade-out assistance.
—Guest Renee

Full Matress Sheets

This one is easy. At Bed Bath and Beyond they have these long "garters" that attach to the sheets under the mattress and keep them on even through a rough toss and turn night (I have hip arthritis). I know it would work for your speed rocking son as well.
—Guest Kathryn Oden

public dome

I need to invent (yesterday), a sound proof dome to instantly surround my big 5 yr old son. The pet food isle, the pasta aisle, or the check out line, in any store when he lets out his famous "NO!", repeatedly, that brings dept. managers running (like they can help fix the problem). A smaller van dome and dinner table dome would be also included in the deal. If this just fails to work and is withdrawn off the market as a failure, I then need to quickly invent 'snap-on gum'. Gum delivered to my dear son's mouth with the snap of fingers. Timing, with him, is exactly like Location in real estate!

Thumb outernater

in my classroom, I often have more luck in giving appropriate actions with thumbs - set him up, take a photo and then show him the photo with enthusiasm and expectation that compliance will be met. (sometimes it's a motor planning issue or could be sensory) Another idea, try something to give a tight feeling on his thumb similar to a compression vest but one just for his thumb - ? tight fitting glove with just the thumb part cut out or one of those thumb ace supports for short periods at a time (15-20') after you see the thumb sucking then remove and see if times decrease
—Guest pre teach

Acceptance is the best Medicine

Believing that whatever we have received is what we actually deserve, is the best way to stay calm and going :-)
—Guest angel

Meltdown o meter and more

I would like to have a meltdown o meter that tells me what is causing this meltdown so I can intervene and take away the cause! Some one I know wants a lie detector that flashes the truth followed by the appropriate law to take to IEP meetings...
—Guest ireneswval

Thumb Outernater

James is twelve years old and still sucks his thumb -- CONSTANTLY! I don't know what to do ... a mitten or taping his fingers together was suggested -- hhhmmm -- didn't work.
—Guest caoline pardee


My son is non-verbal and a lot of his communicating at 2 is done through grunts and whines and raising of eyebrows. I would like a nifty little contraption that you could attach to his head that would share his true thoughts so that we could better meet his needs ... or do I?
—Guest Jennifer

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