Sensory Friendly Items

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This month, I’d like to talk about a few items that I use frequently or even daily. The things I will talk about reduce sensory stimuli or enable me to adjust on the fly to make circumstances a bit easier. By no means is this an endorsement of the products listed. And products that I like you may not. That’s quite alright. So let’s get started.

The first thing on my list deals with sponges. I always loathed doing dishes. I hated brushing food off of a plate, and I didn’t enjoy the feeling of the sponge that I would have to use to clean them with, then while watching a show called Sharktank, a product called Scrub Daddy sponges was pitched. They were said to be better than a standard sponge, less odor, a bristly side that was safe on cast iron and quick drying. One day I decided to pick up a pack of them, and I haven’t used another type of sponge since.

The touch of the sponge isn’t gross, which makes cleaning up after dinner very manageable. It’s all-purpose, so you aren’t reaching for other cleaning instruments. Quickly drys, so the sponge never feels mushy, that also helps reduce the smell, because you can squeeze all of the excess moisture out. Sponges aren’t my enemy any more thanks to Scrub Daddy.

While we’re still on the topic of cleaning, I always carry either hand sanitizer or a small pump of personal handwash (usually dial original scent). Nothing is worse than needing to wash your hands, and the soap in a bathroom or kitchen is not a smell you can handle. Clean hands are obviously vital, especially considering this flu season. So, soap is always in the small bag I carry with me.

Moving on to a different item, I’ll mention lotion. I have dry skin, especially in the winter. So, I need a good moisturizer. I always reach for Jergen’s Ultra Healing Moisturizer, because it has a relatively soft non-fruit smelling scent and lasts all day. Comparable generics don’t match up scent-wise. I’m still hesitant to try a new lotion because of different perfume additives, or even so-called scentless creams that have an intrusive smell to them. So Jergen’s works for me.

Finally, I usually have Bluetooth wireless headphones with me. No wires, of course, so I don’t have to concern myself with irritation of them touching my skin. Free range of motion is also a great utility because I wear them while doing light exercise. I also enjoy that many of the current headphones are noise canceling. And I’ve even used them in conjunction with sound machine apps, if I’m having a hard time sleeping.

There are a ton of other things that I use, but I wanted to make this list short and to the point. Please feel free to let me know about the products others on the spectrum use or if you have used anything listed above!


Ziggy is a Certified Peer Specialist in PA and currently resides in Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Let’s Act committee, a group of peers devoted to raising awareness about mental health care. In his downtime, he enjoys reading novels and watching nature documentaries.

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