This is my almost 30 year old step daughter, she has multiple special needs and physical difficulties. She does not communicate verbally or with PECS (Picture Exchange). She does not respond well to hand over hand activities, anything and everything will be put in her mouth, sand gets rubbed in her eyes, paint would be smeared around, play dough eaten and water trays would be emptied all over her and she really does not cooperate with a clean up process.
She needs 24/7 supervision and full support to do everything. Dressing, feeding, going to bed, getting up, toileting, finances etc.
She lives in a care home with one other woman and full time care staff, she attends physio, horse riding, swimming. Has visits from the Occupational Therapist, has trips into town for cake and lunch, enjoys visits to the supermarket, walks and trips out in the car.
A full and busy life, but there is lots of time when she is in her home, she has access to a sensory room, but due to their being a ridge to access and another service user and often only 1 staff member she rarely uses it and if the staff member is in the kitchen managing paper work or cooking she will stand and watch, but once they have to do something else, she wanders back to her room, where she favours and just sits for hours on her bed.
The staff are unable to restrict access to her room, they're also unable to encourage/make her stay in the sensory room. They are also unable to lift her off the floor or move her manually into another room.
She receives a lot of 1:1 time and care, but does not entertain herself, she will follow you from room to room and if you're busy will just wander off back to her room, she doesn't seek out activities or toys, you have to keep her supplied with items that light up, make a noise and have a sensory feel to them. They have to be indestructible, sturdy, but not too sturdy that they won't hurt you when after she's put it in her mouth she throws them across the room.
She doesn't stack things, sort things, work out that if she pushes a button, there's a reaction, she just shakes it, tastes it and lobs it.
This makes it difficult to find things that she can entertain herself with. She has access to a ball pool, a water filled floor mattress, there are fibre optics in the room and cushions and soft toys. I introduced a CD player to the room on the weekend and suggested furniture was moved and that the staff member did their paperwork in the room to encourage her and the other service user to stay in the room, which they did.
I then went out shopping for some new toys. I was faced with a limited selection. I tried several shops, too many toys were unsuitable, small parts, too sturdy and likely to cause others damage, too many small parts that could be swallowed, too flimsy and could be ripped apart.
I usually end up buying her baby rattles and musical instruments, but they're made from plastic or wood and after being biffed several times, which really hurts, I'm always on the look out for alternatives.
It would be nice to buy toys for her that were a bit more age appropriate, toys that weren't manufactured for babies or had peppa pig or paw patrol on them, regardless of the fact that doesn't register with her anyway.
This is what I've come up with so far from Asda, The Range and The Works. Total spent £18. I'm still looking out for some stretchy toys, handheld stress balls, solid enough not to hurt anyone, but not too soft to be bitten into and more toys that light up or make a noise when shaken, so if you know where I can get these from, please let me know.