Introducing the Twiddle®Nathan – The Perfect Gift For Children with Autism!

<If you’re searching for the perfect gift for a child with Autism, ADHD, or Sensory Processing Difficulties, check out the Twiddle®Nathan. This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links for your convenience.>

Woohoo! Another amazing find!

You know when you are looking for the perfect gift and you just don’t know what to get?

It’s the worst.

So here’s what happened to me recently:  I’d been working for over a year with a family with a young boy diagnosed with Autism.

Then, they told me they were moving.   I had grown very attached to this sweet, loving family and their bright-eyed seven-year-old son, Gary, who had difficulties with attention and sensory processing.  He had achieved so much in the past year. We just “connected”.

So I wanted to find a little “good luck and goodbye” gift for Gary.  But it had to be something he would really like.  Something he would willingly play with, and not stim on.   This would be tough.


First of all, Gary’s preferred downtime activity was the ipad or the TV.  He would repetitively tap and hit the screen, jumping, making noises and getting excited when his favorite visual stim would occur (due to his tapping).

As an OT, I feel strongly that kids need toys that stimulate them, not that they “stim on”.  Of course, it’s hard to get kids to stop stimming- I’m not in lalaland.

BUT – if I’m providing the toy, I prefer it to be educational or developmental in some way.  I can’t help it.  I’ve got to try.

So, after dismissing a million of my favorite toys, I decided on the PERFECT gift for Gary.

The Twiddle®NathaN

the perfect gift for a child with Autism(I recently discovered Twiddles and wrote another post about them. Twiddles are soft, therapeutic activity/comfort aids that assist caregivers and professionals specializing in children with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, developmental disabilities, and more. )

the perfect gift for a child with Autism

But the TwiddleNathan is a different, more recent version.  It’s lightly weighted and features high-grade fidgets attached with ribbon loops that snap.  This enables you to switch around and substitute fidgets to keep it fresh or to include a skill that you’ve been working on.

I watched Gary take the TwiddleNathan from the gift bag with apprehension in my heart.  I didn’t want it to be just another toy that he tossed aside and dismissed.  He immediately began to touch and play with the zippered pouch.   I felt nervous.  Will he stay engaged?  Was that it? Just a few minutes of manipulation?

Nope! This was the perfect gift for a child with Autism

Next,  I showed him how he could stick his hand through the middle to play with the sensory ball hidden inside.  That was it.  He tore it from my hands and stuck his left arm through like it was a sleeve.  He played with the crinkle pouch with his other hand and then slid it off his arm. My heart sunk into my stomach.  Was he done with it?

the perfect gift for a child with Autism

But what he did next made me and Grandma burst out laughing.

You see, we’d been working on self-care skills.  Specifically, learning how to put our own socks on.  First, he put rubber bands around my foot. Then, he put them around his foot.  Soon, he was putting his own sock on.

So, I almost fell over when Gary stuck his foot through the Twiddle and pulled it up like a pant leg!  He loved it. He kept it on his leg for a while longer, playing with the fidgets, and trying to open the snaps.  That was another thing we’d been working on.  Then he took it off and tried out the Chewy.  The Chewy is a satisfying silicone “key” with textured knubs on one end. It’s perfect for sensory kids who love to put things in their mouths.

The perfect gift for a child with Autism or ADHD

I was thrilled to find an engaging, appropriate toy that encouraged Gary to functionally play and use his hands.  I can tell that it’s going to get a LOT of use- good thing it’s so durable. It’s machine washable, too!

*Another amazing factor in my decision to give the TwiddleNathan is that the company pledges to donate 50 cents of every Twiddle sold to the Autism Society of America.  How AWESOME is that?!

More about Standard Twiddles:

  • Includes a variety of removable and interchangeable gadgets such textured ribbons, wooden beads on a loop, a crackly pouch, and a Velcro® pull tab.
  • Machine washable and dryable- just detach the gadgets first
  • Flexibility – switch the gadgets around to keep it fresh, or substitute your child’s preferred gadgets for the interior orbit ball
  • Includes a pocket for “favorite items” or necessities such as tissues
  • Endorsed by “”  and IBCCES  as a Certified Autism Resource
  • Safety-tested by to meet U.S. and European standards
Twiddle® Sensory Toy Twiddle Sensory Toy


Throughout the rest of my last session with Gary, he continually looked for and reached for the Twiddle Nathan. I actually had to “hide it” so we could finish working on our goals for the session.

I have to say, I was impressed with how engaged he was.  He genuinely liked it and enjoyed playing with it.  Finding the perfect gift for a child with Autism can be tough, but this was it!   It was really hard to say goodbye to this sweet adorable little boy and his family.  I’m hoping the Twiddle will help him remember me, too.  Goodbyes stink.


Check Out The Rest of The Twiddle Line:

Don’t Forget To Read These!

the perfect gift for a child with Autism the perfect gift for a child with Autism the perfect gift for a child with Autism
the perfect gift for a child with Autism the perfect gift for a child with Autism the perfect gift for a child with Autism



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The Must-Have Sensory Processing Resource

<A powerful sensory processing resource can change your life>

This post contains affiliate links.

Click to learn more about the minicourse “Unlocking Sensory Secrets”

Do you remember when you first started using Pinterest?  Really using it on a daily basis?

I do.

Discovering  Pinterest literally changed my life. All of a sudden I was:

  • A cook with tons of healthy and fresh recipes
  • A DIY ninja who could change my own electric outlets (Yes, I did that!)
  • A budget-diva who could wear thirty different outfits using only ten pieces of clothing that were already in my closet   

Not to mention the TONS of awesome OT activities and hacks I discovered, pinned, and started to use every day as an OT.

A resource like that is worth a million bucks.  

I FOUND ANOTHER ONE… A Sensory Processing Resource.

sensory processing resource

Yep, it’s true. As good as Pinterest.  This will make you a more understanding parent. And a more empathetic therapist. And an adult who generally has awesome ways of helping their kids with Sensory Processing issues.  Which, BTW, is also worth a million bucks.

Continue reading

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Twiddles Sensory Toy

How to Improve Self-Regulation With The Twiddle® Sensory Toy

<The Twiddle® Sensory Toy is the answer you’ve been looking for!  >


I’m so excited to write about a new product I found called the Twiddle®.  This is a sponsored post, which means I was compensated to write about the product.  I only endorse products that I use personally in my practice, and the Twiddle® Sensory Toy is a new favorite.

Twiddles are soft, therapeutic activity/comfort aids that assist caregivers and professionals specializing in children with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, developmental disabilities, and more.

This post contains affiliate links.

Twiddle® Sensory Toy

What is a Twiddle® Sensory Toy and what is it for?

The Twiddle intrigued me when I first saw it – what an awesome idea!  It’s a comforting, engaging tool that looks like a toy or a stuffed animal but functions as a sensory aid to keep a child’s hands busy and mind focused.

It has gadgets on the outside and a soft flexible plastic orbit ball on the inside; perfect for active hands that like to squeeze, pull, and play!

Continue reading

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How to Motivate Your Child With Autism – 5 OT secrets

Autism Spectrum Disorder

5 Ways to Understand what Motivates a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Today we have a guest post from Occupational Therapist Hope Caracci.  Hope specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Sensory Processing Dysfunction.  She is a well-known speaker who often presents on the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorder. (See below for more information on her next conference in November).


Are you having difficulty motivating your clients or your child to participate in learning activities?

Learning a new skill requires the internal drive to do so.  Unfortunately, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often lack intrinsic motivation.

As an experienced OT who has presented and written extensively about Autism Spectrum Disorder, I have some secrets to share!

These are my 5 tried and true techniques to identify what is interesting and meaningful to a child with ASD.  

They really work, and can help you to improve the child’s participation significantly!

Continue reading

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express emotions

One genius way to teach your child how to express emotions

Have you ever seen a kid burst out crying for no reason? I know I have. The thing is, there is always a reason. Whether it’s because they are scared, tired, disappointed, or anything else, there is ALWAYS a reason.

No matter how silly it may seem to us, something is bothering them and it’s important enough to cause a physical effect for that child.

In my opinion, it’s the WORST when a child can’t tell you how they are feeling. Many times this is because they simply don’t know. Children rarely spend time learning about emotions and feelings.  There are children’s books and stories that may help. But most kids  learn by picking up simple social cues and digesting the actions of their parents and peers.

For some kids, that’s just not enough. Some kids need practice with figuring out how they feel and what that means.

express emotions

You know how horrible it is when you are terribly embarrassed? When you feel mortified and want to crawl under a table? Now imagine if you couldn’t understand why you even felt that way – uggh. Continue reading

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