For many children on the autistic spectrum, music is a source of enjoyment and comfort. The rhythmic patterns found in music, from strongly rhythmic to flexible and “loose”, can provide what an autistic child needs to help them to regulate their thoughts and brain processes.
As autism is a spectrum, autistic children adapt in different ways. Some may find it hard to navigate high-tech devices, such as an iPad or stereo system. The sensory information from screens can sometimes be too overwhelming so parents often try to limit screen-time for their kids .
Hailea Carter is a mom looking to find an alternative to screen time for her daughter Bella who is on the spectrum. She has been introduced to Jooki by her daughter’s therapist during a therapy session. When using Jooki in therapy, Bella was engaged and focused throughout the session. As a screen-free speaker, Jooki provides many developmental benefits for children , especially those on the autistic spectrum, contributing to greater concentration and a stronger connection between parents and children.
Like many children on the spectrum, Bella sometimes finds it hard to regulate her senses. Hailea says that Jooki helped Bella do this. “Bella can become sensory overloaded and requires assistance and tools to help regulate her. We have pre-loaded some of her favorite songs from preschool and ‘calming’ songs that she can play whenever she needs them. She then can be redirected with her favorite songs and can calm down and regulate herself using the songs available on the Jooki.”
Many parents like to implement a calm-down corner for their children when sensory information becomes too overwhelming. Bella frequently experiences sensory overload when routines change and in a room with many people or excess noise. To help her overcome this, Hailea creates a relaxing calm-down corner at home with Jooki - so Bella can play her favorite songs by placing the colorful tokens on Jooki when she feels like it.
Children with autism stim (i.e. repeat a movement or a sound) to help overcome overwhelming sensory information. Hailea goes on to describe how we generally don't have a hard time taking in sensory input, for example in the way our clothes feel on our skin, the smells around us, or the noise in a room. Yet, some children with autism may have difficulty receiving this overwhelming amount of input, which can cause them to have an over-sensitive reaction, or a meltdown to excess information.
“Some children may stim to help reduce the sensory overload and help them focus on one thing and block out the other inputs,” Hailea says. “Many times this looks like rocking back and forth or hand flapping. Some may head bang or repeatedly touch a certain texture or squeal. Bella has a few favorite songs loaded onto the tokens that she will play on repeat and ‘flap’ to if she’s feeling overly happy or regulating from sensory overload. It definitely helps her mood if she’s having a rough time and needs to calm down and regulate.”
Although Jooki was not designed specifically as a therapeutic tool for children on the spectrum, we love to hear from parents like Hailea who are so happy with the impact Jooki has on children like Bella. Jooki is a great way to create educational fun for your children, whether or not they’re on the spectrum.
You can keep up to date with Bella and her family at @simplythecarters on Instagram.
P.S. Check out our website for Jooki bundles to start facilitating those happy family moments now.
Learn more about how Jooki follows the Montessori principles and how you can apply them too by signing up for our newsletter .