www.StarTraining.org
Newsletter
July 2015
AT for Dealing with Stress, Anxiety, and Disability
 
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Resource for Stress 

 

Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes 

  

Source:

HelpGuide.Org 

Stress AT: Useful tools to keep you refocused and calm









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Stress and Disability

 

Stressful events can be especially difficult for individuals with disabilities.  The symptoms of stress are not only cognitive but also physical, so it is important to learn to control and manage stress. 

 

The great news is technology is here to help! With the invention of smartphones, tablets, and other portable media devices, the internet and millions of apps at our disposal. 

 

There are also many low-tech devices for individuals who need additional sensory input to ease alleviate stress.

 

So how does stress relief technology work? There is no cure-all for stress, but there are applications, objects, and reminders you can utilize to help YOU manage and cope with the stressors you encounter. 

 

What types of assistive technology help you deal with stress? Share your AT-related Stress & Disability tips by email  and on Twitter  @UCPHUNTSVILLE.ORG_TASC.

 

Focus on Fidgets

Focusing in the classroom can be difficult for students with autism spectrum disorders or ADHD . When sensory or activity needs are not met, stressful outbreaks can occur. 

Fidgets objects, Chewable Jewelry, are great tools to help students meet their sensory needs. Others may try Weighted Lap Pads to feel more pressure and relax.  Fidgeting Foot Bands  keep legs busy so the student can get satisfy motor needs without distracting the class. 

Many tests hav e proven that movement actually helps students learn as opposed to causing distractions.  SpecialNeedsResource.org  has a great short article on fidgets and how they can actually help in classrooms. 

Fidget toys do not have to be expensive and, in fact, you can make them from your very own home!  TherapyFocus.org has provided a PDF document " 45 ideas for classroom friendly fidget toys" that gives some great ideas for homemade fidgets. 


PTSD and Stress 

Individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may need extra assistance to control and manage stress.  

There are many stress relieving technologies to help individuals with PTSD positively manage their stress. While PTSD does not just occur in veterans, many technologies are supported by the Veterans Administration. For example, the  "PTSD Coach" app provides information about professional care, knowledge about PTSD, a self-assessment, ways to find support, and management tools that include self-help strategies. 

There are also specialized service dogs that bring individuals with PTSD out of flashbacks and back into the present.  The  Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation d eveloped a very moving 35-second about these amazing animals. Visit Service Dogs of Alabama for more information on veteran service dogs.

Future of Stress Relief

The invention of wearables like fitbit enable us to track our sleep and motion, which motivates us to work at getting the recommended amount of exercise and sleep. Movement during the day and a peaceful sleep can lead us to leading a less stressful life. 

Wearables such as Spire  that track your breathing alert you when you need to take a break to ease your heart rate when you are tense. 

The  Embrace  watch is a developing technology that will not only track our stress levels but can also save lives by warning those with epileptic seizures before they even occur through the chemical and electrical signals in their skin and sweat.

There are also special lights for sleep transition. Sleep is very important in regulating our stress. It allows us to reset and relax. How we transition into REM or deep sleep is very important to the quality of sleep we receive.  Drift Light is a light that mimics sunset and allows for a smoother sleep transition. These lights allow for a more natural transition into darkness (great for children afraid of the dark) as opposed to the bright lights from our phone screens or the bright vanity lights in our bathrooms. 

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