6 therapeutic tools ease back-to-school jitters for students with mental illness

6 therapeutic tools ease back-to-school jitters for students with mental illness

For adolescents with a mental health disorder, going back to school in the fall can be an anxiety-inducing experience. Thankfully, the Therapy Shoppe has come to the rescue.

The Therapy Shoppe is an online store that provides parents, therapists, children and adolescents with hundreds of products specifically designed to foster comfort and concentration. The tools provided at this store can help students pay attention in the classroom, efficiently finish homework and calm down after a rough day. All products have been carefully selected by experienced pediatric occupational therapists.

Here are some tools that can help adolescents weather the upcoming school year:


Recent research has found that children with ADHD actually perform better at cognitive tasks when they fidget than when they’re forced to remain still. Fidgets are small, colorful objects with interesting textures that are designed for individuals to absentmindedly manipulate. Fidgets come in all shapes and sizes – some fidgets are subtle and can be easily hidden in the palm of the hand, whereas others are larger and more conspicuous. The Therapy Shoppe has an entire section dedicated to fidgets so that each person can find the fidget that works best for them.

Visual timers

The Therapy Shoppe also offers individuals a wide variety of visual timers. For individuals with mental illness, it can be easy to lose track of time or get distracted during a task. Visual timers provide adolescents with a measurement for how much time has elapsed during an activity, which helps them complete tasks and work toward a concrete goal. Research has found that visual timers help individuals move on from one task to the next, especially for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Visual schedules

Mental illness during the school year can be overwhelming – sometimes adolescents forget to complete assignments or lose track of their exam schedule because they’re too busy struggling with their illness. Like visual timers, visual schedules provide students with concrete goals that can help them complete tasks on time.

Ball chairs

Like fidgets, ball chairs encourage fidgeting and squirming to improve concentration. Research has found that individuals with ADHD who used a ball chair demonstrated increased handwriting legibility and improved classroom behavior. Unlike fidgets, ball seats work better at home, since students are typically not allowed to bring their own chairs into the classroom. Ball chairs can be an excellent homework tool for students who have difficulties concentrating.

Reading guides

Reading guides – for instance, Bookmark Size Reading Guides and Blue Trakkers – help students focus on one line at a time while reading. These handy tools can keep adolescents from losing their place or skipping around in long, complex reading materials.

Earplugs and noise reduction earmuffs

Students with mental illness sometimes need to take a break from the outside world. The Therapy Shoppe sells a wide variety of noise reduction earmuffs and ear plugs that can help adolescents concentrate or simply escape from the stressful environment around them. Noise reduction ear muffs and earplugs are also valuable tools for students with sensory processing difficulties.

White River Academy provides students with therapeutic resources designed to help them flourish, not only during the school year, but also for the rest of their lives. For more information, please call 866-520-0905.

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