Back to school for kids with issues Part 1: Back to school essentials for kids with mental health/learning disabilities


As August fades into September, the back to school rush of sales and school supply lists pop up. Each year, teachers seem to add more supplies for what students will need in class. Yet, it is not the school’s responsibility or the teacher’s to request products to comfort the student. For the students who struggle with health or learning disabilities, the regular products on a supplies list may not be all the student needs.

In-class therapy

There is a place with a variety of inventions, toys and products developed as educational and therapeutic tools for those with autistic, special or behavioral needs. The Therapy Shoppe, is an online store dedicated to delivering quality products to those who need them. The Therapy Shoppe has held a strong emphasis for 20 years in, “Providing therapists, parents, teachers, and professionals with quality products.”

The website offers a variety of school supplies and toys for children with unique needs. Weighted vests, lap pads and blankets are unique tools designed to help the child remain still, focus and become more aware of their body. These products are only a few of the many that can help children, who have trouble remaining still, focus, listen well, retain information and accomplish work.

There is another product for students who have a problem with fidgeting in class and being unable to remain still. This “Foot-Fidget Band,” is an elastic band that is stretched between the desk legs to help, “Students keep their feet busy and stay more focused as they kick, push, or pull on the Foot Fidget Band.”

Normal is what you decide is normal

The products can greatly help a student with focus in and out of class, but probably won’t resolve the underlying issue of mental health or behavioral health. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has a series of videos about the struggles students and young adults with mental illness face.

Spreading an amazing message of hope for people who struggle with mental illness, the short videos in this series emphasize the need for support and understanding. More than just these products, actions such as reading, writing, dancing to music, playing with animals, painting or other activities of expression can improve confidence and calm of a child with an emotional, mental or physical issue. These products are not meant to alienate a student with mental or learning challenges, putting a target on their back, but solidify that normal is whatever is normal to the individual.

For a student struggling with a form of mental illness or emotional issues, products designed for the student will help them create a positive and beneficial learning environment. White River Academy provides treatment and care for troubled boys from ages 12 to 17. The academy follows a boarding school format, offering guidance through a disciplined education program and instilling character values through service projects to promote positive growth. For more information or to register, feel free to call 866-520-0905.

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