Updated: Apr 26, 2021
ASD and ADHD can have some general indicators. From very early on in our lad's life we knew he wouldn't be comfortable without his comfort blanket. A soft plush or fleece blanket. It was a 'red flag' but for many children something they grow out of. As he got older (he's 9 at the time of writing) he still has the same blankets (Lord knows how many times they've been washed and quick dried). We actually had 5 of them for him, over the years it's down to 3 of the originals and the lost two have been replaced. But they have been his constant 'go to' for soothing and comfort.
As our knowledge improved regarding ASD and ADHD we realised that the blankets were only one tool. There are thousands available. Each child is different and changes/matures or progresses overtime.
As we looked around we found that most shops and supplies seemed to be from the UK or further afield. It took a while to find businesses in Ireland that cater for the Irish market of 'additional needs children and families'. Most of them have actually been set up by parents of children with some form of special or additional needs. Without these businesses and families, we'd be lost. I'd like to say thanks to all the parent's that have led the way in sourcing and finding soothers, fidgets and functional toys. Without them, Ireland would not be self reliant, in any sort of way.
These frustrated parents and families had experienced extreme difficulties in getting products that they knew would help their child. They decided that they'd help other parents and led the way in getting many of these products into Ireland.
Some of these businesses (not in any order or ranking of importance/relevance):
https://www.fuddyduddy.ie/ set up by parents of two ASD children, it's a purely on-line store with a base in Wexford.
https://www.sensationalkids.ie/ 4 centres around Ireland providing therapeutic supports for kids with additional needs as well as an on-line shop.
https://www.thinkingtoys.ie/ set up by parents of an additional needs child (adult now), been running for many years and they have also created the information resource website
www.cogsthebrainshop.ie as the name suggests, all the toys here are geared towards developing the brain, set up by brother, sister and cousin - games for dyslexia, ADHA and much more - as well as supplying the 'public' they also work with many schools.
https://www.toysandgames.ie/ set up and run by Suzie, she selects the toys specific, personally. Great easy to use filters when looking for toys or gifts.
https://acorneducational.ie/ an Irish stationery company, supplying schools that has created an opportunity for a range of products tailored to special/additional needs and parents.
https://jiminy.ie/ Some amazing products (toys, books and more) here, gathered together by Sharon - with a great recycled 'kinder to the environment' ethos.