11 Best Tools for Teaching Self Care to Disabled Kids

Little girl with special needs drinking from a straw.

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When it comes to self-care, everyone has different needs and preferences. For children with disabilities, adaptive tools can be essential for learning how to master various daily living skills, from grooming and hygiene to eating meals.

The good news is that a growing number of adaptive tools are available on the market designed to meet the needs of a wide range of users. When searching for adaptive tools, it is important to find tools that are designed to fit your child’s size and are durable and easy to clean. 

Also, keep in mind that not all adaptive self-care tools need to be purchased. Sometimes simple adaptations like adding velcro to a container or switching to a larger toothpaste tube can make a big difference. With a little creativity, almost anything can be turned into an adaptive self-care tool. The most important thing is to find what works best for your child’s needs.

Adaptive Equipment For Dressing

Sock Helper

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Easy On and Off Sock Slider
  • Must-have Dressing Aid – Make getting ready a breeze with our sock helper for seniors! The handle of this elderly sock aid device has a built-in shoe horn and sock remover, so you can easily put on and take off your socks and shoes.
  • 3-in-1 Adjustable Design – Need more reach? Our sock assistive device has you covered! This aid for putting on socks can extend up to 36 inches in length, giving you 3 adjustable lengths for your preference.
  • Simple and Easy to Use – No need for unnecessary bending and straining! Put your socks and shoes on and off with these shoe aids for seniors. Each pair of sock assistant device for elderly has a strong handle, sliding lock rings and soft touch grips for your comfort and convenience.
  • Compact and Travel-Friendly – With its collapsible and compact design, our sock assistance device is easy to bring and store. This sock aid for seniors is made of durable plastic, so you can bring it on trips without fuss.

A sock helper is a long extension that makes it easier for someone to reach their feet to put on socks or stockings. They can also be used to help with shoes if they are slip-on shoes. We also love elastic laces that turn regular lace-tie sneakers into easy slip-on shoes.

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Seamless Sensitivity Socks

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SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Sensitivity Socks
  • TRULY SEAMLESS – Does your sensitive child have morning meltdowns due to socks? Completely free of seams, this product made in the USA is knit like a caterpillar spins its cocoon from the toe up, eliminating all lumps & bumps and providing a comfortable fit.
  • UNIQUE NO HEEL DESIGN – This “no heel” design allows kids to put on their socks with confidence and provides a perfect fit every time.
  • SOFT & FORM-FITTING – The stretchy yarns result in a form-fitting design that eliminates wrinkling and bunching at the toes, making it great for children with sensory issues.
  • COMFORTABLE, NON-BINDING TOP – The non-binding Halo Top means no slipping down or irritating indentions on the ankle.

We love these seamless socks for two reasons: (1) no seams mean no meltdowns over uncomfortable lumps and bumps for kids with sensory issues, and (2) these socks have no defined heel, so they can fit on in any direction. There’s no wrong way to put these socks on!

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Button Hook and Zipper Pull

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Button Hook & Zipper Pull
  • Adaptive Equipment Developed by Medical Doctors: The Dr. Arthritis Zipper and Button Hook Dressing Aids are specially designed for those who suffer from limited dexterity due to hand arthritis, Parkinsons, and similar conditions. Designed to fit buttons of various sizes and zipper pulls of all kinds, our button & zipper pull helper allows for independent, hassle-free dressing.
  • Universal Zipper Pull & Snag-free Wire Loop: The Dr. Arthritis Dressing Aid features two main parts & functions–a slim, steel wire loop, designed to pull through narrow buttonholes and securely lock buttons in place; and a small, narrow hook at the other end of the device that slides easily into most zipper pulls for maximum functionality
  • Zipper & Button Fastener Tool with a Non-slip Grip: Our product, similar to thoughtfully designed one handed gadgets, features a wide handle with a textured rubberized grip to enable maximum control while trying to secure buttons or pull zippers.
  • Zipper Assist with Diverse Applications: Our easy-to-use and portable zipper pull helper tops the list of reliable handicap accessories for daily living. To that end, our zipper helper can also be used to open and close bags and luggage, easily maneuver backpack zipper closures, and zip up boots.

This simple button hook device makes it easier to pull a button through a buttonhole or to pull a zipper up or down. Of course, another option is to look for clothing that avoids buttons and zippers altogether. Remember: When helping your special needs child learn to dress themselves, elastic is your friend!

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Accessible Tools in the Bathroom

Three-Sided Toothbrush

3 Sided Toothbrush
  • 360-Degree Coverage: This 3-sided toothbrush has 3 brush heads, which can cover different sides of the teeth, easily save the time of cleaning teeth and keep the teeth healthy. The wrap-around design can be quickly and easily removed even in the most difficult to reach areas More plaque.
  • Durable Materials: The heads of these adult 3-sided toothbrushes are made of PP and TPE materials, which can be used for a long time; the bristles are DuPont soft bristles. A properly dense brush can provide you with a comfortable brushing experience. When using warm water, the bristles Will become soft; when using cold water, the bristles will become hard.
  • Anti-Slip Handle Design: The handles of these 3-sided gripping toothbrushes have an appropriate curvature, which is comfortable to hold and saves the workload when brushing teeth. The entire tooth (+gums) can be cleaned without effort. It also covers hard to reach places, removes plaque and tartar + destroys gingivitis and tooth decay!
  • The Gentleness Of Sensitive Teeth-Use Safe, soft bristles (after running in warm water) to gently stimulate and massage the gums to stop feeling overload.

A three-sided toothbrush makes brushing teeth easier because it completely covers the front, top, and back of the teeth with one motion. Most three-sided toothbrushes come with fairly large grips, but if your child needs help holding on to their toothbrush, grip tubing is an easy addition.

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Foldable Toilet Bar

Foldable Toilet Bar
  • High Quality and Durable Material – The inner tube of our bathroom grab bar is made of thickened 304 stainless steel material, and the outer tube is made of ABS nylon material, which is anti-aging, wear-resistant and durable. 1.3MM wall thickness and thickened stainless steel base is strong enough to withstand 400 lbs.
  • Flip Design to Save Space – Our flip-up handrails feature a foldable design with 90° vertical rotation and 180° horizontal rotation. This design helps you save valuable space and is ideal for installation in small bathrooms or toilets.
  • Anti-slip Handrails – Our safety handicap bathroom grab bars have a three-dimensional non-slip particle bump design that is comfortable to the touch and increases friction to prevent accidental slips and falls. Compared with other metal handles, the nylon outer tube keeps the handle at room temperature and won’t make you feel cold.
  • Extended Handle with Night Vision – Our toilet safety rails are longer than other 24.5 inch grab bars and we have extended the handle to 29.5 inches to fit most toilets. The fluorescent ring inside the handrail tube is designed so that the handrail can be accurately spotted in the dark. (The fluorescent ring needs to absorb the light source in order to emit light.) Our toilet rails are ideal for pregnant women, people with disabilities, the elderly, and people with limited mobility.

Toilet bars are an absolute must if your child has trouble sitting or standing on their own. We like the foldable toilet bars because they can be moved up or down depending on the needs of whoever is in the bathroom at the time.

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Grab Bars

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Grab bars are also great in the bathroom for anyone who needs help pulling up to stand or needs support to prevent falls. These suction cup grab bars are actually very strong if placed on a smooth surface, like tile, glass, or hard plastic. They are inexpensive and moveable, so you can even take them with you when you travel and continue your potty training when you’re away from home.

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Adaptive Products for Eating

Offset Spoon

Right Handed Grip Offset Spoon
  • Right-handed spoon is made from high quality stainless steel and attached to a 4.5″ plastic handle
  • Offset spoons are perfect for individuals with limited wrist or hand range of motion due to arthritis, hand tremors, Parkinson’s, carpal tunnel, or dexterity issues
  • Grip easy handle helps provide more control of the lightweight spoon for those with limited hand mobility
  • Ideal for therapists, nurses, or healthcare professionals to train patients to use in order to live more independently

These offset spoons are designed to make getting food to the mouth easier with less manipulation of the wrist. You can get them for spoons or forks, and they can be bent for left- or right-handed eaters.

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Spillproof Plate

Spillproof Scoop Plate
  • GIVE INDEPENDENCE — Eating can be a major frustration to those with limited use of their hands. Traditional flat plates leave loved ones chasing food around the plate. These adaptive plates restore the joy of eating with little help required
  • SIMPLY SCOOP & EAT — Your scoop plates with raised edges are designed to get the food from the plate to the utensil with one simple motion. These special dishes have a non-slip base to keep the plate in place for more enjoyable mealtimes
  • FROM BREAKFAST TO DESSERT — Your durable 9″ bowl plate is made from sturdy polypropylene for many meals to come. This Providence deep plate is made in the USA without latex or BPA for your peace of mind
  • CONVENIENT & SAFE — Heat up food safely in your microwave plates to simplify dinner time. When you’re finished eating, place your scooping bowl on the top rack of the dishwasher, ready for breakfast tomorrow

Spillproof plates don’t just make cleanup easier for you but also keep more food on your child’s plate so they can get more food to their mouth. Spillproof plates also reduce the frustration of losing food over the side of the plate.

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Stabilizing Utensils

Spoon for Hand Tremor
  • GYENNO steady Spoon electronically stabilizes so the attached utensil shakes 85% less than your hand. Worry less about spilling and focus on enjoying your meal.
  • GYENNO portable tableware includes two parts: a stabilizing handle and a utensil attachment. Switch on and off automatically, automatically turn to sleeping mode when you stop using.
  • GYENNO tremor Spoon has ergonomic design which adapted to the general Hands Use habit, total weight 130g, easy to hold and to prevent from slippery.
  • GYENNO essential tremor aids made of Tritan, medical grade silicone, anti-bacterial, in the case of the use of such materials, can rest assured to eat. Tritan is approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration FDA (food contact notification (fcn) no. 729)

If your child’s hands shake while feeding, stabilizing utensils can help by minimizing the amount of shaking in the fork or spoon. They are expensive but can be well worth the investment if hand tremors are preventing your child from successfully feeding themselves.

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EasyHold Hand Grip

EazyHold Silicone Universal Cuff Aid
  • MANY SIZES – EazyHold comes in different sizes to fit infants, toddlers, teens, children to elderly hands or limbs.
  • EXTRA SENSORY- Puts the tool in hand or limb and against the skin for better perception of the weight, vibration, temperature and texture of the object
  • COMFORTABLE FIT – Made of soft strechy silicone which warms to skin temperature and does not need to be tight on the hand to support the item.
  • EASY TO CLEAN – Wash with water, the dish washer basket or in an autoclave. Will not degrade with repeated use of wipes.

These simple and universal EasyHold hand grips can be used for just about anything, from utensils to toothbrushes. They are made from soft and stretchy silicone that can stretch to fit just about any item that needs a handle. If you are looking for something that makes a handle longer, grip tubing also works really well.

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Honey Bear

Honey Bear Straw Cup
  • Smart Therapy Training Sippy Bottles – A squeezable honey bear design with long, flexible straw this 3-pack of bear bottles with 6 reusable straws makes it easy to squeeze out liquid and get a drink even if a child or adult has low suction or special needs.
  • Wide, Easy-Flow Drink Straws – Our straws are wide to let liquid pass through more effortlessly and to help the squeeze push it more readily into your mouth. This makes it easier and faster to get a drink with far less effort.
  • Leak-Resistant, Spill Proof Lids – We’ve added screw-on lids that feature silicone seals to help protect against leaks or messes. This makes them better for everyday use around the house or when you’re traveling in the car.
  • See-Through Body Design – Each juice bear cup is transparent to make it easier for kids to see the liquid inside and watch it pass through the straw at the same time which helps reduce spills or over-drinking.

Last but certainly not least, we have the honey bear straw cup. We’ve been using honey bears with my son for years, and they are still our favorite cup (you can also make your own honey bear if you don’t want to buy one). The straws are strong and durable and can be chewed without being destroyed. The bear plastic is soft and easy to squeeze, and one simple squeeze of the bear produces a sip’s worth of juice through the straw. If your child has difficulty with sucking through a straw (or drinking through a sippy cup), this is the answer. 

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1 Best Tools for Teaching Self Care to Disabled Kids


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