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Make a Calming Device for Students

ISTA members Mickey Brady, school bus driver, and Donna Nielsen, retired school bus driver, teach educators how to make calming devices to reduce stress and overstimulation felt by autistic students. Here’s their recipe for “Ocean in a Bottle” calming device. 



  • 1 clear plastic bottle with label removed
  • Food coloring
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Super glue


  1. Fill approximately 2/3 of the bottle with water.
  2. Add food coloring and shake.
  3. Fill the remainder of the bottle with vegetable oil.
  4. Super glue the lid closed.

Read more about serving students with autism in the upcoming issue of the Advocate in mailboxes Jan. 27 – Feb. 3.