Frequently Asked Questions
No, we are a retail store with a sensory room available for use. We are not a "play" or "recreational" facility. You may come in and try products from weighted vests to sensory swings and more. Use the sensory room to take a break and reset.
Sometimes a stop into our store can be helpful for regulation. That is ok. However, we do ask that you respect the products on display. They are there for our community to try and not for continued play. Our staff knows that swinging for a bit or playing in the sensory bin can be helpful in regulating from the day. We just ask that you and those you care for respect the space and the customers that are there to shop.
No children should be left unsupervised with our staff and our staff should not be expected to supervise your children. Often our staff interacts and enjoys playing games and having fun, but unfortunately, they also have a job to do and cannot always entertain. We wish we could!
Many of our events are free to the community. Others do have a fee. We work hard to keep our costs down and as accessible as possible. At times we do need to have a fee to cover staffing, lights, heat and more. We want to continue to provide our services and store to the community and that is part of it.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Unfortunately, all sales are final on oral motor tools for sanitary reasons. If you find that there is a defect when opening, please contact us right away.
YES! We believe all people should have a place where they belong. We have one rule: No apologies allowed for regulatory behavior. Because of our intentional design based on studies regarding sensory supportive spaces, many behaviors are not seen in our space. We have all LED lighting, floors are laid in one direction, the space is open with very little blocking visually, the color palette is intentional, and there are plenty of items to support regulation. Because our space is SO FUN, many do get overstimulated with excitement. We can mitigate that by utilizing the community room and/or sensory room for regulation.
Please call ahead and let us know what will best support you or your child. Examples of accommodations:
- Dimming the lights
- Positioning a staff member at the front door to stop eloping.
- Giving them safe items and space to throw.
- Giving private regulation time in the sensory room/community room upon arrival.
- Entering through the side door, rather than the front door.
- Having a favorite swing ready and available.
- Removing products that may become a hyperfocus.
YES! Every public location should!
Yes! We love celebrating. Visit our birthday party page. More Information
Yes, purchase orders can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder and C.E.O.
Sensory Tool House, LLC was founded by Katie McMurray, a Thurston County resident for over 30 years. Katie is a neurodivergent business owner, board member, volunteer, wife, and mom to three neurodivergent kids. Katie holds an M.Ed. in Educational Guidance and Counseling where she focused on Sensory Processing Disorder.
For over 15 years Katie has worked with the neurodiverse community as a teacher, volunteer, vocational counselor, and certified disability management specialist. Her understanding of the community, neurodiversity, and business operations gives her the opportunity to provide a safe and welcoming space which celebrates the needs and individuality of all people.
In her downtime she loves to hike or play on the Salish Sea.
Director of Resources
Military wife, mother of three, and an avid volunteer, Lauren is thrilled to join the team at Sensory Tool House! Lauren is eager to help connect community members to organizations, agencies and financial supports that will best benefit them. She is honored to help provide access to the tools and equipment necessary to ensure all members of our community are afforded opportunities to thrive.
Lauren holds a BS in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from UC Davis. She is a member of the Board of Directors for South Sound Parent to Parent and has recently started a support group for parents raising children with special needs for the families in her husband’s unit on JBLM.
Gavin is a graduate student studying to become a clinical mental health counselor with a focus in serving people of diverse neurotypes. He has a background in providing support services for individuals with neurodevelopmental differences and various disabilities.
As a neurodivergent person, Gavin is passionate about providing accessible, affirming, and effective care. He is happy to connect with and support the community through his work at the Sensory Tool House.
Events and Customer Service
Amelia is a neurodivergent, former special education teacher, who has worked with students of all abilities for 10 years. As a late in life diagnosed neurodivergent, Amelia is passionate about recognizing the symptoms of neurodivergence in all genders and ensuring that everyone gets the support that they need.
In her free time, she like to build Legos and hang out with her husband and 5 dogs!
Contracts and Purchasing Manager
Kelsey comes to Sensory Tool House, LLC with a background in corporate purchasing. She herself is a queer neurodivergent and the mother to two young children who are ND and on the spectrum. Her partner Theo is also ND and adjunct faculty at St Martin’s University. She believes strongly that neurodivergence doesn't have to be a barrier to success.
Kelsey is passionate about providing access to necessary sensory tools and devices to the community and to DSHS clients so they too, can access their very best comfort and potential. She has a strong interest in the intersections of neurodivergence and queer identities.
Kelsey acknowledges that she lives and does business on the traditional and unceded land of the Coast Salish Peoples.
Frances has eight years of collective business experience in the book industry and a BA from the Evergreen State College.
They are a published poet with a history in punk music and organizing around transformative justice and mental health advocacy. They love roller skating, crafting, and watching movies.
Late diagnosed with ASD, they look forward to serving the neurodivergent community through their work at Sensory Tool House.
Izzy is a student and amazing big sister to her brother who is neurodivergent. She is fluent in American Sign Language and is increasing her knowledge every day. We are excited to have Izzy on our team. (She/Her)
Diego has been with us since the start. You may see him around the store keeping it tidy when visiting in the mornings.
Diego loves action figures and movies. We always enjoy hearing about the new releases.
It all began during COVID-19 lockdown. A good friend asked where, locally, she could buy the sensory swing Katie has in her home. It was then, she realized that our community and the neurodiverse population does not have easily accessible resources.
Katie has experienced the difficulties of shopping and finding products to support her child’s needs. Most items have to be ordered on-line. It is very important for individuals to have an opportunity to feel and experience items that could support them in a safe, sensory-friendly environment. Ordering online leads to many items needing to be returned and the challenges that involves.
From packing up the item, preparing the kids or yourself to run errands in a neurotypical setting, taking the item to a store/post office/mail provider, standing in line, to then reordering and repeating the process again. Katie knows the difficulties that this presents on her family and decided to solve the problem. The sensory store seed was planted!
Katie is strongly supported by her family, notably her husband, Dan. As an airline captain he may not always be seen, but he is excited to be supporting Katie and the community. She was diagnosed as a neurodivergent adult and can look back on how this affected her throughout her life in very positive and sometimes very challenging ways. Her three children are also neurodivergent. Aside from neurodivergence, she is familiar with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and how trauma can affect one’s senses. Her time as a foster and adoptive parent has helped teach Katie the everyday needs which one cannot get from education alone.
Their oldest son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and he has spent countless hours in various therapies and appointments. She has watched the beauty of who he is and the challenges that he faces being neurodivergent.
No parent should apologize for their child’s senses being overwhelmed, yet that is what most parents like Katie do. Whether the setting is a store, mall, airport, concert, birthday party, private home, school, or restaurant the senses can be overwhelmed, communication becomes difficult, and stimming or other regulatory behaviors happen, leading to misunderstanding by those around. This is when the apologizes begin, but that is where they should end.
Sensory Tool House, LLC will never look for an apology for regulatory behaviors.
Katie and Dan know the challenges that caregivers face when supporting a family member with disabilities. No one person’s experience is alike, however there is a binding tie - it is hard and worth every moment.
Katie’s work in the community, education, work experience, and personal experiences provide her with the ability to bring to the community this missing piece; a supportive, safe, shopping experience for all.