When Erin Jamieson's eight-year-old daughter was diagnosed with autism three years ago, her life became a whirlwind of appointments.
"We saw occupational therapists, speech specialists and child psychologists and they all had numerous suggestions for things that may help her - sensory aids, everything from blankets to chewies to social games and books," Mrs Jamieson said.
"But my husband and I were working full time and we're time poor and adding those therapy appointments gives you less time to be able to source these products."
Frustrated by the lack of a local "one-stop shop" for sensory products, the mother-of-two spotted a gap in the market and set about creating a business for families like hers.
Last week she opened the doors to The Sensory Studio, a "safe space" in Fairy Meadow to help children with additional needs "keep their hands busy and their bodies calm".
She has stocked her shop with hundreds of items, including weighted blankets, social aids, 'chewables' and fidget toys, many of which she can personally vouch for.
"I have this fabulous brush," Mrs Jamieson said. "My daughter wouldn't let me touch her hair, I'd be really gentle but she'd say 'you're pushing too hard' ... now she brushes her hair by herself.
"I had a mum come in and buy one and she sent me an email that night saying 'my daughter's actually brushing her hair for the first time'.
"Some things will help some kids but they're all different. If you've met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism."
A separate sensory space at the back of the shop allows children to touch and feel the equipment and have a play.
"It's an area where children can try out different swings and wobble cushions because there's nothing worse than buying something and your child not liking it, so I encourage people to come and try before they buy," she said.
A comfortable chair in the corner has been dubbed the "Mum's Chair", where parents can sit down and talk about what they're going through.
"That's one of the things that I found difficult over the past few years after my daughter's diagnosis," Mrs Jamieson said.
"I would have loved a safe place to go and talk, to have a vent, to have a cry with someone who knew what I was going through.
"My chair is there to help those parents like me, so come in and have a cup of coffee with me - there's a box of tissues there. If you don't feel like talking that's fine, but it's there as a safe space."
Erin has plans to run sensory workshops early next year with occupational therapists, psychologists and dietitians.
"The waiting lists to get into a lot of therapies are long in Wollongong, so I can help by providing products and resources with guest speakers," she said.
The shop at 19-21 Princes Highway, Fairy Meadow, is open Tuesday to Saturday with special appointment times available on Mondays or visit thesensorystudio.com.au.