My son is always holding something; a toy car, a ball, his blanket, a puzzle piece. We thought it was so adorable that wherever we went, he would find a “treasure” as we called it. The first time we went to a park, he found a tiny piece of tree bark and carried it around all day and then into the car and on the way home.
After telling the charming story to my OT (Occupational Therapist), she told me that he was actually using these objects to help ground himself. It’s a technique taught to those with PTSD to assist keeping the individual in the present. For my son, it was helping with his sensory needs.