Autism is a mental condition characterized by an impaired social and communicative skill. Autistic children experience mild to major sensory issues. As a result, the toys which fascinate a normal child might bring in distress for an autistic child. The caregivers often find it difficult to keep a child engaged in a positive way where most of them indulge in odd play. However, there are some toys which are specially meant for autistic children. Depending on the sensory needs, some of the following may aid to improve their behavioral traits.
Beads & Thread: This is a toy where plastic beads are tucked inside a thread one after another. This one helps to build the sitting tolerance as well as motor skills.
Button Pizzazz: This toy helps them learn the technique of buttoning and unbuttoning, a task which these kinds of children find really hard to perform.
Mosaic Fun: In this toy, there will be a grid and colorful plastic pegs. Children can make anything of their choice by pressing the pegs inside the grid. This is again a great patience builder.
Wiggle Cushion: A multi-functional cushion which most of the autistic children like as it simulates their tactile needs.
Rocking Toys: Many of these children like to rock to feign their sensory needs. So, rocking chairs, cradle or the toys which have swinging motions make a good list of choice.
Trampoline: The bouncy surface of trampoline captivates these children along with helping them to provide the much needed physical exercise.
Puzzles: Puzzles of any kind make quite an engaging toy for the autistic children. Board puzzles help to build up patience, and at times, address the tactile issues as well.
Musical Instruments: A major percentage of autistic children direly need auditory simulation, and thus musical toys are liked by most of them. A drum set, keyboard, sing and strum guitars, music box record player etc. are some of the musical toys which could be beneficial.
Bangle Chewy Bracelet: In the autism spectrum, there are children who indulge in self-harming behavior like hand-biting. These bangles are specially meant to help stop this behavior.
Textured Foam Roller: The surface consistency of this toy nicely simulates the tactile needs of autistic children.
Pocket Gel Fidget: This is a toy which has a squishy gel to keep the fidgety fingers of such children occupied.
Therapy Putty: Children can mash and make certain objects with putty which not only could help to tune fine motor skill but also help keep them sit in a place for a while.
Abacus: Some of the autistic children are good in mathematics, especially those who’re having Asperger’s Syndrome. Abacus is a typical toy for them to explore and flourish.
Chair Ball: A bouncy kind of ball that helps the children to rock without rolling out. This activity satisfies their sensory needs.
All the above-mentioned toys could help keep the autistic children engrossed for some time. However, the sensory challenges are too many to address. What works for one, might cause distress to other. After all, it’s a rainbow disorder where every child is unique.
Disclaimer: I have a nephew who has recently been diagnosed with Autism and thought this post would be helpful. This article is a guest post and was not written by myself.