Autistic children can greatly benefit from autism toys that are aimed at helping them express themselves. Often children with Autism are observed to play on their own or enjoy activities that they can play by themselves. The right choice of toy for someone with Autism is one that helps to encourage play skills, facilitates the development of the child, and provides them with an outlet for their endless energy.
Often children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have sensory processing issues. When looking to purchase Autism toys it is important to take a few things into account:
- Choose toys that will stimulate their senses. For example, toys that make noise, toys that are colourful, scented, vibrate or are visually stimulating (e.g. spinning toys).
- Keep in mind that some toys that make noise can be overwhelming and distressing for some people with ASD. When choosing a toy that makes noise, it is best to consider a toy that the person can have full control of the noise being made, whether it is with an on/off button or a volume control.
- Autism toys need to be easy to grasp and manipulate. Children with ASD often have decreased fine motor skills and in-hand manipulation skills. Choose a toy that will be simple enough for them to have success when using it, instead of making them feel frustrated and inadequate with something too complex.
- Play it safe. Avoid toys that have sharp edges or multiple pieces, especially pieces that are small enough to be swallowed.
Children with ASD often play in rigid and repetitive ways. For example, pressing a musical button over and over again, or spinning the wheels of a toy car repeatedly.
Choose toys that have potential for everyone to use their imagination. Model the use of the toy by showing how it is supposed to be played with and assist with any steps that may be challenging to begin with.
Autism toys should be chosen to set the child up for success. Choose toys that are instantly interesting to them and that can be adapted to play with in many different ways.
Happy toy shopping.
My Diffability Australia