Children with autism usually have limited self-occupational skills and mostly lack the imagination to truly test and examine toys.
Because they have rigid behaviours, they might not want to try or start using new toys or even experiences. However, gradually introducing them to new toys and play experiences will encourage them to learn of new ways to spend time. The range of children’s toys can be systematically increased, therefore increasing the ability of the child to make choices. The more the child is familiar with a range of toys, the more they are then likely to use them.
Children on the autism spectrum tend to choose toys that contain visual-spatial skills like jigsaw puzzles, shape and colour matching or constructional materials.
It’s always useful to try and engage kids like this in simple games. Some children reach levels at which they play simple board games or picture-matching games. Some children learn to play chess and do very well because of their excellent visual-spatial memories. Board games are good opportunities of teaching children the concept of winning and losing. It is also good to buy them toys that encourage the development of visual-spatial skills like jigsaw puzzles, shape and colour matching, and construction. Here is our suggestion of fabulous Toys for Children on the Autism Spectrum:
1. Mini Time Tracker
If your kid with special needs shows difficulty in moving from one activity or event to another, this time tracker will help him/her understand the concept of time and soon will adapt a certain time limit in every activity. It has two dials that allow you to set an alarm time and a warning time customised with a flashing light and sound effect.
2. Balancing Tower Tin Game
Keep his hands and mind busy with these handy toys!
Take turns in adding a colourful block to the tower by throwing a die. The game will be more exciting when the tower begin to lurch. This is an engaging game where they can develop good hand and eye coordination not to mention their fulfillment in learning.
This game set comes in a tin box with six coloured pieces and a natural wood base and a wooden die.
3. Weighted Lap Pad
These lap pads produced by So Calm Sensory Co. are all hand-made and stuffed with quality Australian Made poly pellets. All weighted lap pads used in pampering kids in spurts of time have been triple stitched with the highest quality threads.
Each weighted lap pad is made with a fashionable, heavy-duty outer material and the pellets are tucked onto separate sturdy cotton casing. This casing has been mended with a number of separate channel that are double-stitched to place the pellets securely and keep an even weight distribution. The weight of lap pads should be between 5-10% of your child’s body weight.
The designs of these pads are approved by Australian occupational Therapists.
4. Pig-shaped Bean Bag
Bean bags are fluffy and are great motor skills toy for children with autism.
This bag will help them learn self-control, body coordination, direction, and manipulation. They are handy, tactile toys with the small beads providing sensory stimulation. The pig bean bag is made from a soft vinyl with durable stitching.
With a soft leather feel, this little pig is sheer and perfect for a throw and catch game.
5. E-Motion Cards
Emotional understanding is a vital skill for all children to handle rightly. Often kids with special need extra help in this aspect in order to learn to understand both their own emotions and those of others.
E-motion Cards are Australian brand produced to assist children and young people with special needs to learn about emotions. The cards are large in size and designed colorfully to use for groups or individuals games. These cards are suitable for five to eleven year old.
These cards are widely used by teachers and therapists.
An example question is “What happens to you when you feel angry?”. Soon, a discussion about things on that certain topic will transpire. The next question asks what type of situations can trigger the various feelings, which leads into deeper discussion.
6. Move-N-Sit Wedge
Move n’ Sit is a wedge shaped tactile air cushion providing opportunity for mobility while in a seated position. The wedge shape improves better sitting posture. It’s great for those children and young people who need additional movement in order to remain attentive to task. It come in two sizes- Adult and Junior.
7. Ball Fitness Kit
Have fun while getting fit and putting your kid’s stamina on the right track.
This Ball Fitness Kit consists 55cm Anti-burst Gym Ball, ball ring, medium strength exercise band
and a CD with 124 exercises.
8. Fidget Kit
This fidget kit is one of the best touch perception toys for children with autism.This topper pack contains small toy pieces and is recommended for children above 3 years of age or developmental ability. Parental supervision is encouraged because these toys are not suitable for chewing.
9. Kinetic Sand
It’s 98% sand and 2% magic. Build it, mould it, break it and recreate the Kinetic Sand Tool Set!
Kinetic Sand is good for indoor play and is a better alternative for clay because it is easy to mould. It never dries out so your kids can use it again without the worry of damage caused by exposure to extreme temperatures. Also, it is made with non-toxic and antimicrobial materials.
10. One-Two Tie My Shoe
It’s a common experience that every kid needs to perfect.
This product is a bright giant shoe lesson book that will help your kids have a fun way to learn shoe tying! These stout shoes have laces they can learn to tie with four lacing shoes, four printed laces, and a shoe-lacing lesson card.
11. Spin Disc
The Spin Disc made of durable plastic is perfect for indoor or outdoor games.
Spin Disc is a balance training product and is a fun and creative sensory integration tool for all children to enjoy. This valuable product targets your kid’s vestibular and sensory system . It will allow help them have sturdy trunk muscles and good postural stability and better social interaction. Occupational Therapists have proven that this product has shown significant improvements among kids with autism.
12.Bouncy Bands for Desks
Let them wiggle while they work inthese Bouncy Bands.
Kids have a tendency to squirm heavily when they’re sitting. Bouncing Bands are perfect solution to keep them focus and productive on the task at hand. It discreetly pacifies student fidget, frustration, and hyperactivity. It is safe and 100% latex free.
Raising a child with special needs is a tremendous challenge in parenting. These educational tools are nothing without your hands, eyes, heart and the will to tap into your child’s hidden potential. It will never be easy but it will always worth it.