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Parents of autistic children sometimes have a complicated time when trying to choose a toy for their child. They want a toy that their child will treasure and enjoy, but one that is able to serve as an educational tool. But since there is a full spectrum of children with autism, no one child is alike. Below are an array of options to consider when buying toys for autistic children.
Options for Sensory Stimulation
Children with autism are more likely to have sensory issues. This means they need more help with activities, games, or toys that will hone the senses. Their issues can range anywhere among the five senses- sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. This gives plenty of leeway in looking for a specific toy.
A great general toy for autistic children with sensory problems, however, would be something like a mini trampoline. This provides exercise and help with sight and touch. A cheaper and handmade “toy” consisting of crates filled with things like sand, beans, or marbles that they can play in reinforces their sense of touch. Another economical option is to string up some Christmas lights around your house to improve their sense of sight. If they’re the kind that make noise, then you can use them to benefit their sense of hearing as well.
Building Social Butterflies
Like all people their age, children with autism may a hard time making new friends. However, a symptom of autism that some might have is not picking up on social cues. This can make for awkward play dates or interactions at school. Finding games to sharpen their social skills can be a lifesaver. Choices like board games can be a huge help. Board games, which need to have more than one person playing, will assist in picking up social skills. The whole family, or just a few friends can pitch in and play.
Another option are building block toys like Legos. While they can be played with individually, the level of enjoyment is raised when more people join in. It can be a learning experience for your child to focus on playing with other people, not getting upset over losing, and practicing how to take turns.
Improving Motor Skills
Autism may also affect children’s motor skills. Motor skills involve things that require coordination of the muscles, like throwing a ball, writing, walking, or running. This can make what others think of as normal, daily activities, an uphill battle for autistic kids. If they’ve been struggling with these skills a long time, it can give children with autism a real loss of confidence. There are a few toys out there that can help with these skills, however. Stackers, puzzles, do-it-yourself kits, and coloring sets are all great choices to help improve an autistic child’s motor skills.
If you’re still not exactly sure on what toy you should buy to help your child cope with autism, call or click to find out more about Laser Pegs today!