Autistic, generally termed as Autism is recognized as a complex neurobehavioral condition that entails impairments in the development of language and communication skills, in social interaction combined with repetitive and rigid behavior. Due to its ranging symptoms, the condition is now referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Any child with Autism has communication and understanding troubles. They find it quite difficult to understand what other people feel and think this, in turn, makes it harder for them to express themselves either through facial expression, gestures, touch and even through words.
Considering the Needs for Autistic Children
With so much in the world of Autistic, the description of a good educational program and activities depends largely on the needs of the individual children and equally on the expectations of the child’s parent. While any child with the Autism Spectrum Disorder might do best in a resource classroom, a special needs classroom or even in an autism setting that supports a particular type of learning styles and needs, the best choice will depend on the child’s needs, district’s strength, and personal philosophy among others.
In considering the needs of your autistic child, it is important that your child’s teacher has both the experience and training in working with autistic children. Your child’s teacher should also have both explicit and implicit support from the school administration and should also be able to modify curriculum and programs that will help your child’s strength and needs. Supportive therapies that include physical and occupational therapy should be made available and free of charges – this will engender academic and social development.
Benefit of sensory stimulation
Children need sensory stimulation of appropriate duration and nature at the right time. It is very vital to develop and promotes normal developments. It also helps a child learn about the world at large, help in communication and help form a relationship with people around. Studies have indicated that sensory stimulation builds nerve connections in the pathway of the brain, which leads to your child’s ability to finish complex associated learning tasks.
Sensory stimulation equally helps in language development, fine and gross motor skills, social interaction and cognitive growth. This type of play also aids the enhancement and development of a child’s memory. However, ways of promoting stimulation in babies include, spending time outside the house, most especially in quiet listening, introducing varieties of textured objects, playing with your child in water, but at an appropriate temperature, sucking on clean objects, lying down where a child can see the caregiver's face, playing music appropriate for the child, bouncing balls where the baby can see them and bounce them back, giving them foods of different textures and tastes, involving them in coloring, painting, stamping activities and through smelling of various safe substances that include flowers, grass, and foods.
12 Best Toys to Get for Autistic Children
Playing is considered an effective method of teaching children with Autistic disorders as they tend to learn better and faster. Their playing with toys helps them to develop sensory motor skills, social interaction, problem-solving skills, and language skills.
Newborn to Toddler
Before purchasing toys for your autistic child, you have to be certain that the toy is appropriate for your child’s development level. It is also very important that you speak with your child’s physician or therapist for advice on what type of toys would be best.
1. Adorox Liquid Bubble Drop Motion Wheel
This is regarded as a very beautiful desk toy that acts as visual stimulation for children with Autism Disorder. With these types of toys, a child with autism can look at the light or at the moving dots or objects in order to stay focused. It helps your child gain focus and to calm down on one thing. It is recognized as a small calm down bubbler that can fit into any child's hand. It is made of heat resistant plastic and it is safe for kids.
2. CHu-buDDY Pendants
Many children with autism have trouble with an oral sensory process and many of them indulge in inappropriate chewing, biting and licking. However, using an oral sensory toy like the CHu-buDDY pendant gives your child the necessary oral stimulation that children with oral issues require. These types of toys are fashionable and are made of high-quality materials that are free from a plastic compound, lead, latex, and non-toxic materials among others.
3. 12- Sided Fidget Cube
Once your child is stressed, the 12 sided fidget cube comes in quite handy. The toy helps children with autism disorder to relieve stress and relax their nerves as well as reduces their anxiety. This toy, in particular, is a must-have when your child goes out on outings and needs something to occupy and relax him. This toy includes smiley minion faces, sliding blocks, silicone balls, a joystick that moves 360 degrees, a silicone tag and rotating disks among others.
4. Quack Stack
This is a bath time toy that improves your child's motor skills, spatial skills as well as visual skills. The toy introduces the concept of cause and effect as it makes bath time more interesting. The toy can also be used as a cup in powering water to bath. It is generally shaped like a duck and it’s bright in color, thus making it very appealing to children. This toy paves a pathway for learning through imaginative play and fun.
5. Moluk Bilibo
Made of non-toxic polyethylene materials, the Bilibo is actually light in weight and has multiple usages. The toy encourages an open-ended imaginative play to encourage a child to try new ways of using it, as well as inspire your child. It is specifically shatterproof and can be used outdoor and indoor. When this type of toy is placed on the floor on its curved side, it becomes a rocking seat and when placed upside on a child’s back, it becomes a protective shell.
6. Teething Awareness Chewelry
This makes a great toy for children that need to chew. Recognized as a cute silicone puzzle piece necklace that helps in oral sensory, each piece of the necklace has both bumpy and smooth side in order to appeal to different preferences and need. The necklace can be washed clean through hand-washing or dishwashing. It is however specifically designed for rough and heavy chewers.
Preschoolers to School Age
Equally, it is necessary that you consider your child sensory sensitivities and purchase science, technology, engineering, math toys that can help develop their academic and physical skills even while playing.
7. Vehicle Sound Blocks
This toy is recognized as a simple puzzle that engages a child’s auditory senses. It features six different types of vehicles and all that a child would have to do is to match the blocks to hear the sound of the vehicle. This toy, in particular, improves motor skills, coordination and improves visual perception. The blocks are easy to play with as it has a self-correcting feature that allows a child to identify vehicle sounds and picture association.
8. See and Spell Learning Toys
While this toy just not only focuses on the pictorial representation of words but on the language part as well, the toy is recognized as a simple puzzle that improves the spelling ability of a child. Being an educational toy, the toy also helps enhance a child’s language skills, sight reading skills, and motor skills.
9. Edushape Easy-Grip Soft Foam Sensory Puzzle Blocks
This toy engages your child's sense of touch, to teach them about shapes and colors as well as textures. The differently shaped soft foams are all in bright colors in order to improve a child’s spatial, reasoning and logical skills.
10. Farm Animal Sound Puzzle
This wooden peg puzzle features eight farm animal shaped pegs that require setting into the appropriate holes. Once a child gets it right, he gets to hear the sounds that each animal makes. It particularly focuses on developing a child’s listening skills, a child’s ability to match colors and shape and matching shapes among others.
11. Gonge Riverstones
This is among the series of toys that assist your child’s physical coordination. The stone which is made of a non-slippery material varies in sizes and thickness. They are also made of sturdy materials and is designed for easy usage and storage. The toy contains specifically six Gonge stones that can be used on a hard surface, indoors or outdoors. Equally, the toy helps your children to learn how to judge distances, steepness, and balance confidence.
This type of toy is very useful when your child has difficulty in remembering what has been taught in school. It helps your child learn the numbers, shapes, phonics, alphabet words. Very ideal for children around the school age level, the flashcards reinforce what a child has already learned from school. The colorful picture on the flashcards makes it exciting and appealing to children.
What to Get for Teenagers
Getting toys for young adults and teens with ASD can be very difficult. Here is a list of toys and gifts you can purchase once you are confused on what to get for teenagers:
- Amazon Echo Dot - so that the teenager can interact and speak to Echo on simple requests and help improve on interactions.
- iTunes or Google Play Gift Card - provide lots of choices for the teenage to choose. Be it getting a song, apps or digital book for the smartphone generation user.
- Sound canceling headphones - a piece of great equipment for a teenager with ASD to get a safe space when needed to.
- Perplexus - a much more complicated puzzle to build focus and give high engagement for hours
- Almanacs - for the bookworm teenager who is interested in snippets of facts and simply general knowledge.
Getting a child or a teenager with ASD a gift is not as hard as it seems. A gift that can provide relaxation and enjoyment, at the same time, teaches new skills and help improve their existing skills is a great buy. However, it's important that you know what your child likes before buying a toy. Just ask yourself what would my child want or buy? And take the step from there!