Best Toys and Gifts for Autistic Kids
Every year autism impacts the lives of 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. It is defined as as mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
While any mental disorder can have a huge impact on a family, Autism especially has the capability to be even more stressful to those who are in the care taking role simply because most who are diagnosed with the disorder are generally forced to depend on others for care.
Thanks to modern day technology there are now more ways than ever for parents who are looking to help their children overcome the challenges they face while dealing with autism. A few of these things that can help your children as they learn and develop include toys. Yes, toys.
Many toys have been proven to aid in helping children learn how to play more naturally because they don’t currently know how to interact with others. These toys facilitate playing and help bridge the gap between the child and social communication.
Recently, we polled the internet for some of the top games for children who are dealing with autism and found a list of games that will be sure to help you and your child as they journey to overcome the stigma often associated with autism.
AMBI Lock a Block
Remember those games as a child that would teach you how to sort shapes? That game continues to be a huge hit with children specifically those dealing with autism. With it’s easy to navigate features, this game teaches children not only about shapes and colors but it is also a great game that encourages children to play together.
I enjoy this game for the children I work with who struggle with autism because it not only teaches children their shapes and colors but it also teaches them practical decision making skills in a subtle way. Games such as AMBI help strengthen cognitive learning behaviors in a way that no one on one interaction ever could.
Depending on the age of your child, some of the best toys you can ever allow your children to play are games that encourage playing with others. Many kids who suffer from autism often have trouble in the area of social communication. Games such as Candy Land as well as other board games help children deal with the basic concepts surrounding losing a game, cheating, following the rules, counting and communication.
Growing up I really enjoyed sitting around the table and playing Candyland with my family and friends. There was nothing more exciting then a game of family fun that also supported healthy competition. This is what makes Candyland so beneficial to those who deal with Autism. Candy Land helps foster a team environment for the autistic child who has still yet to learn the importance of teamwork in group settings.
One of the many struggles that autistic children are faced with is their lack of athletic ability and hand-eye coordination. Playing games such as basketball is not only a great social activity to involve children in but it is also a great game that builds strength and endurance.
While playing basketball is fun and exciting for all kids it is especially important that you make sure you pay close attention to your child just in cases the hand eye coordination activities begin to overwhelm them.
Fisher Price Tool Kits
One thing that I love most about kids is their imagination. Kids can literally pick up any object or toy and imagine an entire storyline from beginning to an end. Fisher Price does a great job at keeping the imagination of kids flowing freely.
Fisher Price Tool Kits are great toys for children who are autistic because it helps them build their motor skills. Tool kits also give children a sense of accomplishment whenever they are able to tell and show you that they have used their skills in order to build something.
Leap Frog Games
There has been much discussion about the use of computerized games for children in general as a way to teach skills. Despite the discussion and debate it has been proven that popular computer games such as the ones created by Leap Frog not only help children with autism learn but it keeps them entertained and intrigued.
Leap Frog Games have been my go to for all my kids for many years. I especially love the games because it allows children to interact with the game on a personal level.
Puzzles are another great learning activity and toy for children who have autism. There is something about being able to connect pieces of a jig saw puzzle together that is satisfying to children of all ages. In addition, most children are intrigued by the various colors that typical jigsaw puzzles have to offer.
One of the greatest reasons why jigsaw puzzles are popular amongst most parents who have children who deal with autism is because of the price point. As a parent especially of a special needs child it can become financially draining. Being able to identify resources that will not continue to drain your account is a huge selling point for most parents. Despite the price however, puzzles are overall a great way to strengthen any child’s mental capacity.
Trampoline with Handle Bars
Trampolines have been staples of play time for many years. It is no different for children with autism. In fact, many individuals use trampolines as a therapy tool. The receptive bouncing motion enables children to learn different things about their sensory systems.
I am a firm believer that at any given point of your day as a child you must have some sort of physical activity. While trampolines with handle bars can be beneficial to autistic children in several ways other than physically it still plays a pivotal role in keeping your child active and engaged. As long as the weather condition permits I suggest that children with autism use the trampoline daily if not twice a day in order to strengthen both motor and physical skills.
Sometimes life can be completely overwhelming for children with autism. They are easily frustrated by the demands of life or they simply are frustrated with their inability to fit into other social environments. To help these children better cope with their autism, Transformer Sensory Sack was created. The Sensory Sack is much like a huge sock that allows kids to simply escape by inserting themselves into a pouch. While this sack may not be appropriate for all ages it is a great safe haven for children over the age of five who are dealing with the disorder.
When I was initially introduced to the sensory sack I had my own reservations; however, as time as progressed I have realized that even children with autism need their escapes much like their care takers do.
Monster Bean Bags
Some toys never get old and bean bags are one of them. This is another great game for children who are looking to improve their hand and eye coordination. The monster bean bags come in a plethora of colors and have many faces on them in order to help children with their imagination.
While there is nothing super complex about bean bags alone they have been proven to be a great asset to children who struggle with autism. It is a game that can be played alone but it is also a game that can be played in teams if you are a parent looking to increase your child’s social engagement and communication.
Monster Bean Bags can easily aid in the development of a child on so many various levels depending on the goal you wish to accomplish.
Children love stuffed animals and children who have autism are no different. While some children are sensitive to touch, while others are more sensitive to sounds or lights. Because of the various sensitivity levels, sensory toys have been created and have been a hit for autistic children and their families.
An example of one of my favorite sensory toys are plush toys that light up when you touch their hands. Not only does this teach senses but it also teaches colors.
Does your family have an autistic child? Do you know a child who is autistic? What toys have you found to help aid your children in their development.