Autistic children face very unique challenges on an everyday basis. Many studies have shown the importance of playtime with children suffering autism since their learning process is most productive through play. Finding proper toys that are both fun and beneficial to their development is crucial. As difficult as this task may seem, the options are greater in number each day, especially given the fact that autism in children is more common each year.
Focus on sensory toys primarily
One of the most important types of toys for children with autism is sensory toys. When it comes to sensory toys, you cannot go wrong, you just need to be careful in terms of their intensity. It has been proven that autistic children, as well as autistic adults, enjoy immensely sensory toys and products. For instance, if your child finds traveling unpleasant, these toys can represent an extremely pleasant distraction.
Tactile sensory toys
There is, of course, a subdivision of sensory toys. Tactile sensory toys are usually the best choice when it comes to toys for autistic children. Most of the autistic children express severe tactile defensiveness. This type of toys is a very subtle way of introducing tactile sensations because the child has total control. Thus, it is not threatening. Playdough, kinetic sand, slimes, furry toys and toys with raised elements are only a couple of many choices you have.
Visual sensory toys
If you consider your child to be more visually oriented, visual toys are the right choice for you. ASD children have a tendency of looking at lights, patterns, and dots in order to stay focused. Music light show is great since it incorporates both visual and hearing sensations. Fiber optic lights are the best toys for girls since they are not as bright because girls with autism tend to have an increased sensitivity to lights.
Social interaction toys
Improving social skills of an autistic child may seem as impossible, but with practice, autistic people of any age can improve their skills and learn at least the essential social skills. Board games are very useful, especially when played with the whole family. Try to focus on demonstrating the child that losing is not a big deal. This way, their frustration and anxiety levels can be decreased in a great deal.
Do not force functional play
There will be days when your child simply wants to enjoy toys without any specific goal or learning process, and that is perfectly fine. For instance, coloring has been proven to be therapeutic for the most of ASD children. Video games are also a choice, however, you need to be careful, since some parents claim that once the child starts playing them, it is the only thing they want to do.
Never buy toys that easily shatter or break down
Since hypersensitivity is one of the hallmarks of autism, any sudden event can cause a meltdown, or simply increase the anxiety levels of a child. Thus, it is extremely important to do everything that you can to prevent this from happening.