Shopping For A Neurotypical Child Verses A Child With Autism
Its usually not too difficult to figure out what a neurotypical child might want for Christmas. If they dont tell you, you can buy them a gift that most other children in their age group ask for or you can use the recommendations suggested by the manufacturers. However, many children with autism show little or no interest in toys or other material things.
Its not uncommon for any child to fixate on one specific toy or item at some point in their childhood. For some children with autism that fixation can go on for years. It may be impossible to get them to give any of their attention to a different item.
In addition, when people attempt to spark their interests with pictures or verbal descriptions of things they might like, they may stare blankly for a moment and then walk away as they may not grasp the concept of Christmas. Their likes and dislikes differ for each individual. Some kids with autism love hammock chairs. Perhaps, they like having a space to themselves. In order to figure out what to get them, more investigative work may be required.
Bunmo Bath Toys With Suction Organizer
Free autism toys are a thing, but if you want a good toy, there are affordable options that you can go for. You can also find toys that double as a useful product for everyone.
Take this product, for example. It is a unique toy that offers a fantastic learning resource. This super silly sucker is excellent for bath time and anytime. In detail, it is a suction construction toy that sticks to all non-porous surfaces. You can do a lot of things with this kit, including connecting, building, sticking, and popping.
This toy is different from other sensory toys that you see. The set has 24 multi-colored wacky shaped pieces with flat centers to build them from various directions. They also stick easily, so its frustration-free.
The suction pieces are water-resistant and portable. It comes with a zippered toy organizer that is nautical themed. There are also two wall hooks that are easy to adhere and remove anytime. All these make it handy and easy to transport from one place to another.
It also doubles as an excellent autism toy. The shapes and functions encourage children coordination and motor skills. It will keep those little fingers busy while they are enjoying themselves learning. Besides, it is ideal for any occasion and works as a fantastic gift.
- There are fewer pieces than expected
Peaceful Pals Are A Great Gift For Kids With Autism
These super soft and cuddly animals are weighted to help soothe children with autism. There are a collection of different animals to choose from including unicorns, monkeys, sharks, puppies, and even an octopus friend. They also have basic shapes like stars and hearts.
You can choose from 3 or 5lb Peaceful Pals that are sure to become your child with autisms favorite gift this holiday season. Some of the great things about these little, heavy creatures are that no one can tell them apart from a regular stuffed animal, they are machine washable, and have been known to help children with ASD sleep better.
The Importance Of Sensory Play
Autistic children may also have difficulties with sensory processing. This means they may have trouble processing sights, sounds, smells, textures, or anything else that stimulates the senses.
As a result, you may want to explore toys that speak to your childs proprioception , vestibular input , and tactile stimulation .
Here Are Some Toys That Are Great For Children With Autism:
Read Also: Green Puzzle Piece Meaning
Plan Toys Victorian Dollhouse
Start with this plain wooden house as a canvas to create the play scenario that best resonates with your child. Here, kids can engage in imaginary play and at the same time work on developing social and emotional skills thatll serve them well outside of the playroom too.
Buy it: $379, CrateandKids.com
Educational Toys Games And Dvds
Autistic children tend to learn more from visually stimulating methods. This can include touch and sound stimulation as well.
Favorite brands like Leapster and Leap Pad can help kids with autism to learn, maybe even better than traditional school settings.
According to parents, interactive educational toys, games or DVDs not only help their child to learn but also keep them engaged for extended periods of time.
Read Also: Adhd And Dyslexia Comorbidity
A Sensory Theraplay Box
Sensory Theraplay subscription boxes were designed by a pediatric occupational therapist, and feature sensory-friendly toys designed to help develop sensory motor skills. Boxes are meant for kids between the ages of 4 and 8, and feature toys meant for therapeutic play such as putty, textured tactile toys, fidgets, light up toys and craft activities.
Buy a monthly subscription for the Sensory TheraPlay Box for $39.95 per month from Sensory TheraPlay Box.
Color Changing Teddy Bear
This super soft stuffed animals tummy and cheeks light up when you squeeze the paw, and its soothing glow shifts colors. Its perfect for visually oriented kids and also provides something soft to snuggle and comfort with.
Buy the elfishgo Creative Light Up LED Inductive Teddy Bear for $24.99 from .
Recommended Reading: Is Shaun Murphy Really Autistic
Choose Toys For Their Unique Interests
When beginning to search for a toy for your child, be sure to keep in mind their interests. Often, children with autism can become especially interested in one thing, such as an animal or a machine.
While some parents may worry about their childs fixation on a certain topic, dont despair. Get your creative wheels turning and try to use their interest in ways to foster learning and play.
For example, if you notice that your child is interested in building and taking apart items, it may be best to purchase toys that encourage creativity in building. Toys like these can help to improve fine motor skills in young children.
Brainteaser Puzzle Gifts For Children With Autism
There are an endless array of unique and fun puzzles that help encourage problem-solving, concentration, and critical thinking. Most come with easy, medium, hard, and extra hard levels and have fun, bright colors. Some of our favorites include:
Coggy provides a tactile experience for older kids who will love using their brains to arrange and click gears together to match cards in different levels of difficulty.
Crankity Brainteaser gets your child with autisms brain cranking by putting together gears using critical thinking, problem-solving, and concentration.
Ivans Hinge lets kids twist, fold, loop, turn, and bend pieces to find solutions that are stimulating and relaxing, while refining visual special skills with curiosity, determination, and logic.
Build It Blueprint Puzzles for younger kids is a great gift to work on spatial reasoning and logic, as well as concentration. There are easier and more challenging brightly colored puzzles in the shape of a dog house, barn, cabin, or birdhouse.
Also Check: Why Is A Puzzle Piece The Symbol For Autism
The Best Toys For Autistic Children
As a child psychiatrist, I have tried and tested a lot of games and toys with my patients and my own children. For children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, choosing toys that they can not only enjoy, but that can be therapeutic is very important.
You can also check out my list of games for autistic children here.
Kidoozie Hop & Squeak Pogo Jumper
A lot of children with autism have an over- or under-sensitive vestibular system, which is part of the sensory system involving balance and coordinating movement. Its not uncommon for children with autism to either seek movement, like bouncing or rocking or avoid itwhen theyre looking to regulate how they feel, Whitney says. If youve got a seeker, consider adding kid-friendly pogo sticks to your pile of toys for autistic kids. This one has the added cause-and-effect bonus of creating funny noise each time the child lands.
Buy it: $10,
Don’t Miss: Toys For 2 Year Old Autistic Child
Liquid Motion Bubble Timer
As kids are working to follow a schedule, having a timer is very helpful. This timer is more fun and interactive than a standard clock. You turn it onto its opposite side and the floating, colorful beads start settling from the top to the bottom. Once they reach the bottom, the child will know that the time is up.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Bear Dress
Reading and understanding other peoples facial expressions can be tough for those with autism, so its smart to get toys for autistic children that provide fun opportunities to work on this skill at home. Enter: This too-cute bear cub who comes with 18 interchangeable pieces, including different facial expressions, like surprised and sad. Its also an awesome toy for building hand-eye coordination and dexterity. It all comes in a lidded wooden storage box for on-the-go play.
Buy it: $9, Plus, more from The Bump:
Also Check: Low Functioning Autism Symptoms
Melissa & Doug Examine & Treat Pet Vet Play Set
Does your kiddo love animals? Let them practice their social-emotional skills with this veterinary playset, complete with a doggie and kitty that need a little TLC to get back on all four paws. Beyond social/emotional skill-building, these sweet animalsin all of their soft tactile glorymay just morph into comfort companions for your child too. The set comes with 24 pieces, including a stethoscope, medicine bottles, thermometer and more.
Buy it: $26,
Eating Optimal Foods: Autistic Children & Problems With Food
Children with autism often have inadequate nutrition, partly due to food avoidances and aversions. Poor nutrition increases the risk of later chronic illnesses, like diabetes and heart disease. Children who grow up with poor diets are more likely to be obese, which is associated with several chronic illnesses. Children with autism are more likely to have low calcium and protein, which can reduce brain development, bone growth, and muscle strength. These issues may be correlated with problems with cognition, balance, physical strength, and other aspects of physical development. Feeding issues can be a major problem for autistic children, and the consequences can be serious if the child ends up with nutritional deficiencies. Parents can help by employing various strategies to get their children to eat a more diverse diet. Doctors and therapists are often involved in this process.
Also Check: Autism Type 2
Toys That Absolutely Require Social Interaction Or Verbal Skills
There are plenty of toys out there that are intended to build the skills autistic kids need most. There are social games, verbal games, games to teach reading, games to teach sharing… and all of these are terrific tools for teaching.
But the gifts aren’t about teachingthey’re about fun.
If your gift absolutely requires a child with autism to find a partner, verbalize thoughts and take turns, chances are he’ll use it once and never again. Instead, choose a gift that can be used interactively but doesn’t have to be used with others. That way, a child with autism can enjoy them alone, or learn new skills when you play together.
Lakeshore Learning Jumbo Nuts And Bolts
Nuts and bolts are make for wonderful toys for autistic kidsafter all, theyre pretty much the original fidget toy. Plus, there are the added bonuses of fine-motor tuning, open-ended play and the whole no-wrong-way-to-play thing. This bright set includes 80 jumbo-sized pieces that twist together with ease, minimizing frustration.
Buy it: $50 LakeshoreLearning.com
Recommended Reading: What Colors Represent Autism
Sensory Toys & Gifts At Carmen B Pingree
At Carmen B. Pingree, we understand the sensory difficulties children with autism may face, which is why we have occupational therapists that will guide children and parents through different options to support their children with hypersensitivity or hypo-sensitivity to sensory stimuli. We incorporate the use of sensory toys when appropriate to supplement our primary treatment modalities as well. The use of toys that help engage a childs various senses can help them learn and become more familiar with these senses in a safe and natural play environment.
If you have any questions about our autism programs, contact us today! We are dedicated to providing comprehensive treatment, education, and related services for children with autism and their families.
The Optimal Food List For Autistic Children
A study found that the most common nutrient insufficiencies in children with autism were fiber, folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B6, and B12. Due to food preferences or obsessions, some children may have too much of one or two of these nutrients. Food avoidances mean that many autistic children dont have enough of these vitamins and minerals. To help your child get the right balance of these important nutrients, try adding these foods to their diet with the help of their treatment team:
- Beans like navy beans, pinto beans, and black beans
- Peanuts and peanut butter
- Cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli
- Dark chocolate, as an occasional sweet treat
- Lean beef, turkey, and chicken
- Citrus like oranges and grapefruit
- Onions and garlic
Many of these foods offer multiple nutrients, so combining them in different ways through meal planning can help your child get high-quality nutrients, avoid foods that cause discomfort, and slowly add new experiences to your childs eating habits. Begin planning meals that contain several fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins, so there is a variety of options. Sprinkle in new foods with tried-and-true options you know your child will like.
Don’t Miss: Level 2 Autism
Zaxideel Fidget Pop Tubes
Stretch em, pop em, twirl emno matter how your child plays with these multi-colored tubes, theyll get the one-two punch of auditory and tactile stimulation in one fabulous toy for autistic kids. These simple tubes can be bent, snapped together, pulled apart, twirled around and pushed together and make all sorts of cool sounds. All that finger movement bolsters motor skills too, and the bumpy texture offers a unique tactile experience.
Buy it: $10,
Educational Insights Teachable Touchables
Unlike slick, hard plastic toys, this bag of textures is jam-packed with sensory stimuli that are perfect toys for autistic toddlers. There are 20 different pillows and patches featuring tactile differences, like scratchy, silky and soft textures. An activity guide is included to help moms and dads brainstorm different play scenarios.
Buy it: $19,
Recommended Reading: What Colors Are Best For Autism
Reading Books For Autistic Child
Goal: Conversation, emotions, comprehension
Story books or traditional childrens books are excellent to pursue questions of point of view with your child. When reading these, ask What do you think he is thinking? or Why did he/she ____? One of our favorites are Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Also, books about popular movies such as the Incredibles.
How To Buy Clothes For An Autistic Child
This article was written by Luna Rose. Luna Rose is an autistic community member who specializes in writing and autism. She holds a degree in Informatics and has spoken at college events to improve understanding about disabilities. Luna Rose leads wikiHow’s Autism Project. This article has been viewed 6,688 times.
Shopping for clothes with children along is often a challenging task. It can be especially hard with an autistic child, who may struggle to cope with the overwhelming experience of shopping. This article will help you and your child have a low-stress, meltdown-free experience.
Also Check: Level 2 Autism Diagnosis
Lego Large Creative Brick Box
Legos are a great gift for both children with ASD and neurotypicals. Legos can allow your child to unleash their inner architect and engineer while improving their problem-solving skills.
When they are around other children or siblings, playing together can encourage your child to work on social skills, such as sharing or waiting for their turn. Legos can easily provide hours of fun for children with ASD who have a special interest in building or machinery.
While these pieces may not pose a threat for older children, be wary of choking hazards that small lego pieces can pose for younger children.