Choosing toys for a child with autism can be a lot challenging than it seems. Since children learn through play, you need to pick the right toys to help them know more about everything around them while maintaining the safety aspect as well. Kids with autism have unique needs and preferences also.
For instance, some kids enjoy visual toys while others prefer more toys that offer or tactile stimulation. All of these factors can make it very confusing to choose the right toys for them. However, there are some basic guidelines that could help you out when you’re shopping for toys. Read along to learn more.
Keep Fun and Safety in Mind
Fun is an essential factor when shopping toys for autistic children and teens. Choose toys that are colourful and interesting to it can easily grab the child’s attention. However, you need to combine fun with safety as well.
Extra care is needed when choosing toys for autistic children. Many of them still like to put toys in their mouth even when they’re already a big kid that’s why it is important that the toys you choose are free from choking hazards. Also, do away from toys that could break or shatter easily as they could be a little clumsy at times.
Many children with autism have sensory challenges that’s why it is helpful to choose gifts that appeal to their senses. This helps them focus better, calm down, and even help you engage better with the child. There are tons of different sensory toys available depending on what the child likes such as sensory mats, putty, rainmaker, reflective ball, and many more.
Keep It Simple
Simple toys are more often the best things for autistic children. Too complicated games or toys can sometimes cause overstimulation to a child, making the experience unenjoyable. Simple options like stacking toys, cause and effect games, or even push-button toys are good for low-functioning autism. However, you could opt for more interactive games such as board games for those with high-functioning autism.
Don’t Stick to the Recommended Age
Almost all toys have recommended age posted on the packaging. This helps in choosing age-appropriate toys for kids. However, it is not necessary to follow this rule when buying toys for a child with autism. Many kids under this spectrum usually have a different developmental age compared to their chronological age. You could opt for simple toys for younger ages such as organizing toys and building toys but you could always ask what the child likes just to be sure.
Buying toys for a child with special needs can be really challenging. However, once you get to know what the child likes, it would be a lot easier to find the best toy that would surely make him or her happy. Always go for toys that would encourage their development and help improve their life skills to make the most of their playtime.