Toys is one of the important tools in every child’s life, because it just not only helps children to have fun while playing with those toys but it also helps them to develop, cognitive skills, motor skills and linguistic skills.
However, the importance of toys, especially sensory toys within children with autism plays a huge role because it helps them to deal with their sensory issues as their senses are hyperactive and sensitive. According to tacanow.org, it has been found that the prevalence rate of children with autism keeps growing as the years pass by.
As we can see the prevalence rate of a children with autism is keep growing and growing, it’s every special need educator, parents and caretaker responsibility to make their life easier. Children with autism face sensory difficulties in their daily lives which makes it more difficult them to deal with different stimuli. You can introduce them with some of the best sensory toys which may help them to develop their senses in a better way through their playing activities with toys.
In this blog post, we will be exploring some of the best available sensory toys for your children with autism.
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How Sensory Toys Can Help Children with Autism?
Sensory toys can play a huge role in children with autism, because it’s helpful in making them relax, focus and manage the sensory input. These toys stimulate to all five human senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Often these toys may have bright colours, different textures and soothing sounds incorporated into them. By introducing them with sensory toys it can improve their senses, help them to socialize with their peers and improves their overall well-being as well.
“It's important to note that while sensory toys can be beneficial, but they do not replace formal and evidence-based treatment for autism spectrum disorders. Such toys should be used together with professional consultation like occupational therapists who provide direction on a kid’s specific need.”
Best Sensory Toys for Children with Autism
Now that we understand the importance of sensory toys, let’s look at some of the best sensory toys for children with autism. These toys are designed to engage multiple senses at once, promote focus and calmness in children while giving them a playful experience at the same time. The following ten sensory toys that will make a difference in every children with autism life are:
1. Sensory Mats
Sensory mats are small mats that have different textures for children to explore. Each mat has its own texture experience so that children can feel and play with them using their hands or feet. Have your child close his/her eyes and ask what they feel as they explore each one of the mats. Basically, it helps to stimulate the senses of touch and encourage sensory integration.
2. Sand, Slime, or Putty
Kids who suffer from autism find sand, slime or putty can be very therapeutic to use. These materials enable them to learn while having fun by encouraging creativity and improving fine motor skills at the same time. A child can touch the sand, shape it into any form he/she desires and combine it with other objects during play sessions. Additionally, these objects feature bright colours hence providing visual stimulation making it a multi-sensory experience.
3. Chew Toys
Teething infants benefit a lot from chew toys and so do children with autism who have oral sensory stimulation. These toys are ordinarily made of non-toxic silicone that has a range of textures, for example, dots, ridges, and patterns. They can serve either as handhelds or as jewellery. This is how chew toys help in developing biting as well as chewing skills while providing sensory stimulation.
4. Rainmaker Toys
Rainmakers are one of the attractive and effective tools to use when you want to make a child with autism to hear some sounds. When the user turns them upside down, they produce some rhythmic sounds which resemble the droplets of falling rain. The cascading beads and vibrant colours in these toys enhance the sensory experience even more by engaging multiple senses simultaneously. Rainmaker toys can also have a soothing effect on children with autism.
5. Pin Art
Pin art boards are interesting toy that allow kids to imprint different things using small metal pins inside them and then remove them to create new ones again and again. It means that kids can use their hands, fingers or objects on them to make specific figures and patterns they want uniquely. For autistic children, pin art is an excellent non-messy toy because it gives both visual and tactile experiences.
6. Fidget Spinners
Some few years back, there was a rise in popularity of fidget spinners, even in adults that saw them being utilized for autistic children as well as those with ADD and ADHD. Children’s hands are occupied by these toys so they can be able to concentrate. The smooth quick rotations of the spinner provide satisfying sensory experience.
7. Body Sox
Body Sox is interactive toys which give deep pressure as well as proprioceptive input. Children with autism can get into a multi-coloured, see-through and breathable lycra sock that lets them relax and relieves anxiety. The Body Sox exerts pressure onto the body to give it a comfortable sensation for kids who’s going through autism.
8. Electric Dog Pet
For children with autism, exposure with different sounds can lead to certain difficulties and discomfort. However, it has been found out that exposure to certain sounds may help them become less sensitive to noise. Electronic pet dog is one of the interactive robot toys that can support this process. This toy can react when touched by a child as well as having cues that enable children to adjust their sound perception towards different sounds and it facilitate social interaction as well.
9. Reflective Balls
Reflective balls are designed to help children with autism develop their visual senses. These balls reflect light and provide visual stimulation, which can be beneficial for children with sensory processing difficulties. By engaging with reflective balls, children can improve their ability to process visual sensory information.
10. Senseez Vibrating Cushion
Vibrating sensory toys, like the Senseez Vibrating Cushion, can be incredibly soothing for children with autism. The gentle vibrations and calming sound help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Recent studies have shown that vibrating sensory toys can also improve verbal initiations and responses in children, encouraging social interaction.
Sensory Toys Can Work Like a Charm
The life of every child with autism is difficult and challenging in every aspect of life. It’s every special education teacher, parents and caretaker responsibility to make their life easy and one of the best ways is to introduce them with sensory toys.
Those parents, special education teacher or caretakers who have pursued courses like online special education certificate program, knows really well that sensory toys can provide a great support to the overall development and well-being of autistic children.
In the above-mentioned blog post, we have shared multiple sensory toys which is the best option to consider for children with autism which could help them to improve their focus, sensory stimuli.
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Written By : Abhishek