Toys are a child’s best friend. For autistic children, too, toys are a playful way to reduce their impairment in communication skills, repetitive behaviours, or sensitivity to flashy lights and sounds. Toys can help these kids to improve their interactive skills and better their quality of life. Doctors often use this as an alternative therapy for easing the symptoms.
Improving sensory experience
A child with autism finds it difficult to focus on the sensory stimulation. Either they get hyper-reactive or don’t react at all. Toys like ‘Liquid Bubble Drop motion wheel’ helps to grab visual attention of the child. The bottle contains coloured liquid running up and down. Kids can see the coloured bubbles inside it and stay focused. It is a fun way to keep them glued to the object.
Touch can also be improved with many toys like kinetic sand, squeeze balls, textured fuzzy balls, multi-shaped stress balls or even water beads. These provide exposure to different textures and surfaces. It helps kids overcome the fear of getting their hands dirty in mud or touching irregular surfaces.
A slow introduction of toys that produce artificial soothing lights can help reduce their anxiety generated from exposure to bright lights, such as a ‘Cosmic UFO’.
Improving gross motor skills
Many children with autism have gross abnormalities during walking, such as difficulty to maintain balance or posture. Toys that really put them into action help them learn new movements which appear difficult otherwise. For instance Hula hoop, skipping rope, 2-wheeled cycle, Balancing beam etc.
Trampoline jumping provides great relief to the kids who display repetitive movements. Encourage your kid for dancing to music. This gives them good action and dance is the best exercise for increasing flexibility in their muscles. It also helps to calm down their nerves.
Improving fine motor skills
Tasks that require fine skills such as writing or drawing pose a challenge for such kids. This can hinder in their continuous learning. A vibrating pen helps them to draw circles or loops from a straight line. You can use Magna Doodle with a stylus to help them draw.
These toys give them the necessary tactile stimulation required for similar tasks. Similarly, squeeze balls also help to develop strength in their hands and increase their ability to grasp things.
Improving social skills
Role play is a wonderful technique to help the kids get rid of their shyness and open up to the people they come across. Police or doctor toy kits helps kids to emulate the characters in real life and develop their social language skills. It also relieves their stress and busts their anxiety bubble.
Spending quality time with your child enormously helps them to fight the challenges of this disorder and what can be better than playing along with them to make them feel good.