Autism is a prevalent neurological disorder affecting millions of kids all over the world.
According to an article by Autism Speaks, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in the United States alone, 1 in 68 American children have been diagnosed with autism.
Of course, just like any other children, a special needs child needs to feel cared for and nurtured. One way of showing your child that you care is by giving him customized toys that will surely catch his interest and pique his learning and creativity skills.
Learn from board games
To get your kid physically and mentally active, craft mind-challenging games on the playground, which strengthen both the body and mind. Adding simple board games to your child’s play time help teach her about following directions and taking turns, while socializing with another child.
Let your child play board games at the make-believe fort playground equipment, indoors or outdoors. Children with autism would love to feel the coziness of their make-believe homes as they fit in at the social scene by interacting with friends.
Get fit playing ball
One of the symptoms of autism is difficulty maintaining motor coordination and eye contact. Frustration among kids with autism is not uncommon, as they see themselves lacking these skills. Let your child have a mini ball game after her outdoor climbing time to develop her motor skills, eye to eye contact with peers, and social interaction. Of course, your hands-on guidance will initially be needed to make sure she copes with the physical and social challenges.
Whistle and kazoo soothes the ears
One of the most obvious signs of autism is the inability of the child to express emotions. Playing with musical instruments, such as a whistle and a kazoo, alerts your kid to express the appropriate emotions when lively musical buzzes come around. A whistle and a kazoo help your child follow directions better, too. For instance, when a whistle makes ‘toot, toot, toot’ sounds, ask your child to repeat these sounds after you. You will be amazed to see how he picks up directions quite easily after practice.
Brain-challenging construction sets
A popular treatment method for Autism is incorporating play to improve the spatial skills of the child. Construction set toys like Lego allow him to follow directions for constructing objects, such as a car or a building. After your child follows your directions, you can provide an opportunity for him to construct objects on his own. This treatment method is a great way to facilitate early training and learning at home.
Tool kits come in handy
Some types of autism disable a child from regular fine motor skills. A toolbox with miniature toys such as a hammer, nails and a screwdriver will do the trick in helping her excel in developing fine motor skills.
Kids will have fun playing make-believe repair with an accessible sand and water table. You will be amazed to see how she becomes expert in handling small, but complex tools, as imagination unfolds through role-playing.
Books empower the mind
Don’t limit your ideas of toys that your kids can enjoy to the ‘traditional’ ones. Unique items, like books, make great toys for children with autism. Enjoy a story-telling time with your kid and a group of other children while playing house. You will never fail to see your kid’s learning and social interaction skills get better all throughout the process.
Calmed moods come with rain tube
Accessible playgrounds give the flexibility to put up additional toys for kids with special needs. This is particularly true when it comes to customizing your own back yard playground. When your child is not in a good mood after playing in your back yard, restore his jolly mood by letting his mind immerse in watching a rain tube’s colorful images. The meditative effects of the soothing images in the rain tube will eventually calm your agitated child.
Watch the dinosaur egg vibrate
Playgrounds that empower children with special needs give customized, interesting play time. Make play engaging for your child by surprising her in your playground with a dinosaur egg toy under a tree that vibrates! Loss of focus and concentration is common among kids with autism. Jolt your child back to earth as the vibrating dinosaur gets her attention.
Get therapeutic in a swing
Swings are among the toys customized for kids with autism that provide optimal therapeutic effects. Your child’s vestibular system balances as he is able to engage in deep concentration while on a swing. Some kids with autism who struggle to concentrate on completing tasks find it easier to perform tasks while on a swing.
Fun play with Thomas the Tank Engine
Thomas the Tank Engine gives the opportunity for kids with autism to more easily distinguish emotions, colors, numbers and words. Your child might find it easier to get rid of insecurities about falling behind her peers, as well as having fun in the process of watching Thomas run along the tracks in a predictable way in your backyard.
Chloe, the toy dog, will focus your child’s attention and give her self-confidence. The dog listens to your child as he speaks and reads to the dog, helping your kid in the process to sit still. Chloe makes a great companion for your kid after play in your backyard.
Toys made specifically for your special needs child help her to cope better in a world she may interpret as chaotic and confusing. These toys help her have an easier time finding and developing the inner talents she thought she never had. Finding these talents make her feel self-fulfilled as she becomes older and more mature.
Jeanette Anzon is a graduate of Architecture. She enjoys photography, sketching, arts, film, writing and continuous education. To get to know her more, you can follow @jeanetteanzon