Getting an appropriate toy or gift for a child with autism can sometimes be difficult, given that the child’s hypersensitivity to light and sounds and the fact that autistic children perceive the world much differently than everyone else.
For example, a toy police car with a loud siren and flashing lights might actually terrify an autistic child, whereas most other children would love playing with it. If you are hunting for a gift for a child that you know has autism, it is always recommended to first consult with the parents to find out what their autistic child is comfortable with.
Autistic children often seek out environments that block out uncomfortable stimuli. So, they will want to wrap themselves tightly in blankets, cushions – anything they can find – in order to stop feeling an overload of sensation. Anything that provides pressure on the body seems to reduce this discomfort. Great “stimulus-blocking” gifts for these children are:
01. Vibrating Pillow
02. Sensory Body Pod
A second unique need that autistic children have is tactile stimulation that they initiate, as opposed to tactile stimulation that is thrust upon them. This means that while they may react disproportionately to someone unexpectedly touching their arm, they need to keep their fingers busy playing with items. This “fidgeting” helps them focus on listening, observing their environment, learning in class, and gives them an anchor from which to interact with those around them. Fidgeting with toys and objects also helps them get rid of excess energy and keeps them calm. Great “fidgeting” toys are:
A third type of toy addresses another need of autistic children: not comprehending “cause” and “effect.” Autistics do not naturally understand that actions have a consequence. Part of this stems from the inability of autistics to comprehend time passing by. The following activities and toys build these skills in a fun way.
The fourth group of toys focuses on working those fine motor skills issues specific to autistic children:
14. Moluk Bilibo