Buying toys for children with autism is slightly different than buying toys for other children. While it is always important to buy toys for young children which will help them learn and develop new skills, it is even more crucial (and somewhat more difficult) when it comes to children with autism. While it is a bit more difficult, it does not need to be impossible or seem as an unconquerable challenge. It is just that children with autism react differently to toys and play with toys differently than other children.
You can purchase autism toys for children with autism right online from your couch, without having to travel to the store and sort through toys which may or may not be suitable for an autistic child. Autism toys, more than other toys, have to be geared towards the development of the child, and the development of those children is a bit different. There are different levels of autism in children, and not every child develops at the same rate (just as all children, even those without a disability like autism, develop at different rates). The toys, then, play a very important role in that development. And since the toys play such an important role, the selection of those toys is that much more important.
Children with autism love toys just as much as children without autism love toys. In fact, they might even enjoy toys a little bit more. Types of toys for autistic children are always changing as more is learned. Below is a breakdown of some of the best toy options for young children who have been diagnosed with autism. These toys have been found to be good choices for the development of autistic children.
Developmental autism toys for children:
- Toys involving some sort of mixing and matching. Mixing and matching toys are great options for younger children with autism. These are the kinds of toys which have to be sorted and then grouped by matching numbers, shapes, colors, or something else they have in common. This can provide countless hours of enjoyment for a young autistic child, and they are great for helping them develop their sense of sight and associating that with recognizing like or common elements. Another example of this kind of toy are spelling games which can help the child learn. This type of game would ideally teach a child to spell some very easy words by having to match a series of colored cards or objects that, when put together, form a word with a picture.
- Markers, pencils, crayons, and paper. This sounds like the simplest toy ever, but it can be very good for development. These materials are an excellent way for young children with autism to express themselves in a way that makes sense to them. They get to play with different colors and create something of their own. This is also a good trick for an instructor or parent to watch the child work and see what they like and dislike. They could get information which can be helpful for future learning, like which colors the child enjoys the most and is most likely to respond to, for example. That information could be very beneficial for future learning.
- Toys that light up. Toys which light up or flash can be very popular with children with autism. These are very good for stimulation and focus. The best types of these are toys which only light up when prompted, like when a button is touched or a flip is switched. Having a young child with autism make the connection between the button and the light can be very good development.