Gift giving is one of the most exciting ways that we get to show those we love and cherish that we care. With the holidays here, you might be drawing up a shopping list for your children and planning this year’s gifts for under the tree. When you have a child who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) you may find yourself scratching your head and wondering what toys you can give to your child without causing distress of overstimulation. Whether it’s playing digital games inside, spending time outdoors, or painting, you can find a toy that fits the specific needs of your child.
Individuals with autism typically have a comfort object that you can pull out to help calm them down, so why not consider buying your child a comforting toy this year? Weighted items can be extremely comforting to children with autism; there are a number of weighted blankets, vests, and even stuffed animals that you can purchase online. Many children enjoy gently vibrating items, like a vibrating pillow or animal-themed massagers. You can plan to find a gift that speaks directly to the individual wants of your child with autism.
Encourage Physical Activity
You might have a child with ASD who has a lot of pent up energy. Finding the right toys that encourage physical play can positively affect your child’s fine-motor skills, improve healthy exercise habits, and expel excessive energy in a fun way. What toys do we suggest?
The “Give a Flip” toy from Fun and Function is an ideal gift that can help your child learn more about eye-hand coordination and timing. This game is fairly simple, with a seesaw type of wooden board and a beanbag (or ball). Your child stomps on one end of the board and has to catch the beanbag as it catapults into the air.
You can search through a number of other toy ideas on the Autism Community Store.
Toy Planning Quick Tips
Before you start pressing the “buy now” button on gifts for your child, consider the following:
- Look for toys that sync up with your child’s current developmental level. If you choose gifts that are too advanced, this may cause your child to feel frustration.
- If your child has specific sensory sensitivities, avoid toys that could be upsetting.
- Your child’s therapist and/or physician can help you find fun and appropriate gifts for your child.
- There are a number of online stores that carry toys specifically designed for children with autism. Don’t be afraid to shop around and find toys that fit your child’s unique interests and developmental level.
This year, up your gift-giving game by considering what your child enjoys and choosing gifts that encourage them to grow and explore the world around them. Need more ideas? We love this article, “Autism Toys for Children: Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Best Gift for Your Child With Autism” from Autism Parenting Magazine.
At Hidden Treasures ABA Therapy Services, our team of specialists is here for you. Whether you are seeking information about advocating for your loved one, or you are looking for support and therapy services for your child with ASD, you can contact our team TODAY!