Suitable toys for children with autism

Suitable toys for children with autism

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Autism is a serious disorder of neurobiological origin that is part of what we know as Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASD. They are children with great deficits in the affective, social, cognitive, communicational and linguistic sphere.

But like any child, they enjoy playing with all kinds of toys and materials that we propose to them, although the type of game they develop may be different from other children with normal development.

We know that toys are ideal tools to be able to stimulate the affected areas of these children as long as we provide them with the most appropriate for their age and level of development. The most suitable for children with autism that we highlight here are those that facilitate multisensory stimulation, those that favor motor skills, language and communication and all those that allow working on emotions and the development of social play.

- Multisensory toys. During the first three years, these types of toys are ideal for children with autism since they allow the stimulation of the sense of touch, hearing or sight. We highlight toys that have different textures, activity panels, stackable blocks, musical games, rattles or other sound accessories, ...

- Toys that promote gross motor skills. Balls, bowling pins, tricycles, bicycles, skates and scooters allow the child with autism to know his body and its possibilities of movement. These toys allow the development of different skills such as flexibility and balance, skills that can also be affected in some children with autism.

- Toys to stimulate fine motor skills. Stringing, cutting and gluing, curling, or modeling toys are ideal for developing hand-eye coordination.

- Toys that promote communication and language. Board games such as questions to guess a character, those to find the same pairs, mime, or any other that requires the participation of two or more people are ideal for working on the language and communication of children with autism.

- Toys to work emotions are especially useful to explain feelings. In this category we highlight card games, games of imitation of expressions, puzzles and magnetized toys that allow to configure different faces and expressions of anger, joy, surprise ... Let us remember that the child with autism has a great deficit to understand the emotions of others.

- Toys for symbolic, social or role play. These toys range from dolls, vehicles, phones, doll carriages, cribs, fruits, vegetables, costumes, dresses, etc. They are excellent toys for promoting and developing these children's social skills as we seek to get them to play and get into a role.

Let us remember that children with autism develop a very different type of game compared to children with typical development, especially in terms of symbolic play. Deficiencies in symbolic play are part of the diagnostic criteria for ASD.

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