When it comes to buying toys for kids with autism, make sure to focus on toys that will stimulate their senses. Because most kids with autism have sensory problems, they have to be introduced to tangible things in a non-threatening way and in such a way that they can understand and remember.
Kids with autism sometimes have a difficult time with social interactions. Board games are an excellent way to teach kids about sharing, taking turns, and listening to others.
Give Me 5 is a board game with eight different categories for social skills. The categories are targeted to help kids learn about themselves and each other. For example, some of the categories include calming emotions, the big picture, what others are thinking and self-presentation.
The game uses role-playing and visual cues to analyze social scenarios that kids may come across or have already come across. The game is intended for ages eight and up.
You can also check out construction sets or LEGO blocks that allow kids to build houses, buildings and more. There are sets where a kid can build a castle or airplane.
Building things helps a kid learn to work with instructions and directions to get the desired result. A lot of kids with autism have a hard time following verbal instructions so learning to work on building something can help increase the kid’s awareness of needing to follow directions.
A lot of kids with autism have difficulty learning words for senses. 3D Feel and Find by Guide Craft is a great toy for those who have problems with the senses, particularly the touch sense.
Feel and Find comes with twenty multi-colored wooden blocks that are shapes, people, or animals as well as the wooden panels that match them. With Feel and Find, the multi-colored blocks are put in a bag and your kid pulls out one of the shapes and matches it with a wooden shape.
Being able to identify a shape by the feel rather than by sight of it will help your kid learn and memorize what they are. Another great toy to use is Melissa and Doug’s Sandwich Stacking game.
This can be played alone or with a partner. The game comes with twenty cards and fourteen sandwich fillings along with four slices of bread. The bread is designed to be used as gloves, but they do not have to be worn if the kid does not want to.
The kid looks at a card that has a sandwich designed on it and then uses the picture on the card to design a sandwich of his or her own. The kid can design the sandwiches on his own or two kids can race each other to get their sandwich done first.