Autistic children do not enjoy the same toys that kids without autism do. This is because autistic children have a different sensory processing system, which means that they touch, see, hear and feel toys very differently.
Here are some toys you can use for children who are autistic or who show early symptoms of being autistic:
For infants < 1 year old
Susan Senator shares a heartwarming story on how she picked toys for her autistic infant even when she didn’t realize that he was autistic. Here are some toys you can use for your infant:
This toy brings the predictability of the same shape always going into the same hole and that’s why autistic kids love it. As they grow up, you can continue to use this toy to teach them the names of shapes. Pick a variant that have large shapes so that the infant cannot gulp them down and choke on them.
A music player like the Laugh and Learn CD player allows the child to use repetitive patterns with predictable outcomes. This is something that autistic children crave for.
For toddlers between 1 to 3 years old
National autism resources, a US based support system, provides some great choices for autistic toddlers. A couple of my favorites are:
Sound blocks consist of different blocks, each of which play different sounds. This is great for toddlers who seem to have an affinity to sounds.
For those toddlers who are tactile, i.e. who seek to touch things, a finger paint paper set gives them the sensory pleasure that they crave.
For children > 3 years old
There are a host of toys, puzzles and board games for children from 3 and above. Browse through the national autism resources to find the best options for your child, tween and teen.