Sensory toys for autism
Right from the early stages of a child’s life we try to keep them engaged with sensory toys. They can help them developmentally providing them with brain stimulation as they learn about sound, site, taste, touch and smell.
Children with autism continue to benefit from sensory toys throughout their lives as they can help them to relax and to focus.
Some of the most popular sensory items available for children with autism are comfy beanbags which do not make the noises that normal beanbags do. One such brand is the Noomi (https://noomi.com.au/). This store has a wide range of beanbags and cushions in various shapes, colours and sizes. They are extremely comfy with their special fabric, filled with special beads and can often be purchased with NDIS funding.
Weighted blankets and vests are also popular with people with autism. The pressure from the vest can have benefits in improving concentration in the classroom and helping students to calm down and focus.
The craze in sensory toys right now is the ‘Bubble Pop Toy.’ If you love popping bubble wrap you will love this toy. It is a silicon circle or square toy with rows of pop bubbles. Once you’ve popped one side you simply flip it over and pop the bubbles again, for endless popping fun and constant stimulation.
Don’t forget the craze we had a few years ago with fidget spinners. And one toy that never goes out of fashion is squishy balls and toys that provide continuous stress relief and great to entertain fidgety hands.
Some children will benefit from auditory toys from whistles to maracas and drum sets. A popular sensory addition is noise cancelling headphones or earmuffs to help block out loud noises for those who find certain settings like supermarkets, shopping centres and events too overwhelming.
Mood lighting can help some children to relax when bright lights can be too harsh and create discomfort. Things like lava lamps and projection lamps can help to soothe and calm children as they relax and prepare themselves for sleep.
Finally, there are chewable toys which are great to stop children from chewing holes in their clothing. They can help children to calm themselves and to self-regulate.
As with all of the toys mentioned they are great for easing anxiety and stress relief. Perfect for children with autism and ADHD, however all members of the family can enjoy the pleasure that sensory toys bring.
There are plenty of online stores that sell the products mentioned here along with much more. Plus, you can find stores in your local community dedicated to sensory products. Take a look online at ‘Sensory Toys’ and find out what stores are close to you.
SASI Guest Parent Blogger
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