Picture: Pexels
Flutur Blog Author
Mallika Priya Khullar
a year ago
Flutur effect
Flutur Blog Author
Mallika Priya Khullar
a year ago

13 Must Have Gadgets and Toys for Children with Autism

Picture: Pexels
Children who suffer from autism develop impairments in social skills, speech and nonverbal communication and also repetitive behaviour. Because autism is not of one type and covers a range of symptoms, it’s now called ASD - autism spectrum disorder.

Although there's no cure for autism, early recognition and therapy can help children develop skills and learn at rates similar to children without autism. Therapy would be specific to the child’s needs and personal symptoms. Taking care of children with autism might be challenging, but very rewarding if done right - be it your own children or those at shelters.

Here are a few toys and tools that one can use to help children with autism improve their motor skills, learn manners and understanding emotions and also destress.

Children who have ASD often find it hard to:
  • recognise facial expressions on the faces of others
  • understand emotions that others’ expressions represent
  • copy or use emotional expressions that others seem to display
  • understand and control their own emotions
  • understand and interpret the emotions displayed by others

Children who are diagnosed with ASD develop emotional responses at a sedated rate as compared to children who don’t have ASD, particularly facing difficulty recognising the subtle emotions of fear, disgust and anger. Even as they hit adolescence, teenagers suffering from ASD are usually still unable to perfectly recognize these emotions. Most usually find it hard to describe what they’re feeling and some claim that they aren’t able to feel a particular emotion. Others feel certain emotions like anger in extremes. A Feelings Keychain can be used for autistic individuals to communicate in relation to how they are feeling or what they want.

This fidget toy serves as a tool to help a child with ASD focus, pay attention, calm down, and even develop listening skills. One can twist the device using its series of 90-degree curves, because the joints are connected and the toy is able to pivot at each joint.

Children with ASD might find it really difficult to focus on things that are unable to hold their interest like crossing the road safely, or completing a puzzle. Years ago, several cultures practiced chromotherapy - using colors as a form of treatment. Chromotherapy is used even currently as a holistic method of treatment, as research has found associations between color and mood - green, for example, is associated with feeling fresh, yellow with feeling energetic, and blue with feeling calm. These knobby balls that come in all colors are great for children to play with, keeping them engaged and interested.

Therapeutic interventions are becoming increasingly important for understanding and managing autism. Exercise and stimulation such as that from an exercise ball can improve attention skills, encourage thinking and calm down children with ASD. Exercise not only helps them engage with the environment, but it also leads to better overall health.This gel exercise ball does all that and acts as a therapeutic stress reliever as well.

Children with autism can sometimes be under-sensitive to certain sensations, which means that a lot of sensation is needed to stimulate them. They will usually seek out more of it in order to feel satiated, like a child turning up the volume on the TV because they are under-sensitive to sound. This fidget toy promotes focus and concentration while helping keep children’s fidgety fingers busy. One can bend the toy, fold or twist it in different ways and even squeeze or slide the marble back and forth.

Autism is a spectrum condition, which means that the grasp of children with ASD over memory can vary. Certain children with ASD might have poorer memory specifically for complex information for verbal and visual elements. Associations become harder for them, especially if many individual elements or one single complicated element in involved. These cards use bright and clear pictures to catch the attention of children and keep them occupied. They could be used to teach simple objects and association to a younger child, helping them with memory strengthening and understanding.

Children on the spectrum may exhibit behavioural problems which generally occur as an attempt to communicate their feelings or to cope with a situation.

For people on the spectrum, rigidly sticking to routines and spending their time in repetitive behaviours are ways for them to reduce uncertainty and maintain the predictability of their environment. This useful, pocket sized keyring, contains some essential behavior instructions. This is especially important when trying to manage an individual's behavior, and to help them modify their own behavior to what is socially acceptable.

Most people would agree that stress can at best be distracting. At its worst, science links stress to any number of physical health problems across the general population. Stress presents a unique challenge for children with autism and their families.

The cube comes with 6 functions - click, glide, flip, breath, roll and spin. This cube is used to reduce anxiety and stress in children suffering from ADHD, ASD, OCD and ADD.

Teaching children suffering from autism, the skills of waiting, pacing their meals, wiping their faces, eating cleanly, and eventually chain all these skills into a greater sect of manners - good table manners - can be achieved by using these table manner cards.

Children with ASD can use this putty in various ways. They can squeeze it, stretch or twist it into various shapes. This helps strengthen hand muscles, improve fine motor skills, and decrease stress in children on the spectrum.

Made of soft rubber and around 12 * 4 * 4 in size, this toy has a liquid filler and can be squeezed into any shape. This acts as a stress relief for children suffering from autism, saving them from health problems and allowing them to lead a more stress-free, productive life.

Many people with ASD have Sensory Processing Disorder, where the information generated by the senses is interpreted differently. In turn this affects the way the person perceives the environment, and changes how they react to it. This can be distracting, uncomfortable or distressing. By wearing noise-cancelling headphones a person with ASD can eliminate most of the background noise and concentrate on other things like performing tasks, relaxing, playing games with others and other activities that are normally difficult or impossible with noise.

Children on the autistic spectrum face three core difficulties. These are - social interaction, repetitive behaviour and challenges in communicating. In addition to these, they often have difficulty with coordination, motor planning and even posture.

ln addition to the three core difficulties of ASD (social interaction, and communication challenges and repetitive behaviors) children on the autistic spectrum often have difficulties with posture, coordination and motor planning.

Factors that affect motor skills in children with autism:
  • Differences in brain wiring
  • Difficulties with prediction and anticipation
  • Joint hypermobility/low muscle tone
  • Anxious/fearful temperament

This tool set will encourage a variety of hand exercises to help children develop fine-motor skills and strengthen the hand and finger muscles needed for writing.
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