Livia was diagnosed with Autism around 19 months of age. It was one of those things that as a parent I could clearly see and was aware of, but didn’t want to admit. I am grateful that my mum strongly encouraged me to get her evaluated and into an early childhood program. As a teacher this is something that should be instinct right? It’s a whole different ball game when it is your child.
There were many indicators that I struggled with admitting. Self harm, loss of language, stimming, sensitive to certain sensory experiences, and…
Improper play of toys – Livia used to (and still does somewhat) love to line up her toys. Every ledge in my house was lined with little people. And if you moved them…let’s just say that was not allowed.
Improper play with toys is a common behavior for children with Autism. This is not to say every child with Autism experiences this. This list also does not suggest that children who do experience this are incapable of playing with other toys. This list of gifts for children with Autism is designed to give parents some ideas of toys that can provide a soothing and educational experience to their child with Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder.
Full Disclosure: If you would like to purchase any of these items please use the links provided. The cost is the same to you, but Parenting Chaos gets a small percentage allowing us to keep this blog maintained. The items listed in this gift guide were chosen by me and the opinions expressed are 100% my own. You can read my disclosure policy here. Thanks for your on going support!
1. Rolling Rainbow: $39.99
This toy is great for developing visual tracking (attention and eye contact), hand-eye coordination, fine motor strengthening, and cause and effect. It is also a great tool to start working on social skills such as waiting and taking turns. The bright colors are fun to watch and the movement is predictable. This toy is also non-toxic and made of solid wood so there is no need to worry about a child that likes to chew! Recommended for children 18 months+
2.Finger Paint Sensation Kit: $24.95
I love this tactile activity! These paints are perfect for the sensory seeker or for beginning to introduce sensory experiences. They are completely adaptable to your child’s needs as you can control the amount of texture that you want to add to the paint. This sensation kit also continues the texture fun once the painting is dry!
3. Smart Mom Pendant Blue Grey Swirl: $18.95
This is perfect for children with high oral sensory seeking needs. Most of the oral fidgets that I find are not pretty. They are chunky and obviously say – this is a teething ring. For a toddler those work. When Livia and I looked over chewing necklaces for her, this was one of the few that she approved of. It’s beautiful design actually looks like a piece of jewelry. The soft cord has a breakaway clasp and the pendant itself is made from a food-safe, phthalate-free, federally-approved silicone. The only con of this necklace is that aggressive bitters will be able to bite through the material.
4. Fill-n-Fun Water Mat: $12.99
This is a great activity for younger children. The Fill-n-Fun activity mat focuses on four areas of development (sensory stimulation, motor skills, cognitive abilities, and social skills) and is designed for children ages 6 months+. There is just something about water that is soothing, your young child is sure to love this!
5. Learning Shoe: $14.99
Designed for children 12 months+, this multi-sensory shoe was beloved by my daughter’s occupational therapist, and my daughter! This shoe is great for teaching facial expressions, dressing skills, colors, and more. It’s interactive features make the options for learning limitless. Your child will be entertained for hours exploring the crinkles, bells, squeeks, buttons, and laces.
6. Sleep Sheep with Smart Sensor: $28.95
This toy was a god-send for us. Sleep has always been something that Livia struggled with, and daily use of melatonin was not something I was comfortable with. Nights without melatonin meant nights without sleep. No matter what I tried. Then another mom suggested I get one of these for my daughter. The back of the sheep opens up to hold the music box. This was a perfect place to put a couple of drops of lavender essential oil. The music itself is very relaxing and subtle and the sheep is beyond soft. Four years and two kids later this toy is still a family favorite!
7. Hot Dots Jr.: $14.99
Hot Dots is a fun interactive pen that works with your child to get them ready for school. All of the activities are on a simple design which is perfect for children that are easily distracted or overwhelmed. Not to mention the talking dog is a very friendly and inviting character!
8. Mighty Monkey Pegboard: $19.95
These brightly colored simple monkeys are a favorite of many children and educators that I know. They can be used for an array of purposes from teaching colors and patterns, to working on fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Their foam board is simple to use, their texture is inviting, and they are the perfect size for little hands to manipulate.
Does your family have a favorite toy or fidget that we left out? Let us know in the comments!