Five gifts ideas for children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
Due to my professional experience working with children within the autism spectrum, today, I want to write about a topic that can be very useful for every parent or educator with a child with ASD in their lives.
Sometimes we want to bond with the child, but we find it difficult to understand what they like, what is good for them, and how we can help them. For this reason, today I want to write about five toys that can be of great stimulation for a child with autism and with which he could enjoy a lot.
But before this, it is essential to clarify that each child is different, and one of the characteristics of a child with ASD is their restricted interests. That is why it is crucial always to get to know the child first, see what they like best, and then choose what is best for them. The following is simply a guide to help you find the perfect gift for them.
Many children with autism also have sensory difficulties.
The processing of the stimuli of the senses of sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste, balance, and body is overwhelming. They may seek physical stimulation as a mechanism to calm down.
Rhythmic movements are soothing and stimulate balance and sensory integration. It also helps increase concentration and promotes eye contact, promoting social interaction.
Here I leave different options of swings; some are to be put outside, others can be placed inside; there are various forms and materials so that each one chooses the one that can better fit your child.
A few options I like:
Many children with autism have difficulty calming down and auto-regulating. Some need to feel pressure on their body to regulate themselves, for which a weighted blanket can be a practical gift.
The weighted blankets are designed to reduce stress and create a sense of calm. They do this by putting pressure on the body.
These blankets are filled with glass beads or plastic balls to add weight, and some also have additional layers of fabric to increase weight. Weight-bearing blankets work by putting pressure on the body, increasing the release of serotonin in the brain. This neurotransmitter is sometimes called the "happiness" chemical because it generates a feeling of calm and well-being.
This blanket can help the child relax at night or in times of crisis.
An option I love! :
Play-Doh can be a great gift for a child with autism. It helps to improve the sense of touch and experience of different textures, promoting flexibility and incorporating new interests. The child can roll it, form little balls, crush them with the hand and make many creative figures.
It's a Fantastic stress-reliever, and it helps to release tension and relax.
An excellent option to provide a better relaxing effect is to add essential oils to the dough, such as lavender which stimulates relaxation!
Here is a link of an amazing company that creates non toxic Play-dough.
Many children with autism enjoy pressure on the body and contact, so a good gift option is massage tools. With this gift, we help the child interact with the adult generating important moments for the consolidation of a solid bond.
Here are some ideas of different objects that could be used as a massage tool:
Finally, an excellent gift for children with autism is Sensory Boxes.
It's a container filled with different materials and textures. Aside from the filling, they also include different toys to boost creativity and set the scene they want in that specific theme.
These are essential tools to improve child development, motor skills, cognitive growth, and more, all while having fun!
Sensory Boxes are a fantastic way for children to learn by experiencing and recognizing their senses, has a calming effect, and help them concentrate and stay entertained.
It promotes social interaction when sharing the game with others, promotes motor skills, and, most importantly, is a very entertaining and motivating activity!
Motivation is the main factor that must be present for the child to learn and grow.