How We Chose the Top Autism Sensory Toys in Our List
We are not child psychologists nor are we autism experts. We nevertheless, know exactly how parents feel when they first learn that their child is autistic. We have encountered many of them and we share in their angst and frustrations and have made these as our learning points in coming up with this list of amazing sensory processing disorder toys.
First we had to look at the toy’s developmental appropriateness. We know that different autistic children at different stages of development will require slightly different sensory stimulation. For example, an autistic infant will often have problems responding to social stimuli. On the other hand, an autistic toddler will have problems with taking turns. Knowing these subtle differences in autistic children helped us determine whether a particular toy fits a developmental purpose. Otherwise, we might as well scrap the item and move on to the next in our long list of gifts for autistic child. So, the very first thing we had to look for is the toy’s appropriateness to the age and development of the child.
Secondly, we needed to make sure that these products are made of only the safest and highest quality material and underwent a manufacturing process that adheres to strict quality control standards. Products that were subjected to voluntary testing, evaluation, and certification were deemed to be more credible than products that required mandatory testing. We believe that a company that voluntarily puts its products to be tested and evaluated is very confident about the quality workmanship of its products. This is also an excellent sign of a company’s overall reputation.
Third, we knew we had to listen to what parents of autistic children have to say about these sensory toys for autism. We must be able to back up our decision to include one particular toy but not another by combining our near-objective product evaluation with the experiences of moms and dads everywhere regarding their children’s use of these products.
Autism is quite a very touchy subject. But we also know the predicament of parents who love their autistic children so much. That is why we have chosen to embark on this seemingly impossible mission to provide you with a selection of the most amazing toys for special needs.
Autism and Our Children’s Future
Three of the most recognizable manifestations of autism are impaired social interaction skills, difficulty in communication, and repetitive behavior. Unfortunately, because of the rather inorganic nature of the condition, scientists are baffled as to what actually causes it or what the underlying mechanisms are. There are those who say it’s genetic while others point to environmental factors. What we do know is that autism affects more than 20 million people worldwide and all of them have been diagnosed as autistic during their early childhood years.
There are many who are concerned about what the future brings for children with autism. It should be understood that while autistic children will have problems in their social interaction, communication, and motor behavior, many have fantastic cognitive abilities. This is because there are many different kinds of autism. One of the most celebrated and most often cited forms of autism is high functioning autism or HFA. In many instances, this is often mistaken for Asperger’s Syndrome, another form of autism.
The fact of the matter is that, since children will only have developmental delays or problems in certain aspects of their neurodevelopmental growth, many tend to compensate for these deficits by doing well in other areas. For example, Dan Aykroyd of the Ghostbusters fame is known to have Asperger’s. Perhaps the most iconic example of autistic individuals doing exceptionally well in their chosen fields of endeavor is Prof. Temple Grandin, TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2010. There are other very successful individuals who are experts in their field despite having autism or Asperger’s. This is just proof that autism is not really a disorder but rather a state of being different, of being unique.
It is therefore, important for us as parents of kids with autism to provide them with all the opportunities to develop their other skills and not just their communication and social interaction skills. We can provide them with toys that are specifically designed to help control the repetitive behaviors of autistic children as well as provide the correct tools to help improve their social interaction skills and language and communication. More importantly, we have to recognize that help is available to those of us who really need it.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the best toys for children with special needs can be difficult. However, with our top 10 amazing toys for autistic children, you can be sure that you’ll make the right decision whichever toy or gift item you choose.