Finding the right toys for kids with autism can pose a challenge. After all, kids with autism don't always play with toys in the most functional way, and yet some toys help develop crucial skills—whether social, communicative, or motor-based.
Luckily St. David Center for Child & Family Development has just made your shopping life a lot easier. Together with Creative Kidstuff, a Minnesota-based toys company, St. David's has identified the best bets for kids on the autism spectrum in six different categories.
Though Creative Kidstuff is based in the US, the toys listed are available through international shipping. Most items can also be found north of the border at retailers like Walmart, Toys R Us, Indigo, and Amazon.
Here are the top ASD toys as recommended by St. David's, with a brief description how each benefits kids on the spectrum:
SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT & INTERACTION
Provides the opportunity for social engagement and interaction with parents, siblings, or friends. Helps increase understanding of emotional identification. Texture and weight of the discs provides nice sensory input while matching and colours aids in cognitive skills.
EMOTIONAL, DEVELOPMENT & REGULATION
CREATIVE THINKING & IMAGINATIVE PLAY
Great for teaching cause and effect. Helps cognition skills with the colours and different sounds, nice sensory aspect if child enjoys the music and lights.
SENSORY MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
Great for sensory/motor development and also helps with emotional regulation; child can place it on their lap, or around their shoulders; provides nice sensory input; also has nice textures for the child to feel.
Great for a variety of skills. Interactive nature allows for social interaction and engagement with family members and friends. This game helps teach turn-taking, sensory motor development while aiding in cognitive development through learning colours, counting and communication as you can talk about what colour it is, how many, whose turn it is, etc.
COGNITION & PROBLEM SOLVING