Autism awareness merchandise
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Toys for Kids on the Spectrum - Social Engagement & Interaction, Emotional Development & Regulation, Creative Thinking & Imaginative Play, Sensory Motor Development, Communication & Interaction, Cognition & Problem Solving 6 Skill Categories & specifically chosen by specialists to help enhance the play and development of children on the autism spectrum.
- Social Engagement & Interaction - Toys that develop social engagement and interaction skills include those that children can engage with both alone and with a partner, promote turn taking and cooperation, allow opportunities for imitation or provide a certain amount of predictability or familiarity.
- Emotional Development & Regulation - Books and toys can help children on the autism spectrum develop strategies to recognize emotions and how to control them as well as recognize social cues and how to behave in a socially acceptable manner. Toys that allow children to develop skills in this area will help them build connections with others, learn to make positive self-management choices and express emotions appropriately. Look for books or games that demonstrate a range of emotional states, toys that encourage imitation and trying on different emotions, and activities that can lead to conversations about the why and how of different emotions or emotional reactions.
- Creative Thinking & Imaginative Play - Imagination is key to figuring out what someone else might feel, believe and desire. It contributes to the development of logic, memory and abstract thinking. Toys that encourage creative thinking actively engage children’s imaginations and allow creative self-expression to help them gain confidence and learn how to navigate their world. Toys that support this type of play include dolls and dollhouses, puppets, construction and building toys, stuffed animals, interactive stories, arts and crafts, musical instruments and dress up costumes.
- Sensory Motor Development - Children need to have regular opportunities for enhanced sensory and motor experiences as well as for restful and calming experiences. Helping children develop their sensory and motor skills not only helps them organize themselves in relation to the world but supports all areas of development. Large motor play, like jumping and climbing, supports a need for body awareness, physical skill development and self-regulation. Manipulative toys, like puzzles and art materials, support hand-eye coordination, motor planning and attention. Hand fidgets, bath toys and blow toys support a need for enhanced touch and oral sensory input. Creating a hideaway with a play tent, stuffed animals and quiet toys or books can be great to regroup after a busy day.
- Communication & Interaction - Teaching communication through the imaginative and give-and-take nature of play can help children with autism learn to communicate in other situations. Being able to effectively convey their message and express their needs or feelings will often reduce frustration and promote positive interactions with others. Playful, low-stress opportunities for communication can be created through turn taking while playing games, requesting and talking about pieces of puzzles or other assembly toys, engaging in dress-up activities, and singing along with a music video or CD.
- Cognition & Problem Solving - Helping children on the autism spectrum put together parts of a whole and respond to visual cues or abstract ideas can lead to a sense of achievement and boost self esteem and confidence. Mastering new skills and concepts are essential building blocks for independent living and social integration. Word games, puzzles, science kits, building sets and games all aid in helping kids to stretch their minds to solve problems and tackle complex and abstract ideas.
- Favorites - Each toy builds multiple skills while enhancing the play and development of children on the autism spectrum.